Why China will dominate the emerging middle class

Why China will dominate the emerging middle class

The Chinese middle class will dominate the ranks of emerging consumers in the next 5-10 years while predictions about India are too optimistic, says Robeco trend analyst Steef Bergakker. Read more ...

Seven key questions on the Greek debt crisis

As the Greek debt saga rumbles on. Lukas Daalder, Chief Investment Officer of Robeco Investment Solutions, explains where the real issues lie. Read more...

Join the Webinar on Low Volatility

During this webinar on 2nd July, Robeco gives practical insights into the Conservative Equity strategy and explains ‘the enhanced approach’.

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Time2Read - 26 stories about sailing and investing

In this special edition of Time2Read, we include some stunning new pictures and new or updated stories that capture the highlights of the eight e-magazines that we have produced for the ports visited by the Volvo Ocean Race. Read more ...

Latest investment insights

Graph of the week

03-07-2015 | Lukas Daalder

No exciting economic implications or how-to-lie-with-data this week; just the one graph. That’s it. Albeit a very long one...

Best economic links of the web

03-07-2015 | Lukas Daalder

Final edition, off to holidays! Leaving you with this IPO frenzy!

Where are you heading, O bond investor?

01-07-2015 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

Very low interest rates mean investors are faced with a dilemma – be satisfied with minimal returns on safe bonds or move higher up the risk curve. Lukas Daalder, chief investment officer at Robeco, discusses the possible options in the current market.

Why China will dominate the emerging middle class

01-07-2015 | Insight | Steef Bergakker

The Chinese middle class will dominate the ranks of emerging consumers in the next 5-10 years while predictions about India are too optimistic, says Robeco trend analyst Steef Bergakker.

Technorealist sees a dynamic future full of opportunities and challenges

01-07-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

We are running out of fossil fuel, pollution is rapidly on the rise, the earth is overpopulated and we are exhausting our food supplies. It's enough to make anyone depressed.

Alternative investing: Beware the economic ‘super-cycle’ in commodities

30-06-2015 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

A market strategist once said that “if you buy commodities, you are betting against the ingenuity of people”. When natural resources become too expensive, human resources step in to find alternatives, says multi-asset investment head Lukas Daalder.

Seven key questions on the Greek debt crisis

30-06-2015 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

European stock markets fell sharply as the extent of the problems in Greece became evident last weekend. Lukas Daalder, Chief Investment Officer of Robeco Investment Solutions, explains where the real issues lie, and what investors can expect in the days to come.

Ten key questions on factor investing

29-06-2015 | Insight | Joop Huij, PhD

Investors are increasingly becoming aware of the advantages that factor investing has to offer. Joop Huij answers ten questions on the concept and the implementation.

Chinese equity rally can continue

25-06-2015 | Insight | Victoria Mio

Chinese stocks can continue their rally due to strong fundamentals and ongoing economic structural reforms, says portfolio manager Victoria Mio

The quarterly outlook for credits: dot plots and tantrums

25-06-2015 | Insight | Sander Bus, Victor Verberk

In our latest Credit Quarterly Outlook, we note two changes that are taking place in the credit markets. First, the US credit cycle is becoming unfriendly. Corporate releveraging is accelerating and margins have peaked.

From the field: Value and momentum profits declining?

24-06-2015 | Insight | David Blitz, PhD

A paper argues that many popular return anomalies have materially diminished in strength and significance over time. Are value and momentum profits declining?

What Europe can learn from Sweden

22-06-2015 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

Sweden is an ordinary Western European country, but one that does just that bit better, according to Robeco's chief economist, Léon Cornelissen.

Robeco Lux-o-rente does it again: sell-off avoided

22-06-2015 | Insight | Olaf Penninga

In the recent-sell-off on global government bond markets, Robeco Lux-o-rente managed to maintain a positive year-to-date return with its active duration positioning. This illustrates the importance of an active investment approach.

Time2Read: 26 stories on sailing and investing

19-06-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

Robeco has been proud to sponsor Team Brunel, the Dutch entry into the nine-month Volvo Ocean Race. In this edition of Time2Read, we include some stunning new pictures and new or updated stories that capture the highlights of the eight e-magazines that we have produced for the ports visited by the race.

Real ESG impact on the Robeco NV portfolio

18-06-2015 | Insight

Since January 2014, the Robeco fund’s investment cases need to include an assessment of how the most material ESG issues affect a company’s competitive position and target price. We can therefore systematically calculate the impact of ESG analysis on the portfolio.

The riddle of diminishing productivity growth

17-06-2015 | Insight | Peter van der Welle

In many countries, productivity growth has considerably declined in recent years. According to Peter van der Welle, strategist at Robeco, there is no cause for alarm. Thanks to the power of 'creative destruction', productivity growth will return to the usual level.

Investing in the sustainability of Asia’s growth

17-06-2015 | Insight | Roland Pfeuti

Joint private equity initiative Asia Climate Partners invests in successful companies that offer solutions to Asia’s sustainability challenges.

Factor investing: five lessons for corporate-bond investors

16-06-2015 | Insight | Patrick Houweling, PhD

Interest in factor investing – investing in systematic sources of return – is rapidly increasing. Up to now most investor interest in this area has been focused on equities. But what are the possibilities for applying it to credits?

Newsflash Multi-Factor Credits

15-06-2015 | Insight | Patrick Houweling, PhD

Robeco brings factor investing to credit markets, launching the Robeco Global Multi-Factor Credits fund on June 15, 2015. This credit fund allows investors to benefit from factor investing, which has been so successful in equity markets over the past years.

Greek deadlines: all roads lead to July 20

12-06-2015 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

Investors are playing a game of ‘guess the real deadline’ for Greece to make a deal over debt repayments – but all roads lead to July 20, says Robeco’s chief economist.

Rates up, stocks down?

12-06-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

On Fridays chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This week: is this stock market correction really caused by rising interest rates?

'L’exception Française' is still interesting for investors

11-06-2015 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

France is still an interesting country for investors, despite its economic sluggishness and internal political problems, says Robeco Chief Economist Léon Cornelissen.

Strong market momentum for financial bonds

11-06-2015 | Insight | Jan Willem de Moor

The case for financial bonds is more compelling than ever. Having learned some lessons in the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2008, banks and insurance companies have been tidying up their balance sheets. While new regulations such as Basel III require new types of bonds to be issued that offer attractive yields, increased supervision and regulation will substantially lower the risk of default.

Show me the impact – putting numbers on sustainability

10-06-2015 | Insight | Willem Schramade

It’s easy to claim that sustainability is important. But it’s a lot harder to show it is, let alone quantify and monetize it. Willem Schramade, Sustainability and Valuation Specialist in Robeco’s Global Equity team, outlines the problems and the solutions to them.

Volatility has been the name of the game

10-06-2015 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

Some puzzling shifts Volatility has been the name of the game, but not where you would have necessarily expected it.

Video: Team Brunel in Lisbon

10-06-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

Get up to speed with what happened on the seventh leg of the journey to Lisbon by watching our latest race update.

Why the outlook for Spain is sunny

09-06-2015 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

Spain is in recovery mode, but has not been rewarded for this by equity investors so far in 2015. What is the outlook for the rest of the year? Robeco’s Chief Economist Léon Cornelissen explains why he is optimistic.

Credits: how to factor in the risk of banks misbehaving

09-06-2015 | Insight | Taeke Wiersma

Conduct and litigation issues are a widespread phenomenon in the financial sector and because of the sheer size of the fines, they can have a material impact on a company’s ability to pay back its debt. We think that, despite recent improvements, these issues are here to stay for at least several years to come. Consequently, we spend much time analyzing related ESG factors to account for this risk in our credit investment decisions.

Low turnover: a virtue of low volatility

08-06-2015 | Insight | Pim van Vliet, PhD

Trading is necessary to follow an active strategy, but excessive trading is linked to human behavior. In his new paper just published on SSRN Pim van Vliet looked into why investors trade and how much trading is needed for an effective low-volatility strategy.

Going neutral on equities

08-06-2015 | Outlook | Lukas Daalder

It is time to take a neutral stance on equities as company earnings don’t keep up with share price rises and volatility is expected to get worse, says Robeco’s head of asset allocation.

Innovation – the key to future growth

05-06-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

“We have our four core values carved on the wall in the lobby. But there is more to it than just being able to recite them – we need to make them happen."

How investors can influence climate change policies

03-06-2015 | Insight

David Pitt-Watson is Executive Fellow of Finance at the London Business School, and chairman of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI). He is a former chairman of Hermes Focus Funds. In this Q&A, he addresses how sustainability investors can make have a huge influence on climate change policies.

From the field: Ranking better than optimizing?

03-06-2015 | David Blitz, PhD

A paper* compares the performance of low-volatility portfolios constructed by using a ranking methodology versus portfolios constructed with mean/variance optimization.

Europe leads the way in sustainable investment

01-06-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

Sustainable investment is growing rapidly. Although it has been growing fastest in the US over the past two years, Europe remains the undisputed leader, says Nicolas Bénéton, Sustainability Investment Specialist for Robeco France.

Celebrating five years of differentiated returns

01-06-2015 | Insight | Alexander de Roode, Daniël Haesen, CFA

Robeco Global Tactical Asset Allocation (GTAA) celebrates its fifth anniversary this month. And the icing on the birthday cake for investors has been a great track record, with consistent and considerable return in turbulent markets.

European low-vol stocks: lessons from ‘a lost decade’

29-05-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race | Pim van Vliet, PhD

Europe has seen a modest pick-up in economic growth in the first quarter, with unexpectedly strong figures coming in from France and Italy. But the region still faces an environment characterized by low interest rates with low expected economic growth and low inflation. This environment resembles the scenario Japan faced in the 1990s. What are the lessons for investors in low-volatility European stocks?

Dutch TV program about the Volvo Ocean Race 3

29-05-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

One thing Bouwe Bekking, skipper of Team Brunel, has noticed during this his eighth Volvo Ocean Race is just how much marine pollution has increased. “Plastic, plastic, plastic. Everywhere.”

Integrating ESG criteria into fixed income investments

28-05-2015 | Insight | Edith Siermann

Institutional investors are attaching increasing importance to the sustainability of their investments. Whereas in the equity space, this trend has been going on for years, in fixed income investments sustainability investing has only recently started to generate widespread interest.

Rising like a phoenix from the ashes

28-05-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race | Peter van der Welle

While the spotlights are still on Greece – as an escalation in various forms could still occur any day – two other large southern European economies are, nearly unobserved, finally showing signs of recovery.

From the field: Low-volatility anomaly among mutual funds

27-05-2015 | David Blitz, PhD

A paper* argues that size, value, momentum and other factor portfolios might be considered as alternative building blocks for strategic asset allocation, because these offer an attractive risk premium and powerful diversification benefits.

E-magazine: Spotlight on Europe

27-05-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race competitors have arrived at the seventh stopover port in Portugal after sailing across the Atlantic from the US.

Team Brunel celebrates victory in Lisbon

27-05-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

Brunel has won the seventh leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. After an exciting neck- and- neck race with Dongfeng and Mapfre, skipper Bouwe Bekking and his crew finally crossed the finish line in first place.

How to keep Asia’s growth sustainable? | Advance May 2015

21-05-2015 | Magazine

To keep up the strong growth it displayed in the past - and ultimately catch up with western economies – emerging Asia has to address some very concrete environmental challenges.

Targeted investing: flexible solution for individual asset accumulation

21-05-2015 | Insight | Pieter Krom

Accumulating a supplementary pension, investing for your children's education or saving to pay off your mortgage – all require specialist knowledge. How can you accumulate capital yourself without losing sight of the right risk-return mix?

From the field: Factor investing for diversification purposes?

20-05-2015 | David Blitz, PhD

A paper* argues that size, value, momentum and other factor portfolios might be considered as alternative building blocks for strategic asset allocation, because these offer an attractive risk premium and powerful diversification benefits.

Marine pollution is a major challenge

20-05-2015 | Insight | Daniel Wild

Tackling the level of pollution is a major challenge that sustainability investors can help to solve, says RobecoSAM’s research chief, Daniel Wild.

US low-vol: why it's time to be selective

19-05-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race | Pim van Vliet, PhD

Portfolio manager Pim van Vliet discusses how he selects low-volatility stocks within Robeco Conservative Equities and explains why the strategy works in the US and in other parts of the world.

The cutting edge – where banking and technology meet

19-05-2015 | Insight | Patrick Lemmens

Companies operating on the cutting edge where the banking and technology sectors meet are very much in the public eye. Patrick Lemmens, fund manager of Robeco New World Financial Equities, sees interesting opportunities, but warns that investors should not get too carried away.

‘The century of the US’… again

18-05-2015 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

China and India are making progress, but the US continues to be the main player on the world economic stage.

The Brave New World of Finance

14-05-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race | Patrick Lemmens

As the boats of the Volvo Ocean Race are reaching the coast of the ‘new world’, the global financial sector is coming to grips with a brave new world of its own. Long-term trends are changing the core of the financial industry and investors can benefit. Patrick Lemmens, fund manager of Robeco New World Financial Equities, explains how he does it.

Flattener trade closed in bond market

13-05-2015 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

April turned out to be a month with limited positive news across the board. US, Japanese and Chinese economic data all disappointed, while European data – although broadly still better than expected – failed to impress as much as it did in the first quarter, as analysts raised the bar with respect to European growth expectations.

Finding the right wave points in equities

12-05-2015 | Insight | Chris Hart

They say that a rising tide floats all boats – but for Chris Hart, it’s about finding the right wave points in his brand of active fund management.

Video: Team Brunel: Bouwe Bekking about sustainability.

12-05-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

Get up to speed with what happened on the this leg of the journey by watching our latest race update.

Quantifying the chance of a ‘Grexit’

11-05-2015 | Outlook | Lukas Daalder

The prospect of Greece leaving the Eurozone may not be that bad for investors, and may even be positive in the long run, says Robeco’s head of asset allocation.

From the field: EBITDA/EV the most powerful value measure

11-05-2015 | Insight | David Blitz, PhD

Academics typically define value as the ratio of a company’s book value to market value (B/M), but this is just one of many possible ways to define value.

Tory election win may unsettle investors

08-05-2015 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

The UK’s ruling Conservative Party has stormed to victory in the UK general election, surprising pollsters but potentially unsettling investors in the medium term.

Bond market: shaken, not stirred

08-05-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

Every Friday chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This week: have we seen the end of the great bond market bull run?

Dutch TV program about the Volvo Ocean Race 2

08-05-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

Peter Ferket, CIO of Equities at Robeco, sees parallels between investing and the Volvo Ocean Race.

E-magazine: Spotlight on the US

07-05-2015 | Magazine

The Volvo Ocean Race competitors have arrived at the sixth stopover port in the United States after three weeks’ sailing from Brazil. Our new e-magazine focuses on the US and what is still the ‘New World’ for investing after the financial crisis. Read how both Robeco and Team Brunel watch which way the wind is blowing for thematic investing and sailing respectively; find out how it is still the ‘US century’; and discover the ‘Mast-er’ Plan’ for mending battered boats.

Emerging market consumers loosen their purse strings

05-05-2015 | Opinion | Jack Neele

The growth in global consumption will be driven mainly by emerging markets in the coming decade. The OECD predicts growth in Asia of no less than 571 percent between now and 2030, predominantly on the back of strong growth in China, India and Indonesia. How can investors use this to their advantage?

The buyback party will soon be over

01-05-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

Every Friday chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This week: companies are buying back their own shares on a massive scale, but is it a good idea?

Video: Team Brunel: Captain Bouwe Bekking on leg 5

01-05-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

Get up to speed with what happened on the fifth leg of the journey by watching our latest race update.

Car engine innovation is key to CO2 reduction

30-04-2015 | Insight | Evert Giesen

Although there are still some climate sceptics, most scientists share the view that man-made CO2 emission leads to global warming and climate change. This has led to efforts to reduce CO2 emission levels. As the car industry is one of the largest sources of man-made CO2 emissions, car manufacturers who can deal with this challenge in an innovative way, can be attractive for us as investors.

A good strategy starts with a good design

29-04-2015 | David Blitz, PhD

David Blitz discusses research to improve existing strategies and explains how he designs new ones. “Our mission is to make good strategies even better and to design the next generation.”

Rally in the Chinese markets has only just begun

29-04-2015 | Insight | Victoria Mio

According to fund manager of Robeco Chinese Equities), Victoria Mio, Chinese stock markets will continue to enjoy a tailwind. The relaxation of the capital requirements for banks will act as a stimulus for economic growth.

Visit to the Bay Area: wear, watch and pay

28-04-2015 | Insight | Jack Neele

My job as a portfolio manager does not just involve updating Excel spreadsheets at the office, I also regularly leave my desk to attend conferences and visit companies. These work trips offer an excellent opportunity to see how trends work in practice and help me to find the structural winners.*

The flip side of low interest rates

27-04-2015 | Opinion | Arnout van Rijn

After much hesitation, Draghi's decision to let the European Central Bank start buying bonds certainly had the desired effect. What a great rally!

More women on the board, higher stock returns?

27-04-2015 | Insight | Michiel van Esch, Wilma de Groot, CFA

In a unique cooperation between Robeco’s Governance and Active Ownership team, its Quantitative Equity team, RobecoSAM and Yifan Zhang from Tilburg University, we researched the link between gender diversity of company boards and stock returns. The results are promising: although we require more research to confirm the results, the data do show a positive link between board diversity and stock performance.

Surprise show

24-04-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

Every Friday chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This week: Does the Economic Surprise Index hold any surprises?

Greek debt deal is more likely than a Grexit

24-04-2015 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

A debt deal for Greece is far more likely than the country leaving the euro, despite the saber-rattling and stalemate over talks with creditors, says Robeco’s chief economist.

Currency war

23-04-2015 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

In 2010 a new financial term was born. The Brazilian Minister of Finance accused the US of fomenting a 'currency war'. The US started purchasing government bonds on a grand scale to stimulate the economy and this led directly to lower interest rates. This in turn caused capital to seek higher returns elsewhere and a subsequent weakening of the dollar.

The Battle of Britain – what the UK election means for investors

22-04-2015 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

A minority Conservative government in the UK would be the best option for investors after Britons go to the polls next month, says Robeco’s chief economist.

Pioneers in factor investing

20-04-2015 | Insight | Joop Huij, PhD

In 2014 Robeco went live with its Factor Investing Solutions: tailored solutions based on multiple factors. “Robeco is not the founder of factor investing, but we are among the first to translate the theory into practical investment solutions,” says Robeco’s Head of Factor Investing Research Joop Huij with pride.

Shadow over the energy sector

17-04-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

Every Friday chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This week: Is the energy sector heading for a wave of bankruptcies or takeovers?

Dutch TV program about the Volvo Ocean Race

17-04-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

Navigating difficult waters. Taking risks – but only if they are justified. There are many parallels between investing and sailing. In this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race Update on RTL-Z, Arnout van Rijn, head of Robeco's Asia Pacific team in Hong Kong reveals how you can be successful in China.

Using quant strategies in emerging markets

15-04-2015 | Insight | Wilma de Groot, CFA

The growing popularity of passive investing using index trackers has enabled many investors to access emerging markets, of which Brazil is a prominent member, at relatively low cost. However, trackers lack the positive exposure to factors which can identify the most attractive stocks.

Fixed income outlook: upbeat on bonds down under

14-04-2015 | Outlook | Kommer van Trigt, Machiel van de Groes, Paul van der Worp

In its outlook for the second quarter of this year, Robeco’s Global Fixed Income Macro Team sees opportunities in US, UK and especially Australian govvies, the long end of the European periphery and subordinated financials. Still, in all market segments it’s important to be selective.

Beyond BRICs

14-04-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race | Wim-Hein Pals

For about a decade many investors believed investing in the four BRIC countries – a concept launched by Goldman Sachs Asset Management – was the easiest way to profit from growth in emerging markets. But times have changed. Simplification is not always the best approach.

Globalization may be ending, says leading strategist

13-04-2015 | Insight

Globalization may be coming to an end, forcing emerging market economies to reform, according to a leading investment strategist.

Sticking to our overweight in longer-dated European bonds

13-04-2015 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

It was just their luck. It took months for the ECB to get to the point of starting the quantitative easing (QE) program, buying bonds to support the European economy.

No plan B for the Brazilian economy

10-04-2015 | Insight | Daniela da Costa - Bulthuis

The Brazilian economy is in dire straits. However, if the government moves forward with fiscal austerity, the economic and political crisis can be overcome, thinks portfolio manager Daniela da Costa-Bulthuis. Crumbling political support could certainly still throw a spanner in the works though.

S&P Dow Jones launches first sovereign ESG index based on RobecoSAM data

10-04-2015 | Insight | Rikkert Scholten

S&P Dow Jones launched the S&P ESG Pan-Europe Developed Sovereign Bond Index on April 8. This first ESG-weighted bond index from S&P Dow Jones is based on the extensive ESG database of RobecoSAM, Robeco’s Zurich-based Sustainability Investing subsidiary.

From Russia With Love

10-04-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

Every Friday chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This week: Is it time to invest in the Greek and Russian stock markets?

Markets need not fear the coming rate hike

09-04-2015 | Outlook | Lukas Daalder

Markets need not fear the prospect of the first rate hike in almost a decade, says Robeco’s multi-asset investment head, Lukas Daalder.

Shell's takeover of BG could lead to a flood of M&As

09-04-2015 | Insight | Dirk Hoozemans

Royal Dutch Shell is forking out EUR 64.3 billion for British BG in the biggest takeover in the industry in the last ten years, and is paying a 50% premium on its current share price. While this takeover is the biggest M&A deal this year and likely to remain so, it will certainly not be the last takeover in the energy sector.

Five things to watch out for in 2015

08-04-2015 | Insight

We’re now a quarter of the way through the year, and it’s been a fairly bumpy ride so far. Geopolitical risk reemerged with the threat of a Greek exit from the Eurozone, while the US Federal Reserve more clearly outlined the criteria that would be used to trigger any future rate hike.

E-magazine: Spotlight on Brazil

07-04-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race competitors have arrived at the fifth stopover port in Brazil after three weeks’ sailing from New Zealand. Our new e-magazine focuses on Brazil, the ‘BRICs’ and investing in emerging markets. Read how both Robeco and Team Brunel manage risk on land and sea; see why there is no ‘Plan B’ for rescuing the Brazilian economy; and how three brave Team Brunel sailors finally achieved their dream of ‘Rounding the Horn’.

Video: Team Brunel in Auckland

02-04-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

Get up to speed with what happened on the fourth leg of the journey by watching our latest race update.

Upbeat on bonds down under

01-04-2015 | Interview | Rikkert Scholten

Recently Rikkert Scholten, Portfolio Manager Fixed Income, visited Australia to meet with, amongst other people, the Minister of Finance and central bank officials. The take-away from these meetings reaffirms the case for our investments in Australian government bonds.

Duration management is key to bond returns

31-03-2015 | Insight | Olaf Penninga

Active management of bond duration can protect against any future rate rises while still generating returns if yields continue to fall, says Robeco’s Olaf Penninga.

Team Brunel trio achieve the ultimate in sailing

31-03-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

‘Rounding the Horn’ is the ultimate in sailing – and three Team Brunel crew members are notching up this iconic achievement for the first time.

'It's all about the bucks, kid'

30-03-2015 | Insight | Mark Glazener

Although Robeco’s global equity strategies are managed according to a bottom-up process, they are not managed in a vacuum either.

More than a bond bubble

27-03-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

Every Friday chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This week: Are fund managers right to fear a bubble in bonds?

Performance Insights

27-03-2015 | Insight

2014 was a year of records for Robeco and a year of solid returns for our clients. Most of our investment products did very well, some generating double-digit returns.

The credit quarterly outlook: is herd behavior rewarded?

25-03-2015 | Insight | Sander Bus

There are finally some rays of light for the European economy. Even before the ECB started its Quantitative Easing (QE) program, consumer data surprised on the upside helped by a cautious recovery in labor markets and lower oil prices.

The Formula: Maximum drawdown

24-03-2015 | Insight

Preservation of capital and a steady performance are important considerations in investing. Therefore, the maximum drawdown is highly relevant.

The robots are coming

23-03-2015 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

The renowned British physicist, Stephen Hawking, predicts that the advent of artificial intelligence will mean the end of mankind. Elon Musk, founder of PayPal and Tesla, thinks that robots could be potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons. Dutch minister Lodewijk Asscher is somewhat less gloomy but feels that robots do pose a threat to employment.

Top dollar?

20-03-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

Every Friday chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This week: the most important effects of a structurally rising dollar.

Solar eclipse exposes vulnerability of electricity supply

19-03-2015 | Insight | Erik Hylarides

On March 20, 2015 a solar eclipse will pass over the Atlantic Ocean between 08:40 and 12:50 CET and will be visible across Europe. The reduction in solar radiation will directly affect the output of solar (photovoltaics) electricity and for the first time this is expected to have a relevant impact on the secure operation of the European power system.

Getting old and staying wealthy

19-03-2015 | Insight | Jeroen van Oerle

As the demographic dividend is used up in many Western countries and dependency ratios are increasing, the current set-up of many pension schemes is unsustainable. We see four trends that are likely to influence global pension systems. Fully integrated insurance companies, ICT providers and financial planners are most likely to benefit.

Fed brings confidence to bond markets

19-03-2015 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt

The fixed income market has rallied after the US Federal Reserve increased the chances of its first rate rise in almost a decade.

Down to the river: engaging with Freeport-McMoRan

18-03-2015 | Insight | Matthias Narr

As a sustainable investor, Robeco is convinced that engaging with companies on the most material sustainability issues enhances their competitiveness and profitability. In addition, it generates measurable benefits for investors and society as a whole. We recently closed a successful engagement with mining company Freeport-McMoRan on its mining waste management in Indonesia.

On a mission in Korea

17-03-2015 | Opinion | Arnout van Rijn

Korea is a modern and wealthy country, but equities there trade at a significant discount. The reason for this – low dividend payments – is not going to go away any time soon. The idea of shareholder value has not yet found any traction in the minds of Korea's decision-makers.

Aiming for the stars

17-03-2015 | Peter van der Welle

Investing is a risky business. Before you decide to take on risk, you need to be convinced that it will pay off. Creative investors are not afraid to investigate exotic ideas in the search for a better understanding of how to limit risk. But would you make an investment recommendation based on the position of the planets? Or on the basis of a cyclically weighted average of the number of sunspots? Nor do I think that many of you would dare to bother a respected client with theories surrounding recent data on the orbits of Mars and Saturn.

Passive indexing? Enhanced indexing!

16-03-2015 | Insight | Petra Sagel

Investing in a purely passive manner is increasingly popular. Although we do not deny that passive investing has its merits, we argue that enhanced indexing may be an even better alternative. It is supported by theory and evidence, allows for better ESG integration, and contributes to a liquid and efficient market.

The rise of the machines: don't be scared embrace it

16-03-2015 | Insight | Chris Berkouwer

The Smart Factory’, ‘Industrial Internet’, ‘Factory 4.0’: these concepts are all related to one of the most powerful secular trends in the global industrials sector: Industrial Automation. We have explored this topic in-depth, assessing how our funds can benefit. This journey led us to fascinating companies across the globe, ranging from highly secretive Japanese robot manufacturers to leading innovators in the US and Europe.

European QE offers more opportunities than risks

13-03-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

Every Friday, chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This week: is the ECB bond-buying program a game changer?

The big central-bank rally

12-03-2015 | Insight | Jeroen Blokland

9 March 2009 entered the history books as the day on which equity markets hit rock bottom, a few months after the fall of Lehman Brothers and the deepest point of the financial crisis. On that day, the S&P 500 touched 666 points, rebounding from that moment on. This week – precisely six years later – the index is now 200% higher.

Surfing the wave in Australia

12-03-2015 | Insight | Rikkert Scholten

Commodity paradise Australia is suffering from lower prices for its natural resources. The economy is struggling to keep its head above water, but the country does offer interesting opportunities for fixed income investors right now.

Still cautiously overweight on risky assets

11-03-2015 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

Following the volatile start of the year, February turned out to be a classic risk-on month. Greece was saved, the Ukraine military escalation halted, and oil prices recovered.

Sustainability integration in Quantitative Equity strategies

10-03-2015 | Insight | Bart Van der Grient, Michael Strating, Pim van Vliet, PhD, Wilma de Groot, CFA

Robeco is committed to sustainable investing. All Robeco Quantitative Equity strategies already integrated ESG factors (Environment, Social and Governance), and since December 2014, we have taken this one step further.

Indian elephant set to overtake the Chinese tiger

10-03-2015 | Insight | Wim-Hein Pals

Indian stocks have reached new highs after a ‘triple whammy’ of economic positives was warmly received by investors.

Nasdaq’s 5,000 is not a repeat of the year 2000

09-03-2015 | Outlook | Lukas Daalder

The Nasdaq’s rise towards 5,000 does not mean a repeat of year 2000 when stocks collapsed shortly afterwards, says Robeco’s Lukas Daalder.

New Zealand’s cash cows

09-03-2015 | Insight | Jürgen Siemer, Peter van der Werf

The dairy industry is faced with sustainability challenges such as food safety and greenhouse gas emissions. “Companies that are able to address these challenges can benefit from a fast-growing market with very good prospects,” says Jürgen Siemer, RobecoSAM’s agribusiness analyst.

Too early to write off active management

06-03-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

Every Friday chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This week: Is the tide turning for active funds?

Diverging tides for New Zealand and Australia

05-03-2015 | Insight | Peter van der Welle

Economic developments in Australia and New Zealand are not running in tandem. Commodity-price developments play a role, but this is not the only explanation, according to strategist Peter van der Welle.

Helping pension funds to ‘do something’ with sustainability

04-03-2015 | Insight | Lucas van Berkestijn

While many institutional investors may have the ambition to integrate sustainability into their investment processes, they often don’t know where to start, struggling to make more concrete steps. “We can help them by making a step-by-step roadmap to implement sustainability investing and keep in control of their progress”, says Lucas van Berkestijn, Sustainability Investing Client Specialist for RobecoSAM.

High yield is back at attractive levels

03-03-2015 | Insight | Sander Bus

The high yield bond market is again offering attractive returns thanks to central bank support and high investor demand, says portfolio manager Sander Bus.

Malaysia: a wealth of low-volatility stocks

03-03-2015 | Insight

Portfolio Manager Pim van Vliet discusses what makes many Malaysian stocks attractive for low-volatility investors.

E-magazine: Spotlight on New Zealand

02-03-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race competitors have arrived at the fourth stopover port in Auckland after a month at sea sailing from China.

Investment-fund industry needs ‘female touch’

27-02-2015 | Insight | Peter van Kleef

Every Friday chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This time: the endangered female portfolio manager.

Dollar poses a challenge for Fed policy

26-02-2015 | Insight | Peter van der Welle

Looking back at 2014, one of the more remarkable developments in the financial markets was the comeback of the US dollar. And we have not seen the end of it yet, thinks Peter van der Welle, strategist at Robeco.

The land of ESG confusion

25-02-2015 | Insight | Willem Schramade

In the Genesis video clip ‘The land of confusion’, the world is depicted by Spitting Image dolls of politicians who go about messing up the world in utter confusion. This video clip vividly came to mind when attending several ESG events.

How do you assess the track record of a strategy?

25-02-2015 | Insight

How do you assess the track record of a strategy in order to ensure the best possible future returns?

Draghi casts the die

24-02-2015 | Opinion | Mark Glazener

Alea iacta est – that’s what ECB Chairman Mario Draghi must have been thinking when he announced the euro bond-buying program at the ECB’s press conference on 22 January 2015. The very same words uttered by his fellow countryman Julius Caesar in 49BC, when he crossed Italy's Rubicon river.

Higher returns thanks to ‘sin stocks’

20-02-2015 | Insight | Mark Glazener

Every Friday chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This time: the remarkable outperformance of ‘sin shares’.

Bond markets might surprise on the upside again

19-02-2015 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt

The low yield environment has made some investors question the merits of investing in the bond market, believing that it would mean poor returns.

Global fund manager buys back into Europe

19-02-2015 | Insight | Chris Hart

Europe is now more attractive as certain stocks have become cheaper relative to their earnings potential, says US-based portfolio manager Chris Hart.

Video: Team Brunel in Sanya

19-02-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

Get up to speed with what happened on the third leg of the journey by watching our latest race update.

How investors implement ESG

18-02-2015 | Insight | Bas Eestermans

The drive to including sustainability factors into mainstream investing has become unstoppable – but investors approach it in different ways. Robeco recently held a series of round tables with existing and prospective clients to find out how investment professionals now tackle the subject.

Beauty and the beast of low-volatility investing

17-02-2015 | Insight | David Blitz, PhD, Pim van Vliet, PhD, Matthias Hanauer

Usually focusing on how to design the best low-volatility strategy, David Blitz, Matthias Hanauer and Pim van Vliet have set out to construct a very bad low-volatility strategy. Comparing good and bad low-volatility strategies they found very different performance characteristics. Clearly, not all low-volatility stocks are created equal. The results highlight the importance of being selective when investing in low-volatility stocks.

17-02-2015 | Opinion | Arnout van Rijn

Suppose for a moment you are a Japanese investor. You don't believe in equities. Things were going okay some 25 years ago, but over the last ten years, it was basically a case of buying high and selling low. Even smart investors who bought in after the crash in the early nineties and didn't take any further action have gained nothing on balance.

Navigating through flexible bond funds

16-02-2015 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt, Winfried Hallerbach, PhD

Flexible bond funds have become increasingly popular. Being benchmark unaware, their portfolio allocation can shift quickly over time and across fixed income asset classes – and sometimes beyond. However, these dynamics and the diversity in flexible bond funds make them difficult to evaluate and compare. In our white paper ‘Navigating through flexible bond funds’, we provide a list of focus points that can help.

Finding business solutions to sustainability issues

13-02-2015 | Insight

Markus Reichling is the European General Manager for Environmental Affairs at Panasonic, the Japanese electronics manufacturer. In this article he reveals how one of the world’s largest companies is developing modern business solutions for age-old sustainability problems, particularly in consumer products such as light bulbs.

Real-estate rally still not run out of puff

13-02-2015 | Insight | Folmer Pietersma

Every Friday chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts.

The mass food system under stress

12-02-2015 | Insight | Vera Krückel

Health & wellness considerations are increasingly important in a world where salt, sugar and fat (SS&F) make up the majority of packaged foods. Reducing SS&F is a challenge for food manufacturers because of costs and picky taste buds. Ingredient companies hold the key.

Is rebalancing the source of factor premiums?

12-02-2015 | Research | David Blitz, PhD

Some argue that the mere mechanism of rebalancing increases returns, and that this explains the success of factor investment strategies. Although factor strategies do need rebalancing to maintain their exposures, there are several reasons why it is unlikely that this is their source of added value.

The lion in the wild versus the lion in the cage

11-02-2015 | Engagement Spotlight | Matthias Narr, Sylvia van Waveren

Tightening legislation on toxic chemicals has an important impact on chemical companies. As consumer awareness on the dangers of certain substances grows, companies are evaluating the negative impacts of hazardous chemicals on their image and competitiveness.

How investors implement ESG | Advance February 2015

11-02-2015 | Magazine

How do investors implement ESG? Opinions as to what counts as ESG differ widely, from exclusions to engagement. Our latest Advance sustsianability magazine analyzes the issue in depth.

Fresh opportunities in Asia

11-02-2015 | Insight | Arnout van Rijn

Robeco’s Asian equities team is more bullish on the region’s stocks than before, thanks to improved prospects for the China market.

China's mouth-watering investment opportunities

10-02-2015 | Insight | Dieter Küffer

Water is a precious resource in short supply. Long-term trends such as population growth, increasing water consumption per person, and pollution are major drivers of water scarcity. This is aggravated by an inadequate water infrastructure.

Winter is coming for TV advertising

10-02-2015 | Insight | Jack Neele

Advertising revenues are shifting away from TV commercials. Portfolio Manager Jack Neele sees three main issues for investors.

Views of pension fund participants important for the discussion on ESG

09-02-2015 | Insight

Social preferences in sustainability can play a role in investment decisions, says Paul Smeets PhD, an expert in behavioral economics and finance. Quantitative investors should pay attention too.

Just how much lower can bond yields go?

09-02-2015 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

Bond yields may not have bottomed out, and negative yields are not necessarily a bad thing for certain investors, says Robeco’s multi-asset investment head, Lukas Daalder.

Active funds should nail their colors to the mast

06-02-2015 | Insight | Peter Ferket

Every Friday chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses thought-provoking topics with Robeco experts. This week: the active share lobby.

Strong performance for duration model over 2014

05-02-2015 | Research | Olaf Penninga

Government bonds posted strong returns in 2014 as yields declined in the US, Germany and Japan. The duration model performed well as it captured these moves in the second half of the year and in the first months as well.

Riding the Chinese e-commerce boom

05-02-2015 | Insight | Victoria Mio

China’s rapid growth is now being fueled by e-commerce as the country becomes more consumerist, says Chinese Equities portfolio manager Victoria Mio.

The importance of good data in selecting stocks

04-02-2015 | Insight | Bart Van der Grient

Bart van der Grient explains how Robeco ensures good data quality, which is vital for selecting stocks and conducting empirical research. “Our approach makes the stock selection and portfolio construction process more transparent,” he says.

Where are we headed in 2015?

04-02-2015 | Insight | Mark Glazener

The year has only just started but it already seems to have lasted an eternity. The oil price has not rebounded and interest rates have just carried on falling. The equity markets experienced corrections, but bounced back just as quickly. What else does 2015 have in store for us?

Robeco High Yield Bonds performs well in a challenging 2014

02-02-2015 | Insight | Sander Bus

Robeco High Yield Bonds recorded a total return of almost 4% gross of fees over 2014, outperforming its underlying benchmark by 150 basis points . Over a three-year period, the fund also recorded a remarkable performance of 9.97%% annualized, against 8.54% for the benchmark. This puts it in top place amongst its peers (source: Morningstar).

China goes for 'gently does it'

02-02-2015 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

Chinese economic reforms continue, but the authorities are going about it carefully. After all, they don't want to risk missing their growth targets. Oil-price declines and the US growth recovery are providing some welcome wind in China's wings.

The time for sitting back and relaxing is over

30-01-2015 | Insight | Jeroen Blokland

On Fridays chief editor Peter van Kleef discusses 'thought-provoking topics' with Robeco experts. This week: the end of the 60/40 era.

E-magazine: Spotlight on China

30-01-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race competitors have arrived at the third stopover port in Sanya, southern China, after a month at sea sailing from Abu Dhabi. Our new e-magazine focuses on opportunities in China and Asia, one of the greatest growth areas in the world. Find out why China has adopted a ‘gently does it’ strategy; how e-commerce is leading growth as a cultural lifestyle; and why we believe some things are more equal than others.

Two takeaways from the 2015 outlook

29-01-2015 | Insight

What are the main themes for both the equity and bond market in the Robeco outlook 2015 – and what funds are well equipped to play these ideas?

Bigger screens means bigger profits for Apple

28-01-2015 | Insight | Jack Neele

Apple’s launch of the iPhone 6 has generated spectacular success that has restored the company’s fortunes, says Robeco’s consumer expert, Jack Neele.

QE won't work in the Eurozone, say Robeco investors

28-01-2015 | Insight | Arnout van Rijn, Chris Hart

Full-blown quantitative easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) is unlikely to save the struggling Eurozone economy, say two senior investors at Robeco.

India 2015: Bigger and better

27-01-2015 | Press release | Nimesh Chandan

In the 2014 General Elections the Indian Republic delivered a strong mandate to a single party for the first time in 30 years.

Experts are divided on the Fed's influence in 2015

26-01-2015 | Insight

What effect will the divergent policies of the Fed and the ECB have in 2015? Robeco expects that this could have a negative influence on the stock markets, while two major banks have a different opinion.

‘European leaders have to explain what is at stake’

26-01-2015 | Insight

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission until November last year, thinks that Europe would benefit from further economic and political integration.

Outlook for 2015

26-01-2015 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

2014 has been an exceptional year for investors, says Robeco Chief Economist Léon Cornelissen. What are the investment opportunities and risks in 2015?

Review 2014 by Robeco CEO Roderick Munsters

26-01-2015 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen, Roderick Munsters

I am pretty comfortable looking back at the year 2014, says Robeco CEO Roderick Munsters. Find out why he expects more volatility this year.

Euro area: a frozen economy

26-01-2015 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt, Machiel van de Groes, Paul van der Worp

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

'Making the best of capitalism'

23-01-2015 | Insight

Capitalism is a complex system and easily misunderstood. But it’s still the best we have available, says economist and bestselling author Ha-Joon Chang. There is the constant necessity to improve it, though.

ECB surprises, but it is not a real game changer

22-01-2015 | News item | Lukas Daalder

The European Central Bank, as expected, introduced QE to the European markets. And it came with a positive surprise.

Video: Team Brunel in Abu Dhabi

21-01-2015 | Volvo Ocean Race

Robeco quant EM equities outperforms generic factor indices

19-01-2015 | Research | David Blitz, PhD, Wilma de Groot, CFA

We have compared the realized performance of our quantitative emerging markets equities (QEME) strategies with the hypothetical performance of recently launched generic factor indices.

China bull can continue to rage

16-01-2015 | Outlook | Victoria Mio

The Shanghai stock market ended 2014 with an impressive 53% gain for the year, but Victoria Mio, portfolio manager Robeco Chinese Equities, thinks the rally can continue. According to Mio the past year marked ‘the beginning of a multi-year bull market’ in Chinese A-shares.

Is European unity in jeopardy?

15-01-2015 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

Former European Commission President Barroso thinks that Europe should bridge its internal differences. Unity seems a long way off – with controversy over budget policy and threat of British and Greek secession from the union. Why is Robeco Chief Economist Léon Cornelissen not too worried about these issues?

Toxic chemicals a lion in the cage or in the wild

14-01-2015 | Insight

Intensified legislation on toxic chemicals impacts chemical manufacturers and retailers. As consumer awareness grows, these companies are evaluating the negative implications of hazardous chemicals for their image and competitiveness. At the same time, they are investigating opportunities to develop less toxic alternatives. We believe investors should be considering these implications in their analysis. The topic provided a nice platform for trying a new engagement tool: a roundtable with chemicals companies.

Key consumer developments to watch in 2015

13-01-2015 | Outlook | Jack Neele, Richard Speetjens

Consumer spending in developed markets will continue to grow at a relatively slow but sustained pace. This calls for a more focused investment approach.

Why low-volatility investing is exciting and important

12-01-2015 | Research | Eric Falkenstein, Ph.D

Low-volatility investing is a great place for investors and researchers. For long-term investors, it can create a simple tilt that offers an attractive alternative to following market capweighted equity indices, generating at least the same return for two-thirds of the risk.

Smart credit investing: harvesting factor premiums

12-01-2015 | Insight | Jeroen van Zundert, Patrick Houweling, PhD

Although most factor research focuses on the equity market, the concept and benefits of factor investing apply equally well to the corporate bond market. A smart way of investing is combining the factors into a multi-factor credit portfolio in order to diversify across factors.

Emerging credits: separate the wheat from the chaff

12-01-2015 | Insight | Reinout Schapers

With the rally in stock markets entering a new, more volatile phase Robeco Asset Allocation has taken some risk off the table.

Happy new investment strategy

09-01-2015 | Outlook | Lukas Daalder

With the rally in stock markets entering a new, more volatile phase Robeco Asset Allocation has taken some risk off the table.

Secular stagnation isn’t a bad thing for bonds

07-01-2015 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt

Secular stagnation in Europe is not necessarily a bad thing for bonds, says Rorento’s portfolio manager, Kommer van Trigt.

Factor investing works

06-01-2015 | 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?

Fundamental Law of Active Management shows way to higher information ratio

05-01-2015 | Insight

The Fundamental Law of Active Management by Grinold and Kahn is designed to assess the value of active management, as expressed by the information ratio, using only two variables. The first is the portfolio manager ‘skill’ in selecting securities and the second is the number of independent investment opportunities.

The Gulf: Gateway between East and West

05-01-2015 | Insight | Rob Schellekens

Huge growth in the airline industry in the Gulf States has had a major impact on the local economy. The construction and financial sectors offer interesting investment opportunities.

Low-Volatility Investing: Collected Robeco Articles

01-01-2015 | Research | David Blitz, PhD, Pim van Vliet, PhD

The second edition of the first and only book to focus on the volatility effect, "Low-Volatility Investing" by David Blitz, PhD, Head Robeco Quantitative Equity Research and Pim van Vliet, PhD, Senior Portfolio Manager, Robeco Conservative Equities, presents our research on low-volatility investing from a number of different angels important to investors.

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