The liquidity pitfall of passive investing

Patrick Houweling and Victor Verberk explain why active management and the use of derivatives can provide an investment opportunity for credits. Read more

Factor investing

Factor investing

Our ideas on reaching a new efficient frontier. Factor investing advocates looking beyond traditional asset classifications and allocates to factor premiums such as size, value, momentum and low volatility. Read more ....

Steef Bergakker

'Focus on health-care costs offers opportunities'

Health-care costs must be brought under control, says Robeco trend analyst Steef Bergakker. Read more ...

US sets the tone on global energy market

Three statements about shale gas from Robeco strategist Peter van der Welle. Read more ...

Latest investment insights

Best economic links of the web

29-08-2014 | Lukas Daalder

Cool: The Economist has made an interactive version of Gartner’s techno hype cycle

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Reaching new heights with corporate governance

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 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.

Time to catch up this summer

09-07-2014 | Magazine

It has been a busy half year, with a great deal of news, trends and developments for investors to chew on. But did you get time to read all of it?

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.

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.

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 many colors of sustainability investing

08-05-2014 | Magazine

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

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.

Hope drives market rally in India

30-04-2014 | Opinion | Arnout van Rijn

Positive market sentiment in India is founded on hopes that a new government will prove capable of tackling the weak economy and endemic corruption. But equities are expensive, while a favorable election result is in no way a sure thing.

Carbon management directly benefits real estate companies

25-04-2014 | Sylvia van Waveren

Climate change can pose significant investment challenges. Therefore, companies’ CO2 management is a recurring theme in RobecoSAM’s engagement program. As the real estate sector represents over 10 % of annual global emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, engagement specialist Sylvia van Waveren has started a three-year engagement with companies in this sector.

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

25-04-2014 | Opinion | Edith Siermann

How do we as investors want a company to behave? What are the characteristic features of a responsible company? What kind of corporate conduct contributes to a sound risk-return profile for a company over the longer term? The international principles of the UN Global Compact constitute an effective checklist for addressing this type of question.

Water: our most precious resource

24-04-2014 | Insight

Water is a precious, yet finite resource essential for life, with no adequate substitute. Supplying and allocating water of adequate quality and in sufficient quantity is one of the major challenges facing society today. Watch the video.

Quant investing in liquid high yield

24-04-2014 | Patrick Houweling, PhD

Robeco introduced Robeco Quant High Yield Fund on March 28, 2014. By investing in credit default swap (CDS) indices, this fund offers liquid exposure to global high yield, allowing investors to tactically trade in and out of this asset category at low costs. Performance is driven by a proprietary quantitative market-timing model with a solid track record of over ten years.

Do you as an investor challenge your own instincts and assumptions?

23-04-2014 | Insight

Investors should recognize that human psychology plays a role in decision making, says Paul Craven, an expert on behavioral finance. “In order to be a successful investor it is important to challenge your own instincts and assumptions.”

Avoid the value trap with global equities

23-04-2014 | Insight | Chris Hart

Stock markets that have hit record levels in recent months present a challenge for investors in avoiding the value trap, says award-winning fund manager Chris Hart.

Investment portfolios: take a look under the hood

22-04-2014 | Insight | David Blitz, PhD, Joop Huij, PhD

You would not be pleased if you thought you had the right exposures to factors that drive expected returns, but it turns out you actually have precisely the opposite tilts. This is happening quite often though. Quantitative researcher Joop Huij and head of equity research David Blitz argue that institutional investors should be careful when assessing asset managers.

‘China is years ahead of India’

17-04-2014 | Insight | Parag Khanna

For investors looking at the world’s two most populous markets, China is years ahead of India, which is more comparable with an African country, says globalization and international relations expert Parag Khanna.

Sustainability challenges in the soy supply chain

15-04-2014 | Insight | Petra Sagel

RobecoSAM’s engagement on the soy supply chain has now been active for around 15 months. During this time we have undertaken conversations with the companies selected for engagement and covering the targeted areas of the soy supply chain. Our conversations have highlighted structural hurdles to addressing sustainability, and a lack of alignment in the motivation of supply chain actors to address the challenges of certification.

Responsible investing: time to practice what you preach

15-04-2014 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

To date, there has been no need for investors who endorse the principles of responsible investing to take action. This is set to change in the coming years.

What is happening in emerging markets?

15-04-2014 | Insight | Paul van Homelen

The outlook for emerging markets is a hot topic among investors. Paul van Homelen, portfolio manager Robeco Emerging Market Equities, argues that the worst is over and sentiment is set to improve.

No future for tech if you won’t wear it

15-04-2014 | Insight | Jack Neele

We live in a world of constant change, and so many innovations have enhanced our quality of life. But the success of technology depends on their acceptance by society, argue futurist Ben Hammersley and Robeco portfolio manager Jack Neele.

Look beyond old labels to find investable trends

11-04-2014 | Jack Neele

Investors need to look beyond the traditional labels of sectors, countries and markets to find the best investable trends.

Dialogue between investors and politicians needed

11-04-2014 | Insight

Financial markets can overreact to positive and negative news, with disruptive effects for a country, as was experienced by George Papandreou when he was prime minister of Greece. ‘We need to bring markets and politicians together’, says Papandreou in an interview.

Six reasons why US capital expenditure is on the rise

09-04-2014 | Outlook | Peter van der Welle

In the United States, capital expenditure is lagging the economy as a whole. Some think this is the ‘new normal’. But Robeco’s strategist Peter van der Welle believes there is a strong case for a rebound in investments later this year.

Euro periphery: our favorite for now

08-04-2014 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt, Machiel van de Groes, Paul van der Worp

Robeco’s Fixed Income Allocation Team: euro periphery is our favorite area

Robeco calls for transparency from South Korean companies

04-04-2014 | Insight

According to international shareholders' guidelines, South Korean companies are generally not sufficiently transparent in reporting their financial results. And the annual reports are often not audited in time for shareholders when they have to cast their vote digitally at shareholders' meetings. Clearly, an audited annual report is an essential source of information for shareholders in order to be able to cast a well-considered vote at annual meetings.

Regulation creates opportunities for financials

04-04-2014 | Insight | Patrick Lemmens

The effects of the last major financial crisis have been far-reaching for banks and insurance companies worldwide. Investors tend to look at the negative aspects, like higher capital requirements that put pressure on returns. "But regulation creates opportunities too", says portfolio manager Patrick Lemmens of Robeco New World Financials Equities, who received the Lipper Fund Award on 31 March for his fund's strong track record.

Behavioral finance helps investors through financial crises

03-04-2014 | Insight | Victor Verberk

How do you as an investor deal with unpredictable political and regulatory developments? Can financial crises be prevented? Bond investor Victor Verberk looks for and finds answers to these questions in the science of ‘behavioral finance’.

Do financial markets undermine democracy?

03-04-2014 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

George Papandreou, prime minister during the Greek government debt crisis and keynote speaker at the Robeco World Invested Forum 2014, warns of the influence of financial markets. Robeco’s Chief Economist Léon Cornelissen disagrees, arguing that we should worry more about the unchecked power of central banks.

What trends will have an impact on investors?

02-04-2014 | Infographic | Steef Bergakker

Investors tend to underestimate trends. The focus is often on factors that move the market in the short term. But what long-term trends will have an impact on investors’ portfolios? See the infographic to find out more.

Periphery bonds show how Eurozone is healing

01-04-2014 | Insight | Olaf Penninga

The Eurozone is gradually healing, and that can be seen in the way that demand for periphery bonds has recovered as confidence returns to the market.

All the juice is being squeezed out of corporate bonds

31-03-2014 | Opinion | Kommer van Trigt

I won't beat about the bush - we are coming to the end of the bull market for corporate bonds. Investors are still squeezing out what they can, but the end is in sight, and the question is how best to prepare for this.

Better ESG risk management in portfolio through Health and Safety research

31-03-2014 | Insight

RobecoSAM assessed the financial materiality of health and safety for the textile sector. Supply chain management is a key long-term sustainability factor with subcontracting being one of the biggest risk components. Based on this research Robeco started a three year engagement with eight companies in the sector.

Impasse in Ukraine reassures financial markets

27-03-2014 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

The almost peaceful annexation of the Crimea and the mild sanctions by the West mean that tensions in the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine have eased. Although chief economist Léon Cornelissen does not expect them to reintensify soon, financial markets are taking very little account of an unfavorable scenario.

New solution for tactical liquid high yield exposure

27-03-2014 | Insight | Patrick Houweling, PhD

Robeco introduces Robeco Quant High Yield Fund on March 28, 2014.

Desynchronized economic cycles

26-03-2014 | Outlook | Sander Bus, Victor Verberk

In its outlook for the credit markets in the second quarter of 2014, Robeco’s Credits team warns of complacency by investors. Remarkably, euro and US credit markets have continued to rally in an environment of rising geopolitical and macro-economic tensions. This is all to do with capital flows back into developed markets and a search for yield.

Ukraine’s problems have been long standing

25-03-2014 | Insight | Frank Reynaerts, Rikkert Scholten

The speed with which the crisis in Ukraine erupted took many people by surprise. For investors it is beneficial to gain as much insights as possible at an early stage.

The new normal is the old normal

24-03-2014 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

Returning to normality after years of financial and economic strife will take time, but the ‘new normal’ will eventually be the ‘old normal’ for growth, interest rates and inflation.

A 'Bear Stearns moment' in China?

21-03-2014 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

There are doubts as to the health of the Chinese economy. Cracks are starting to appear in its shadow banking system. The country still has sufficient means to prevent a financial crisis, but the situation will remain unsettled for a long time yet.

New Fed chair's statements cause unintentional stir

21-03-2014 | Insight | Peter van der Welle

Fed chair Yellen unintentionally linked the timing of the first interest-rate hike in the US to the end of the tapering process. Analysis of a broad set of indicators is now even more essential for an effective assessment of Fed policy.

Trends underestimated by the investment community

19-03-2014 | Insight | Steef Bergakker

Investors are always keen on drivers of the market. Most often they are focused on short term drivers, like announcements of the Federal Reserve on scaling down its bond buying program, or on the stress tests of European banks, the latest growth figures of China, or elections in Brazil.

Finding the next Google is about talent, not location

17-03-2014 | Insight

Great companies that turn an industry upside down can come from anywhere, and the next Microsoft or Google is just waiting to be found. To find them, you need to be more aware of talent than of location, says entrepreneur Niklas Zennström.

How an Angry Birds investor makes happy returns

17-03-2014 | Insight

Niklas Zennström, a co-founder of Skype, runs investment firm Atomico, which is trying to find and develop the high-tech winners of tomorrow. Atomico invests in Rovio, the company that operates the successful Angry Birds franchise.

The challenge for tech giants - be less intrusive

17-03-2014 | Insight

Finding ‘the new Google’ is the challenge for investment firms like Niklas Zennström’s Atomico – but how should investors view the tech giants that are already here?

Why sustainability investing is not an 80s fad

13-03-2014 | Insight | Michael Baldinger

Sustainability Investing is a long-term trend that is gradually moving from a niche to a mainstream form of asset management. So says Michael Baldinger, chief executive of RobecoSAM, which is a pioneer of the concept.

When a high yield can be too high – beware the triple-Cs

13-03-2014 | Insight | Sander Bus

The search for yield can come at a price if investors chase bigger returns without factoring in the extra risk involved, warns Robeco’s Sander Bus.

Rademaker: “I don’t believe in secretiveness”

13-03-2014 | Insight | Hans Rademaker

After the change in ownership Robeco Chief Investment Officer Hans Rademaker emphasizes the importance of quantitative investing. “It will remain one of our cornerstones”, he reveals.

After the fall: what are the catalysts for relief in emerging markets?

10-03-2014 | Opinion | Peter van der Welle

The sell-off in emerging markets has led to comparisons with the Asian Crisis of the late 1990s. A global recovery will not be the panacea for emerging economies, but there are still potential catalysts for recovery and reasons to be optimistic, says Peter van der Welle, Robeco strategist.

ECB’s options are limited – unless Ukraine erupts

10-03-2014 | Outlook | Léon Cornelissen

Investors should get used to inaction from the European Central Bank (ECB), and that in its own way is good news, as it shows that economic conditions are improving, says Robeco’s chief economist.

Investment grade corporate bonds lose their lustre

06-03-2014 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

Falling returns in the investment grade corporate bond market – to the point where they now resemble government bonds – has prompted Robeco Asset Allocation to take money out of the sector.

Impact of unrest in Ukraine as yet limited

05-03-2014 | Insight | Frank Reynaerts, Léon Cornelissen

Further escalation of the situation in Ukraine is not very likely. Its impact on the financial markets will therefore probably remain minor. Léon Cornelissen and Frank Reynaerts explain the situation, but also highlight the uncertainties surrounding this scenario.

Active management prevents jostling at the exit

04-03-2014 | Insight | Patrick Houweling, PhD

Decreased liquidity in corporate bond market calls for a flexible investment process. Patrick Houweling identifies the options open to managers of actively managed funds.

5 signposts for high yield

04-03-2014 | Infographic

Investing in high yield? Here are five indicators investors should keep an eye on: default rates, interest rates, quality of issuers, economic growth and inflation. What do these signposts indicate?

Investors join forces in anti-corruption engagement


Robeco has various tools at its disposal to engage with companies. One of them is a collaborative engagement, in which Robeco joins forces with other investors to achieve a certain goal. Recently Robeco successfully participated in a collaborative anti-corruption engagement.

Three trends with a strong impact on the financial sector

28-02-2014 | Insight | Patrick Lemmens

Which three trends are drastically changing the financial sector? Interview with Robeco portfolio manager Patrick Lemmens.

‘Carry’ on investing in high yield

28-02-2014 | Insight | Sander Bus

The days of stellar returns are over for the high yield market, but investors can still make decent returns compared to sovereign bonds, even as rates rise.

Why technology matters to coffee and sneakers

27-02-2014 | Insight | Jack Neele

The increasing use of social media means consumer goods companies must keep up with their customers’ habits if they are to survive, says Robeco portfolio manager Jack Neele.

The disposable culture and other challenges...

27-02-2014 | Column | Edith Siermann

Sustainable management of the electronic equipment supply chain is becoming increasingly important. Not only is the lifespan of electronic products notoriously short, but there are increasing concerns about electronic waste, controversial labor conditions, the use of chemicals and the amount of energy these electronics require when in use. All factors to take into consideration when making investment decisions.

More regulation offers little extra security

26-02-2014 | Opinion | Arnout van Rijn

Increasing regulation costs the investor money, but offers little extra protection. Normal interest rates are more likely to ensure this than the regulators are.

‘Frothy markets offer me opportunities’

23-02-2014 | Insight | Chris Hart

The current stock market turbulence creates opportunities for stock pickers who look for dislocations between corporate reality and market froth. That’s the conviction of Robeco Boston Partners’ Chris Hart. The portfolio manager, who has been nominated for the Morningstar Awards nine times in Europe, reveals the secrets behind his outperformance.

Lower-growth Europe ‘better for corporate bonds’

20-02-2014 | Insight | Sander Bus

Europe currently offers a better investing environment for corporate bonds compared with the US as companies are more conservatively managed on this side of the Atlantic, according to fund manager Sander Bus.

The vanishing middle

19-02-2014 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

Technological advances and globalization mean that middle-class jobs are disappearing. This trend is reflected in the equity markets. Companies that target the middle segment perform less well.

Shale is all about scale

19-02-2014 | Insight | Dirk Hoozemans

For the energy sector we expect a strong performance by the Majors in 2014. They will put more emphasis on curbing expenses and improving free cash flow.

Shopping online … on the high street

13-02-2014 | Insight | Jack Neele

The online shopping experience is coming to the high street in the next trend for retailing, says Robeco’s Jack Neele.

Spain is a safe haven again - but for how long?

13-02-2014 | Opinion | Kommer van Trigt

Pablo recently paid us a visit in Rotterdam. Pablo is the head of a Spanish government agency.

Factor investing works

11-02-2014 | Interview

Factor investing is in vogue. Investors are increasingly focusing on factors such as value, low volatility, momentum and small cap. But what do we know about the relevance of factor investing?

Factor investing and its implementation: ‘All roads lead to Rome’

10-02-2014 | Interview

Interest in factor investing - investing in systematic sources of return - is rapidly increasing. But how are pension funds incorporating factor investing into their portfolios and investment processes?

‘Look for trends that challenge the established order’

10-02-2014 | Insight | Steef Bergakker

Companies often forget the low end of the market, says Robeco trend watcher Steef Bergakker*. This creates room for new players, and generates opportunities and threats for investors.

China is the real threat to emerging markets

10-02-2014 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

It has been a rough time for emerging market equities, but only China has the real power to upset the apple cart for investors this year, says Robeco’s chief economist.

Tough emissions targets are kicking US autos into gear, says Busscher

10-02-2014 | In the news | Pieter Busscher

Citywire AAA-rated Pieter Busscher, who runs the top-performing RobecoSAM Smart Materials Fund, reveals why he is seeking to exploit recovering airline stocks and discusses the US auto sector's urgent need to adopt lighter and smarter materials.

Are emerging markets unstable? Elections will put them to the test.

06-02-2014 | Insight

Elections in four of the world’s largest emerging markets will set the tone for investment strategy this year. Our emerging market equities portfolio specialists discuss the likely outcomes and consequences of polls in Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa.

How ESG adds value for bond investors

03-02-2014 | Insight | Edith Siermann

Taking a more sustainable approach is gaining more attention in the fixed income market. Edith Siermann, CIO of Fixed Income Investments at Robeco, answers investors’ questions on how Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles are applied to the range of products under her wing.

Review of the duration model’s performance in 2013

31-01-2014 | Insight | Olaf Penninga

Robeco’s proprietary quantitative duration model fully determines the active duration positions in Robeco Lux-o-rente and Robeco Flex-o-rente. On balance, the model’s performance was negative over 2013.

2014 - a year of transition say investment experts

28-01-2014 | Interview

Different emphasis in banks' investment themes for the new year. But their experts all agree on one thing: 2014 will be a year of transition.

People power for pensions | Advance January 2014

27-01-2014 | Magazine

Sustainability is no longer a top-down initiative driven by pension funds. Pension fund beneficiaries increasingly demand it themselves. Want to know why? Check out the new edition of Advance, RobecoSAM's sustainability investing magazine.

People power for pensions?

27-01-2014 | Insight

Sustainability investing is often seen as a ‘top-down’ initiative, where pension funds instruct their asset managers to include it in the investment process. But it is increasingly being driven by ‘bottom-up’ pressure, where fund beneficiaries themselves demand it for their own varied reasons.

The sea change in corporate governance

27-01-2014 | Insight

Kerrie Waring is the new managing director of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), having served the organization as chief operating officer since 2008. In this question and answer session she addresses some of the major issues affecting corporate governance, from globalization and attitudes reform, to the future role of women on boards.

Free money

27-01-2014 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

A vast majority in the investment world agrees on the direction that equity markets will take this year. Many are optimistic. As long as central banks continue to provide 'free money', they will be right, says Mark Glazener.

‘Unravel the mystery of the voting chain’

24-01-2014 | Interview | Michiel van Esch

Voting at Annual General Meetings (AGMs) is becoming increasingly important. This would be a good development, if it weren’t for some glitches in the voting infrastructure. Engagement specialist Michiel van Esch, a member of the PRI Vote Confirmation Steering Committee, says investors need to take responsibility to make sure that the votes they want to cast are actually cast.

‘Impossible not to look at ESG in the energy sector’

24-01-2014 | Insight | Dirk Hoozemans

Climate change has the potential to completely overhaul the energy sector. “To avoid underestimating this source of systemic risk, investors in the sector have to look at long-term energy and climate challenges”, says Dirk Hoozemans, energy analyst at Robeco.

Switch from emerging market debt to equities

23-01-2014 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

Emerging market equities are now more attractive than the debt of these nations, prompting a change of strategy at Robeco Asset Allocation.

Pension investors: invest actively when expected returns are low

22-01-2014 | Insight

Investors in the pension world share Robeco's expectations that average returns will be relatively low in the coming five years. This is why they wish to take an active approach to changing market conditions and the opportunities offered by new technologies and themes.

Five controversial ideas of Czech economist Sedláček

21-01-2014 | Insight

Czech economist Tomáš Sedláček suggests that politicians have a growth fetish. Sedláček's ideas on the relationship between politics and budgetary policy are just as controversial as his notions on the economy, as revealed in an interview following his presentation during Robeco Live.

Sustainability Yearbook: trends, challenges and opportunities

21-01-2014 | Insight

Today, RobecoSAM published its annual Sustainability Yearbook which looks back at companies’ sustainability performance in 2013 and ranks them as Gold, Silver or Bronze and identifies an Industry Leader for each of the 59 industries.

Mobile trend: investors move to the next stage

17-01-2014 | Insight | Jack Neele

Now that virtually everyone has a smartphone, growth in mobile is seen coming from the companies supplying the handsets with services rather than those making them.

Three pitfalls on the road to further global economic recovery

15-01-2014 | Interview | Léon Cornelissen, Peter van der Welle

The most probable scenario for 2014 is ongoing global economic recovery and further share price rises. But how reliable is this? Chief economist Léon Cornelissen and strategist Peter van der Welle identify three downside risks.

How quantitative easing impacts the duration model’s performance

15-01-2014 | Insight | Johan Duyvesteyn, CFA, Martin Martens, PhD, Olaf Penninga

With its quantitative easing programs, the Fed has distorted bond markets, especially by reducing volatility. This has negatively affected the performance of the duration model.

Leaning against the wind

10-01-2014 | Opinion | Arnout van Rijn

Efficient investors don't check their portfolios too frequently. Once a year is enough, and around New Year is a good time.

Three reasons why deflation won’t take hold in the Eurozone

08-01-2014 | Outlook | Léon Cornelissen

Inflation used to be the main focus for European central bankers’ interest rate policy as prices rose forever upward. Now their main fear as we begin 2014 is the reverse scenario - the risk of deflation.

Making better credit risk assessments

06-01-2014 | Interview | Patrick Houweling, PhD

Ground-breaking research by Robeco that changed the way the riskiness of corporate bonds can be evaluated has celebrated its 10th anniversary. This riskiness needs to be carefully calculated as bonds issued by companies have a greater chance of defaulting than government bonds. Their returns can also be more volatile, as they are linked to the underlying performance of the company that issues the bond.

Share this page:

Join the conversation

Newsletter professionals