Surplus and shortage of market liquidity

The amount of liquidity has increased hugely worldwide, but specific markets have become less liquid. What are the consequences of this? Read more ...

How factor investing also works for corporate bonds

Two Robeco researchers have become the first to analyze the effect that factor premiums can have on corporate bond investing. Read more ...

Pouring oil on troubled waters

The oil price is likely to remain low as the market faces a ‘perfect storm’ in both supply and demand, says Robeco’s chief economist. Read more ...

Africa - a continent of opportunities and risks

Does Africa's future look rosy or will weak leadership and Ebola cloud its prospects? Chief economist Léon Cornelissen gives his view. Read more…

Latest investment insights

Best economic links of the web

24-11-2014 | Lukas Daalder

Getting rich easy: only invest around the turn of the month

Graph of the week

21-11-2014 | Lukas Daalder

The Nikkei started the week with a loss of almost 3%, following news that the Japanese economy had slipped into a recession in the third quarter. It is the third recession in four years, a situation reminiscent of Europe…

Taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race – from your desk

19-11-2014 | Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race has captured the imagination of millions around the world. For those who can’t make it to the stopover ports to watch it live, Robeco has devised an interactive game to allow race fans to take part in the excitement from the comfort of their desks.

CP Foods to tackle slavery in its supply chain

19-11-2014 | Insight | Peter van der Werf

Last June, British newspaper The Guardian reported that farmed prawn producer Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods) buys fishmeal from some suppliers that own, operate or buy from fishing boats manned by slaves. An investor coalition headed by Robeco subsequently started an engagement with CP Foods.

Surplus and shortage of market liquidity

17-11-2014 | Insight | Alberto Gallo, Kommer van Trigt, Lukas Daalder

The amount of liquidity has increased hugely worldwide, but specific markets have become less liquid. Should we fear bursting bubbles or poorly functioning markets? Three investment specialists see risks, but also solutions and opportunities.

Towards new types of energy

17-11-2014 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

Oil and gas prices are falling. Is this because of the weak global economy or is something else at play? Are we moving towards new types of energy generation and new distribution models?

Companies open up in Japan

12-11-2014 | Insight | Carola van Lamoen

After the launch of the Japanese Stewardship Code, I joined an investor delegation from the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) to Japan in early September. It struck me that corporate governance is rapidly gaining momentum there.

Factor Investing in the Corporate Bond Market

12-11-2014 | Research | Jeroen van Zundert, Patrick Houweling, PhD

Factor Investing in the Corporate Bond Market

How factor investing also works for corporate bonds

11-11-2014 | Insight | Jeroen van Zundert, Patrick Houweling, PhD

Two Robeco researchers have become the first to analyze the effect that factor premiums can have on corporate bond investing.

Pouring oil on troubled waters

10-11-2014 | Outlook | Léon Cornelissen

The oil price is likely to remain low as the market faces a ‘perfect storm’ that has affected both supply and demand, says Robeco’s chief economist.

SABMiller: African sourcing offers tasty growth

10-11-2014 | Insight

SABMiller* combines an African growth strategy with a high ESG score, says analyst Vera Krückel of the Robeco Global Equity team.

Protests in Hong Kong

10-11-2014 | Opinion | Arnout van Rijn

Last week month I reported that the 65-year-old People's Republic of China should be proud of what it has achieved, but that many improvements are still needed. The country's democratization is a particular source of dissatisfaction - something we have really witnessed firsthand in Hong Kong in recent weeks!

Africa - a continent of opportunities and risks

07-11-2014 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

Economic growth in Africa has been strong for years and the standard of living is rising. Does Africa's future look rosy or will weak leadership and Ebola cloud its prospects? Chief economist Léon Cornelissen sees both opportunities and risks.

Reshaping the rules of global capitalism

06-11-2014 | Insight | Chandran Nair

Chandran Nair is the founder and CEO of the Global Institute for Tomorrow (GIFT), an independent think tank which aims to promote greater understanding of how Asia is changing. He was a keynote speaker at the RobecoSAM Forum in October 2014, delivering a speech entitled ‘The True Nature of Capital and Sustainability: An Asian Perspective’. Here he explains why he believes investors must wake up to a new reality.

Who manages the managers?

06-11-2014 | Opinion | Edith Siermann

Since I have been involved in ESG integration in the investment process, I've noticed that almost every institutional investor I speak to considers this subject a top priority. However, in practice they find it quite difficult to actually manage their investments in a sustainable way, especially when they outsource to external asset managers – something that happens a lot.

Low-volatility investing: Expect the unexpected

06-11-2014 | Research | David Blitz, PhD, Pim van Vliet, PhD

Low-volatility stocks are known to lag in rising markets and lose less in falling markets. On average this is true, but is it always the case? Examining the historical evidence we find that unlikely scenarios – both positive and negative - do occur once in a while. Low-volatility investors should therefore not only focus on averages, but consider a broader range of possible outcomes.

Gordon’s growth formula supports case for low volatility stocks

03-11-2014 | Insight

The application of Gordon’s growth formula to a ‘Japan scenario’, low bond yields in combination with low expected growth and low inflation, supports the case for low volatility stocks. This simple formula (left side) states that the value of a stock is equal to the present value of the expected stream of dividends.

Cacophony of conflicting opinions is not productive

30-10-2014 | Opinion | Kommer van Trigt

There is no momentum in the European growth recovery. Policymakers’ opinions differ as to what the best remedy is, making a unified and decisive approach unlikely. But perhaps 'our' Jeroen Dijsselbloem can rectify this.

Core and Active Quant Emerging Markets: the importance of research

29-10-2014 | Research | Wilma de Groot, CFA

Robeco portfolio manager Wilma de Groot explains the importance of research and discusses two major new projects in her department. “ESG inclusion can be seen as a form of risk reduction”, she says.

Africa: An abundance of low-hanging fruit

29-10-2014 | Insight | Cornelis Vlooswijk

The African continent offers huge growth potential for international investors. Coming from a low base, it is relatively easy for African economies to achieve high growth and companies’ valuations are still very reasonable.

Flexible credit strategies to benefit from relative value trade-offs

29-10-2014 | Insight | Victor Verberk

New flexible credit strategies offer institutional investors market segmentation benefits through one integrated approach. This article explains the benefits and the rationale. Benefits from a flexible, integrated approach

Time to catch up this fall

29-10-2014 | Magazine

Get our free booklet ‘Time2Read’ with a selection of 23 articles on investing in bonds and equities.

How sustainable is the ‘new India’?

29-10-2014 | Insight | Nimesh Chandan

Reforms under new Prime Minister Narendra Modi offer many opportunities for investors, both directly in infrastructure and indirectly through financial markets. But how sustainable will the country be?

Online is winning the shopping-cart war

28-10-2014 | Insight | Steef Bergakker

Consumers shop more frequently online. This is putting pressure on traditional grocery stores, says Robeco trend watcher Steef Bergakker. But there are also companies set to benefit.

E-magazine: Spotlight on Africa

28-10-2014 | Volvo Ocean Race

Our new e-magazine is focusing on Africa. Find out what our experts think about investing in this region, why local sourcing can offer tasty growth opportunities for SAB Miller and how Laurent Pages, Team Brunel Watch Leader & Trimmer, aligns the sails for maximum speed. Cape Town, South Africa is the first stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. We have written a collection of articles to commemorate Robeco’s sponsorship of Team Brunel in this race around the world.

Rousseff faced with challenge to restore confidence

28-10-2014 | News item | Daniela da Costa - Bulthuis

President Dilma Rousseff was re-elected in Brazil with 51.6% of valid votes. In her winning speech she talked about launching measures to stimulate growth, fight inflation, improve fiscal responsibility and political reform.

Uncertainty over Europe makes low volatility stocks attractive

24-10-2014 | Insight | Jan Sytze Mosselaar

Growing uncertainty over the long-term outlook for Europe will lead to increased stock market volatility and a heightened focus on dividend returns. At such times, low volatility stocks usually perform well so a European low volatility strategy may be an attractive option. The downside is that their appeal may cause these stocks to become expensive. Robeco's European Conservative Equities strategy focuses on avoiding expensive low volatility stocks.

Top scores for Robeco from UN PRI

24-10-2014 | Insight | Carola van Lamoen

The United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) recently awarded Robeco top scores for its approach to sustainability investing.

Preferring Europe to the US

23-10-2014 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt, Machiel van de Groes, Paul van der Worp

In its outlook for the fourth quarter of this year, Robeco’s Fixed Income Allocation team shares its views on Treasuries, credits and emerging debt.

Mobilizing capital to better use the world’s resources

23-10-2014 | Insight

The supply of resources such as metals, fuels, water, food and land is limited. Yet demand is unlimited. Driven by population growth, rising disposable incomes, and industrialization the world’s resources are under pressure. Watch our latest video to see how RobecoSAM is mobilizing capital to more efficiently use the world’s increasingly scarce resources.

Country Sustainability Ranking update

23-10-2014 | Insight | Rikkert Scholten

The Country Sustainability Ranking focuses on sustainability information that we find relevant for investment decisions. In the latest update we see some interesting trends in the euro area - the ongoing improvement in the Irish ranking particularly catches the eye. In the global universe, Sweden maintains its number one position.

How sustainable is the 'new India'? | Advance October 2014

22-10-2014 | Magazine

Reforms under new Prime Minister Narendra Modi offer many opportunities for investors - but how sustainable will the country be? Our latest Advance magazine answers investor’s questions.

The added value of women

22-10-2014 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

Male entrepreneurs take more risk than women and are rewarded with more assets. But men are also more likely go bankrupt. Equity investors would be wise to take the ‘female factor’ into account.

What drives the value premium?

16-10-2014 | Research | David Blitz, PhD

The empirical evidence for the presence of a value premium in stock markets is overwhelming. But why does this phenomenon exist? A new white paper examines a popular explanation.

How factor investing fits into active vs passive

13-10-2014 | Insight

Factor investing is the talk of the town. But how does it fit into the debate of active versus passive? We interviewed two experts with different perspectives: one working for an index provider while the other represents an active management house.

China is becoming middle aged, so it’s slowing down a bit

10-10-2014 | Outlook | Léon Cornelissen

In some ways, the rise of China has been too good to be true. Its economy has grown with breakneck speed for decades (an average of 9.1% a year since 1994, with a lowest rate of 6%) – if we can believe the official accounts.

Our predictions for market returns

09-10-2014 | Outlook

‘The future is like a corridor into which we can see only by the light coming from behind.’ This quote sums up how the past and present are used to predict future market returns for investors. Watch our video of Expected Returns, 2015-2019, showing what performance you can expect for the major asset classes in the next five years. See how we believe all the main markets will fare, using our models and some good old-fashioned ingenuity.

Spain can do it

09-10-2014 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

Spain is recovering. Robeco's chief economist, Léon Cornelissen, analyzes the economic opportunities and risks.

Taking some risk off the table

08-10-2014 | Outlook | Peter van der Welle

Low volatility would normally be welcomed by investors – but a sustained period can also act as a warning shot for impeding market volatility, Robeco’s strategist says.

Abe's third arrow targets Japanese corporate governance

08-10-2014 | Carola van Lamoen

Following the launch of the Japanese Stewardship Code, an investor delegation from the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) recently traveled to Japan. Together with representatives from parties such as BlackRock, CalPERS and Norges Bank IM, Carola van Lamoen, Head of Governance and Active Ownership, observed that Japanese corporate governance is rapidly gaining momentum.

Digital consumer: keep up or lose out

06-10-2014 | Insight | Jack Neele

How can investors best deal with rapid technological changes in consumer markets*? A resolute approach that actively anticipates trends can bear fruit, as demonstrated at Fondsevent360, a networking gathering for investment professionals.

The Robeco approach for credits

04-10-2014 | Magazine

Corporate bond markets are constantly changing. They continue to present new challenges to us as asset managers and to institutional investors with their obligations to pensioners and policy holders. In this magazine Robeco’s credit team discusses the main market trends, the challenges they pose and, more importantly, how they think we can capitalize on these trends.

Equities are the top picks for the next five years

03-10-2014 | Outlook | Lukas Daalder

What's hot and what's not for the next five years? Our portfolio managers, economists and strategists favor equities over bonds, due to the prospect of higher interest rates, but warn that returns are likely to be lower than during the previous 2014-2018 period.

Deflation is the main risk factor for growth recovery

02-10-2014 | Outlook | Peter van der Welle

Robeco bases its returns outlook for the coming five years on expectations for a further gradual recovery in the world economy. The four themes that play a role in this are also important for our alternative scenarios.

Eurozone crisis isn’t over, and may return

02-10-2014 | Outlook | Léon Cornelissen

The Eurozone has made great strides in the past five years since the financial crisis first hit, but fundamental problems still remain for the next five, says Robeco’s chief economist.

The future isn't all plain sailing

02-10-2014 | Outlook

Central banks have kept rates close to zero and have been the driving force for expected returns. But the economic tide is now turning, with differing effects on stocks, bonds, real estate and other investments.

E-magazine: Spotlight on Spain

01-10-2014 | Volvo Ocean Race | Léon Cornelissen

To commemorate the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante on 4 October, we have published an e-magazine focusing on Spain. Find out what our experts think about the Spanish economy and bond market; how captain Bouwe Bekking uses risk management just like Robeco does; and why consumer stocks guru Jack Neele likes Zara.

Abe’s third arrow targets Japanese corporate governance

01-10-2014 | Insight | Carola van Lamoen

Following the launch of the Japanese Stewardship Code, an investor delegation from the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) recently traveled to Japan. Together with representatives from parties such as BlackRock, CalPERS and Norges Bank IM, I observed that observed that Japanese corporate governance is rapidly gaining momentum.

When factors disagree

30-09-2014 | Research | Bart Van der Grient, David Blitz, PhD, Pim van Vliet, PhD

Generic strategies designed to harvest a certain factor premium regularly conflict with other factor premiums. We find that the premiums associated with these strategies tend to shrink, sometimes even to zero, in these periods of factor disagreement. But enhanced factor strategies avoid stocks that are unattractive on other established factors and continue to deliver when generic factor strategies struggle.

What history teaches us: 7 lessons for factor investing

29-09-2014 | Insight

Long-term historical data will give you insights for the future, says Professor Elroy Dimson. Investors should take the long view and be aware of factor exposures.

Strong ESG score for Robeco Property Equities

26-09-2014 | Insight | Folmer Pietersma

GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) is an industry-driven organization committed to assessing the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios globally. Every year GRESB conducts a survey that serves as input for its sustainability benchmark. This dynamic benchmark is used by institutional investors including Robeco to engage with the companies in which they invest with the aim to improve the sustainability performance of the real estate sector.

Three ways to look at Alibaba

26-09-2014 | Insight | Wim-Hein Pals

Alibaba, the largest e-commerce company in China, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange on September 19, 2014. The Robeco Emerging Markets team has been following the company closely over the past half year and participated in the IPO. Now that the dust has settled after the biggest IPO ever, it’s time to look at the strengths and challenges of Alibaba.

Valuing ESG impact at Robeco Global Equity

26-09-2014 | Insight | Willem Schramade

More and more investors recognize the importance of ESG integration. However, many parties tend to focus on screening and exclusion. While lots of ESG efforts are being made, the connection to business models and valuation tends to be missing. In this article we discuss how the Robeco Global Equity team tackles the challenge of linking ESG to value drivers.

The many shades of green

26-09-2014 | Opinion | Edith Siermann

More than once I have been asked how a sustainable asset-management company can invest in oil firms that pollute the environment and in sports apparel producers whose suppliers violate the rights of their employees. While we are clearly against such practices, it is true that we do not automatically exclude these companies.

The rise of Factor Investing – is it a hype?

25-09-2014 | Insight

Factor Investing is increasingly in the spotlight. Financial magazines run features on it, seminars are organized on the subject, and investors consider adopting its approach. Yet you might wonder: is it just a hype?

Little anxiety over banking stress tests

25-09-2014 | Insight | Jan Willem de Moor

The outcome of the European banking stress tests will be positive for investors as one of the causes of the financial crisis is finally laid to rest, says Robeco portfolio manager Jan Willem de Moor.

“Close your eyes and buy”

25-09-2014 | Outlook | Sander Bus, Victor Verberk

Central Bank purchasing is the dominant factor that supports asset prices. Even with the Fed withdrawing, on an aggregate level global central banks still inject more liquidity. The party is not over yet. We stick to long positions for investment grade and have also moved to long beta for high yield after the sell-off this summer. For emerging corporates we are a bit more conservative and keep the beta close to neutral.

Opportunities in China A-Shares

24-09-2014 | Insight | Arnout van Rijn

The sentiment for Chinese stocks is improving, says Arnout van Rijn, chief investment officer in Hong Kong for Robeco. “Suddenly, that A-Share market becomes part of the global scene and provides good opportunities for investors.” Watch his interview with Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television's ‘On the Move.’

Spanish debt on a rising tide

23-09-2014 | Insight | Olaf Penninga

Spain’s progress in emerging from the financial crisis can be seen in how its government bonds are now viewed, says portfolio manager Olaf Penninga.

The unsuspecting power of quant in emerging markets

22-09-2014 | Insight | Wilma de Groot, CFA, Wim-Hein Pals

Emerging markets equities can produce handsome rewards for investors – but they carry risks that are not seen in the developed West. Political turmoil and generally more volatile markets require a more cautious approach to capitalize on a fast-growing area for investors.

Factor investing: why implementation is important

19-09-2014 | Insight | David Blitz, PhD, Joop Huij, PhD

Factor investing is becoming more popular. Professional investors are increasingly considering investing strategically in certain parts of the financial market which realize better risk-adjusted returns over longer periods. The question is: “How can investors best implement this strategy?”

Factors help asset owners to improve their portfolios


What are the challenges of smart beta and factor investing? Factor strategies will have a profound impact on the way portfolios are constructed, says James Price, Investment Consultant at Towers Watson.

Implementation challenges, from ultra-large to midsize investors

19-09-2014 | Insight | Peter Ferket

How can factor investing be implemented? Peter Ferket, CIO Equity discusses the Robeco’s approach: “Enhanced factor premiums significantly improve returns and Sharpe ratios. Optimal portfolio adjustment depends on client preferences and current factor exposures.”

Pension Fund Implementation Case

19-09-2014 | Insight

How can factors be useful to implement de-risking programs of pension plans? Alex Neve, Director of equities at Univest talks about the lessons learned. Univest is the investment advisor of all Unilever pension plans.

Latest insights into factor investing

19-09-2014 | Insight | David Blitz, PhD

Where are factor premiums coming from? We try to gain insights on where the return and risk is coming from, says David Blitz, Head of Quantitative Equity Research. “One of our key findings was that factor premiums are not a compensation for risk.”

Investor relief as Scots reject independence

19-09-2014 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

Investors are breathing a sigh of relief that Scotland has rejected independence and voted to remain within the United Kingdom, says Robeco’s chief economist.

Managing credit risks a little differently

18-09-2014 | Insight | Patrick Houweling, PhD, Sander Bus

Investors need to manage credit risk more than ever, and the old ways of assessing a company no longer work. Robeco offers alternative ways to look at corporate bonds without compromising the higher returns they can offer.

Why Apple won’t shred credit cards

18-09-2014 | Insight | Patrick Lemmens

The introduction of Apple* Pay in the US will be positive for the transition to electronic payments and credit card companies will benefit, expects Patrick Lemmens, Portfolio Manager Robeco New World Financials Equities.

How do you prevent a banking crisis?

18-09-2014 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

The banking system is the economy's cardiovascular system. If the arteries become blocked, this can result in a trail of economic destruction. Europe has suffered far more lasting effects from the 2008 crisis than the US. How come?

Credit analysis and ESG: a perfect fit

17-09-2014 | Insight | Taeke Wiersma, Jankees Ruizeveld

One of the cornerstones of the investment philosophy of Robeco’s Credit team is that avoiding losers is more important than picking every winner. The team believes that integrating environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors into its analysis strengthens the ability to assess the downside risk of its credit investments. The Credit team is therefore convinced that ESG and credit analysis are a perfect fit.

First Scoxit then Brexit?

17-09-2014 | Opinion | Léon Cornelissen

The guru that dared to predict two years ago that the eurozone would stay intact but the United Kingdom wouldn't, would've been laughed out of town. And yet the secession of Scotland seems to have become a very real possibility.

Macho men in India

17-09-2014 | Opinion | Arnout van Rijn

Last week I visited our offices in Mumbai. One of the best aspects of my job is that I get to meet high profile people in various countries throughout Asia.

Efficiently harvesting the value premium

15-09-2014 | Insight | Maarten Polfliet

Value is one of the oldest factors in the world. Graham and Dodd already laid the intellectual foundation in the 1930s for what would later be called value investing and Basu published the first academic study in 1977 documenting the existence of the value premium.

Why not all low-volatility stocks are equal

15-09-2014 | Insight | Arlette van Ditshuizen, Pim van Vliet, PhD

Low-volatility investing is becoming more popular. Many professional investors currently explicitly allocate a significant portion of their portfolio to low-volatility stocks. Robeco uses an enhanced approach to increase returns and reduce risk.

Video: Join us on a voyage of discovery

11-09-2014 | Volvo Ocean Race

No room for egos

11-09-2014 | Interview | Peter Ferket

Robeco’s assets under management in Quant Equities recently surpassed the EUR 20bn milestone. On this occasion, we asked Peter Ferket, CIO Equity Rotterdam and closely involved in Robeco Quant Equity since the late 1990s, how he explains the success of quant equity investing and Robeco’s role as a thought leader in this field.

Apple gadgets ‘may not make much money’

11-09-2014 | Insight | Jack Neele, Patrick Lemmens

Apple’s array of new gadgets may have attracted a blaze of publicity, but they may not make that much money, two Robeco fund managers warn.

The Japanese 'condition'

11-09-2014 | Opinion | Kommer van Trigt

Europe is heading for a Japanese scenario. At least, that is what Japanese institutional investors believe, and so they are buying large quantities of - mainly French - government bonds. But it's not that simple. Just look at what interest rates are doing in the US.

Seven reasons for the rise of retailer Zara

09-09-2014 | Insight | Jack Neele

The company Inditex* may not be a well-known name outside Spain, but its flagship brand Zara certainly is. It is famous for selling fashionable clothing. So what are the secrets behind its success and why does Robeco Global Consumer Trends Equities invest in it? Interview with Portfolio Manager Jack Neele.

Bond yields suggest an unlikely recession

09-09-2014 | Outlook | Léon Cornelissen

Eurozone bond yields are now so low they suggest a recession is imminent though the ECB’s dramatic action makes that unlikely, says Robeco’s chief economist.

ESG integration, in particular for corporate bonds

08-09-2014 | Insight | Edith Siermann

Institutional investors are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that trends such as population growth, the scarcity of raw materials and globalization have an impact on a company's risks and opportunities. Under the pressure of regulators and investors, such as participants in pension funds, sustainable investing is slowly but surely evolving from a 'niche' to a general trend.

Robeco and Team Brunel - pioneers with a passion for data

05-09-2014 | Volvo Ocean Race

There are many such parallels between sailing around the world and successful investing. Both combine technical know-how with careful risk management. And both require teamwork to win over the long term.

ECB surprises, but effect remains limited

05-09-2014 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

The interest-rate cut and the ECB's other measures introduced on 4 September will have a marginally positive effect on the economy, says chief economist Léon Cornelissen. ECB President Draghi repeated his earlier statement that it is high time governments made a move to strengthen the economy.

Pioneering and cautious since the very beginning

03-09-2014 | Volvo Ocean Race

Can you have a pioneering spirit and yet still exercise caution? At Robeco we have the strong belief that it is possible to be both pioneering and cautious by applying thorough research and past experience: you need to know what you are doing.

A ‘Sharper’ approach to harvesting factor premiums

27-08-2014 | Research | David Blitz, PhD, Joop Huij, PhD

There is a shift towards allocating to the factor premiums momentum, value and low volatility. However, since common factor indexes are a suboptimal way to harvest factor premiums, this paper shows the improved results of a more sophisticated approach. Factor strategies developed by Robeco lead to higher returns, while lowering the risks, resulting in higher Sharpe ratios.

Ebola: limited implications for Robeco Afrika

27-08-2014 | Insight | Cornelis Vlooswijk

The outbreak of Ebola is a human tragedy in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Robeco Afrika has only limited exposure to these countries. In Nigeria, which currently makes up 19.5% of the portfolio, the outbreak seems to be under control. Assuming the virus does not spread within Nigeria, the implications for investors in Robeco Afrika are expected to remain limited.

Weighty considerations

25-08-2014 | Opinion | Edith Siermann

People are increasingly leading unhealthy lives and running the associated health risks. Food and drinks manufacturers are facing increasing pressure to come up with solutions. Companies that fail to do so, run the risk of having their revenues decline as a result of changing regulations, increased tax burdens, litigation and pressure from the consumer. Companies that deal pro-actively with such issues are more attractive for investors.

The liquidity pitfall of passive investing

25-08-2014 | Insight | Patrick Houweling, PhD, Victor Verberk

Investing in ETFs can be very risky, especially during periods of limited liquidity. Patrick Houweling and Victor Verberk explain why and how active management and the use of derivatives can provide both a solution and an investment opportunity.

'Focus on health-care costs offers opportunities'

25-08-2014 | Insight | Steef Bergakker

Health-care costs must be brought under control, says Robeco trend analyst Steef Bergakker. This creates opportunities for companies.

Why the US sets the tone on the global energy market

19-08-2014 | Insight | Peter van der Welle

The increasing extraction of shale gas in the US will drive changes in the energy mix that will reverberate across the globe, expects Robeco strategist Peter van der Welle. Three statements about shale gas.

Check in for the fast train to China

19-08-2014 | Opinion | Arnout van Rijn

Due to start running in October: the fast train between Hong Kong and Shanghai. This is not just any train either - it offers a special rapid connection for investors from Hong Kong enabling them to invest in a wide range of Shanghai-listed stocks (northbound through train). Conversely, Shanghai investors can go to Hong Kong to buy stocks (southbound through train). The official name of this experiment is Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, but it is popularly known as the 'fast train'. The train already suffered a false start once before, but by all appearances, this time it's serious. What will this mean for you?

Pressure on high yield provides new entry point

15-08-2014 | Insight | Sander Bus

High-yield bond markets have come under pressure in the last few weeks. What triggered this sell-off?

Strong US earnings season bodes well for stocks

14-08-2014 | Insight | Peter van der Welle

A strong first half for US company earnings bodes well for stocks over the rest of the year, as the country continues to set the tone for global growth, says Robeco strategist Peter van der Welle.

Cutting trading costs in emerging markets

11-08-2014 | Insight | Wilma de Groot, CFA

Rising wealth in emerging markets is making the companies listed on their stock markets increasingly attractive. Growing disposable incomes from a middle class that adds millions to its ranks every year means higher profits and better returns for investors.

Opportunities in China's Large-Cap Stocks

05-08-2014 | Insight | Arnout van Rijn

Chinese equities have begun a bull run after years of underperformance, but can it last? Arnout van Rijn, chief investment officer in Hong Kong for Robeco, says the ‘through train’ for full open access to Chinese stocks has left the station and is now on the right track. Watch his interview with Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television's ‘On the Move.’

They're crazy, these Koreans

01-08-2014 | Column | Arnout van Rijn

Korea is a country of hard workers and heavy drinkers. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), people there work 50% longer hours, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 25% more alcohol is consumed there per adult than in the Netherlands. Indeed, there's an interdependency there: no sooner is their long office day over, Koreans start overindulging in the traditional soju (rice wine) over dinner with clients and colleagues, and later drink excessive amounts of whiskey and cognac at a night club.

Food & Health – Benefiting from the trend towards a healthier lifestyle

30-07-2014 | Peter van der Werf

More and more people across the world are adopting an unhealthy lifestyle that could lead to health problems as they get older. Excessive consumption of certain foods and drinks is a big part of this problem, so food and beverage makers are under increasing pressure to respond to this issue. Those that fail to respond, run the risk of suffering falling revenues: Changes in the regulatory and taxation systems, lawsuits, and consumer pressure are all driving the need for companies to change. Those that respond to this issue effectively will maximize their chances of achieving a sustainable, reputable operating model over the longer term.

India shines in emerging markets top picks

30-07-2014 | Insight | Wim-Hein Pals

The transformation of the political landscape in India has made the country a haven for investors, says Robeco’s head of emerging markets equities.

‘As sound as a pound’

29-07-2014 | Opinion | Kommer van Trigt

Long-term interest rates remain low, thanks in part to the central banks. But what if they change their policy? The Bank of England is moving in that direction and might just give us a 'sneak preview' shortly of what interest rates are likely to do in the US.

Are low-volatility stocks becoming expensive?

25-07-2014 | Insight | Pim van Vliet, PhD

Low-volatility stocks are in high demand. According to Pim van Vliet, portfolio manager of Conservative Equities, a generic low-volatility strategy is getting more expensive. An enhanced approach is necessary to prevent buying too expensive stocks.

Indonesia: a grown-up democracy

25-07-2014 | Insight | Wim-Hein Pals

The official results from the Indonesian presidential elections confirmed that Joko Widodo (Jokowi) won with a convincing margin. We consider this a positive development but wait for concrete signs of structural reforms before changing our neutral weight in Indonesia.

'The best of two worlds' - alternating between mean variance and risk parity

25-07-2014 | Insight | Roderick Molenaar

Choices relating to asset allocation have major effect on the risk/return characteristics of investment portfolios. New academic insights have led to important innovations in this area. One of these is implementing a market view in a risk-parity portfolio.

Duration model performs well in times of large yield changes

24-07-2014 | Research | Johan Duyvesteyn, CFA, Martin Martens, PhD, Olaf Penninga

Robeco’s quantitative duration model drives the performance of quant duration solutions such as Robeco Lux-o-rente and Robeco Flex-o-rente. We monitor the performance of the model and regularly investigate in which circumstances the model performs well and which conditions are more challenging.

Getting High Yield timing right using Robeco’s iBeta quant model

23-07-2014 | Insight | Patrick Houweling, PhD

Getting the timing right is essential for any investor trying to follow the simple rule of buying low and selling high to maximize returns. Achieving it can be quite difficult however given the multitude of factors that affect asset prices on a day-to-day basis.

Hedge funds - what real use are they in an investment portfolio?

21-07-2014 | Interview | Thijs Markwat

Hedge funds are generally known for their unconstrained, aggressive investment style, their high costs and divergent return profile. But what does this mean in practical terms? What real use are hedge funds in the portfolios of institutional investors such as pension funds?

Intangible factors have material impact

16-07-2014 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

The market value of companies is increasingly being determined by their intangible assets. Personnel is one important component.

Indian Budget Modi-vates everyone

11-07-2014 | Insight

Lasting two hours, it was one of the longest Budget speeches in India’s history. Forty-five days into the job, India’s Finance Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, presented his maiden Budget proposal, which laid the foundation for the Modi-led government’s development plans. The proposals addressed many economic and social issues while focusing on maintaining fiscal discipline.

Reaching new heights with corporate governance | Advance July 2014

10-07-2014 | Magazine

Big strides have been made in improving the corporate governance of companies. Find out how investors are reaping the benefits.

The carrot and stick approach to improving companies

10-07-2014 | Insight

The big strides made in corporate governance in recent years are improving the sustainability of companies - and investors are reaping the rewards.

‘Sustainability needs to become a rational economic choice in itself´

10-07-2014 | Interview

The financial materiality of ESG has become much more important as companies and investors realize that sustainability raises profits and returns. But sustainability still needs to become a rational economic choice in itself, and gain wider public acceptance, to tackle the short-termism that still exists, says Responsible Investor’s Hugh Wheelan.

The benefits of making buildings more sustainable

10-07-2014 | Opinion

Helena Viñes Fiestas, Head of Sustainable Research (SRI/ESG) at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, explains how the drive to make buildings more sustainable can benefit real estate owners and investors.

Mitigating rate risk in high yield investing

10-07-2014 | Insight | Sander Bus

The prospect of the first interest rate rises for many years as economic growth improves has led many investors to question their high yield strategies. Deciding what type of fund to be in depends on your outlook.

Hope for our health - video

09-07-2014 | Insight | Steef Bergakker

The development of new cures for severe diseases and the aging of the population have blown up healthcare costs. Fortunately, new tools and technologies promise to enhance productivity and improve healthcare quality.

No Gilts, just pounds

08-07-2014 | Outlook | Kommer van Trigt, Machiel van de Groes, Paul van der Worp

In its outlook for the third quarter of this year, Robeco’s Fixed Income Allocation team shares its views on Treasuries, credits and emerging debt.

Bigger role for sustainability in manager selection, says Churet

08-07-2014 | In the news

Sustainability investing is playing an increasing role in asset manager selection, says Cecile Churet, Client Specialist at RobecoSAM.

Integrating ESG in Euro Government Bond portfolios

07-07-2014 | Insight | Olaf Penninga, Rikkert Scholten

The ESG ranking of a number of euro periphery countries has improved, after having reached a low in 2010. These changes give information on developments in a country’s investment risk. We use this information to identify trends in, for instance, the political climate that are relevant for our investment decisions.

Bank of England may take away the punch bowl as party begins

07-07-2014 | Outlook | Léon Cornelissen

A rate rise in the UK may be imminent as the British economy grows more strongly than expected, Robeco’s chief economist believes.

Performance update Robeco Global Consumer Trends Equities

04-07-2014 | Outlook | Jack Neele

Robeco Global Consumer Trends Equities suffered from a correction in technology stocks, but the outlook is still intact.

Modi’s red carpet for investors

04-07-2014 | Karnail Sangha

In May 2014, Narendra Modi was elected the new Prime Minister of India. Will he be able to repeat his strong 12-year economic track record as governor of Gujarat on a national scale? Karnail Sangha traveled to India to gauge the impact of this ‘transformative change in leadership’ and identify the related investment opportunities.

Unconventional energy: a solution with risks

04-07-2014 | Column | Edith Siermann

As a result of the finite supply of oil and gas, and the political struggles in many of the producing countries, innovative solutions such as oil sands and shale gas have been gaining ground. Interesting for investors, but at the same time also a possible source of sustainability risk. It is therefore important for investors to enter into a dialogue with oil and gas companies.

Uneasy summer feeling

03-07-2014 | Opinion | Arnout van Rijn

It is June and I have an uneasy feeling about the markets. We are already half way through the year. The season urges me to exercise caution, with profundities such as: ‘Sell in May and go away’, or ‘Investment is a winter sport’.

ESG integration, in particular for Corporate bonds

03-07-2014 | Insight

Read more ...

Smart energy means smart performance

02-07-2014 | Insight

Our insatiable hunger for energy has highlighted the need for more energy-efficient solutions. RobecoSAM explains how LED lighting technology can help reduce our energy consumption while massively cutting the street lighting bill of towns and cities. Watch the video.

Apple supplier pressed for more transparency

02-07-2014 | Interview | Peter van der Werf

Over 30 institutional investors joined forces to raise some pertinent issues with the executive board of Hon Hai Precision, also known as Foxconn. “This collaboration is a powerful way of making shareholders’ concerns heard,” says engagement specialist Peter van der Werf. “And it illustrates the growing importance of corporate governance in the Asian region.”

The end of all cancers - or the whys and wherefores of complicating matters

02-07-2014 | Opinion | Henk Grootveld

On the road with: After three days full of occasionally incomprehensible jargon and obscure scientific formulas, it finally dawned on me. Most of the companies I observed at my conference on health-care and biotechnology are afflicted with a disease for which a pill will never be the cure: the sickness of complicating matters that are really quite simple.

Hope for our health

27-06-2014 | Henk Grootveld, Steef Bergakker

The development of new cures for severe diseases and the aging of the population have blown up healthcare costs. Fortunately, new tools and technologies promise to enhance productivity and improve healthcare quality. Henk Grootveld, Portfolio Manager of Rolinco and Robeco Global Growth Trends Equities, and Steef Bergakker, Robeco’s Trend Analyst, discuss these exciting new developments and the arising investment opportunities.

‘There are clear benefits in combining separate quant and fundamental strategies’

27-06-2014 | Insight

APG states that combining separate quantitative and fundamental strategies has clear benefits. We talked to Ronald van Dijk, APG’s head of developed market equities.

Markets agree with Piketty

26-06-2014 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

Returns on capital exceed the rate of economic growth, concentrating wealth and income among the rich. That is the central assertion of Piketty's book ‘Capital in the Tweny-First Century’. The book's title refers to the social development that capital is the dominant factor of our time once again.

Rorento - a modern way of investing and 40 years of experience

25-06-2014 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt, Olaf Penninga

Being in the right market at the right time is more important than ever for bond investors in today’s investment climate. Flexibility is essential to this, says fund manager Kommer van Trigt.

“We aren’t done yet”

25-06-2014 | Outlook | Sander Bus, Victor Verberk

In its outlook for credit markets in the third quarter of 2014, Robeco’s Credit team points out that extremely dovish banks have made investors complacent. The price of money is zero and even negative on a real basis. The search for yield is still on.

Is winning in Brazil possible?

18-06-2014 | Opinion | Kommer van Trigt

Brazil stands out clearly against the rather monotonous low-interest-rate bond landscape. But - to use World Championship football terminology - does it put you in a winning mood?

Life-cycle investing demands tailored solutions

18-06-2014 | Insight | Tom Steenkamp

The future earning capacity of the workforce varies according to the profession and the individual. In the case of both collective DC schemes and individual life-cycle investment plans, this impacts the investment mix.

15 Years of Quantitative Emerging Markets Research

13-06-2014 | Research | Wilma de Groot, CFA

In 1999, fifteen years ago, Robeco found that quantitative stock selection techniques known to be effective in developed markets are also able to deliver superior investment results in emerging markets. What are the biggest takeaways from the research done and how does the model work in practice?

Emerging market debt offers decent returns

12-06-2014 | Insight | Jeroen Blokland

The search for yield has prompted Robeco Asset Allocation to increase its exposure to emerging market debt – one of the few asset classes that on the face of it still offers decent returns.

Five tips from pension funds on factor investing

11-06-2014 | Insight | David Blitz, PhD

After the crisis of 2008, the heads of many pension funds must have been asking them themselves: “Are we investing in the right way?” Factor investing – the strategic top-down allocation of assets to factors such as ‘value’ and ‘momentum’ – has since then moved to the top of the agenda. And Dutch pension funds are leading the pack. But how do they do it and what lessons can other funds learn from them?

‘Nuclear option’ of full QE unlikely in Eurozone

10-06-2014 | Outlook | Léon Cornelissen

The European Central Bank (ECB) should not now need the ‘nuclear option’ of full quantitative easing as growth returns to the Eurozone, though the door remains open for it, says Robeco’s chief economist.

ECB moves supportive for risky assets

05-06-2014 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen, Olaf Penninga

The surprisingly strong measures taken by the ECB are supportive for peripheral and high yield bonds and equities.

How Smart is 'Smart Beta' Investing?

05-06-2014 | Research | David Blitz, PhD

Investors increasingly embrace “smart beta” investing, by which we mean passively following an index in which stock weights are not proportional to their market capitalizations, but based on some alternative weighting scheme. Examples include fundamentally-weighted indices and minimum-volatility indices. In this whitepaper we first take a critical look at the pros and cons of smart beta investing in general. After this we successively discuss the most popular types of smart indices that have been introduced in recent years.

Google’s unstoppable brand rise

03-06-2014 | Insight | Jack Neele

Google’s inexorable rise to knock Apple off its perch as the world’s most valuable brand comes as no surprise to Robeco fund manager Jack Neele. His Global Consumer Trends Equities fund invests in Google but gave up on Apple some time ago.

ECB rate cut ‘would support periphery bonds’

02-06-2014 | Insight | Olaf Penninga

The European Central Bank (ECB) will probably cut its base interest rate and create a negative deposit rate for the first time when it meets this week, predicts Robeco’s Olaf Penninga.

Eurozone disinflation is pushing the ECB into action

30-05-2014 | Insight | Peter van der Welle

Whereas in Europe the lack of inflation is a cause for concern and may well drive to ECB to take easing measures, inflation is hardly a topic across the Atlantic.

Rapturous welcome home for Team Brunel

27-05-2014 | Volvo Ocean Race

Team Brunel has made a flying start to preparations for the Volvo Ocean Race by sailing from the Canary Islands back to the Netherlands in less than a week.

Interview with Roderick Munsters

27-05-2014 | Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 marks the next stage in Robeco’s own voyage to grow our company and promote our brand to a global audience. So we are very proud to be an official sponsor of Team Brunel, the Dutch entry into this awe-inspiring round-the-world challenge.

Video: Just another day at the office

27-05-2014 | Volvo Ocean Race

Video: 40 years of history

27-05-2014 | Volvo Ocean Race

Samsung sees chance to improve on 0.00002 millimeter chips

26-05-2014 | Opinion | Koos Burema

On the road with: In the week that 72-year old Chairman Lee of the Samsung ‘chaebol’, the largest South Korean conglomerate, was admitted to hospital with serious heart problems, I visited the Samsung Electronics Investors Forum in Hong Kong. Is the conglomerate in good shape for the future?

Low inflation, no deflation

26-05-2014 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt

The European periphery was the clear outperformer in the first quarter of 2014. Kommer van Trigt thinks this will stay a while, because growth is improving and central banks will keep interest rates low.

On climate change and credit quality

26-05-2014 | Opinion | Edith Siermann

Throughout the world policymakers are introducing new regulations to combat climate change. This is having a direct effect on the credit quality of companies and even entire sectors. It is therefore essential for corporate bond investors to look at ESG factors.

From tea boy to PM – investors cheer Modi

21-05-2014 | Insight | Karnail Sangha

The landslide victory of Narendra Modi is great news for investors as it will usher in a new era of reform in India, says Robeco’s specialist for the country.

Emerging markets: riskiness or cheapness?

19-05-2014 | Insight | Wim-Hein Pals

Investors are looking at emerging markets again after equity values have risen following months of underperformance. Part of the reason is that they have higher growth potential than Western stocks and offer “cheapness all over the place”, says Robeco’s leading specialist on the asset class.

Enhanced Indexing strategy benefits from RobecoSAM scores

15-05-2014 | Insight | Bart Van der Grient, Michael Strating, Wilma de Groot, CFA

In 2010, the RobecoSAM sustainability scores were integrated in the stock selection model which is the performance driver of Robeco’s Enhanced Indexing strategy. Research shows that his has contributed to the strategy’s strong performance since then.

The Internet of Things

13-05-2014 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

Behind the expression the Internet of Things lies a whole new world of opportunities. It stands for convenience, increased productivity and many other aspects that can keep analysts in the investment world busy for many years to come.

Japan - look but don't buy

13-05-2014 | Opinion | Kommer van Trigt

As a visitor to Japan, amazed by Japanese society, you inevitably think of Bill Murray in the film 'Lost in translation' as you return to your hotel room. And the country's economy never fails to elicit a similar feeling of wonder.

Energy sector is a front-runner in sustainability

12-05-2014 | Insight

Companies hold the key for improving sustainability practices, says Peter White, Chief Operating Officer of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Here he explains how some companies are gearing up to meet some tough challenges, whereas others are falling behind.

The impact of ESG on credit portfolios: the energy sector

09-05-2014 | Insight | Taeke Wiersma

Policy makers around the world are issuing regulations to reduce air pollution and climate change.

The many colors of sustainability investing | Advance May 2014

08-05-2014 | Magazine

Read our latest insights on sustainability investing, corporate governance, engagement and country rankings from the experts in their fields.

Why ‘Abenomics’ is running out of steam

08-05-2014 | Outlook | Léon Cornelissen

Japan’s trillion-dollar experiment with ‘Abenomics’ is now running out of steam, and more monetary stimulus may be inevitable if the economy is to avoid recession.

The dark side of passive investing

06-05-2014 | Insight | David Blitz, PhD

Passive investing has become increasingly popular. Despite its undeniable appeal, there are also some considerations which should make investors think again about the desirability of a passive approach.

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