Avoid the value trap with global equities

Avoid the value trap with global equities

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

Performance 2013: Robeco is well positioned for further growth

In the Performance Insights 2013, our Robeco colleagues look back on the year and share their highlights. Read more ...

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

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

Investors should recognize that human psychology plays a role in decision making, says behavioral finance expert Paul Craven. Read more ...

Investment portfolios: take a look under the hood

Investment portfolios: take a look under the hood

Institutional investors should be careful when assessing asset managers, say Joop Huij and David Blitz. Read more ....

Latest investment insights

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.

Best economic links of the web

24-04-2014 | Lukas Daalder

Expected GDP growth is constantly lowered this cycle.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

The dark side of passive investing

10-03-2014 | 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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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?

‘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.

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?

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.

‘Factor investing will unleash a revolution’

06-02-2014 | Interview

A revolution in investment management is about to happen due to factor investing, says Professor Andrew Ang. Factor benchmarks to assess investment managers will contribute hugely to this change.

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.

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