Six reasons why US capital expenditure is on the rise. Read more ...
How do you deal with unpredictable political and regulatory developments? Bond investor Victor Verberk uses insights from ‘behavioral finance’. Read more...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Increasing regulation costs the investor money, but offers little extra protection. Normal interest rates are more likely to ensure this than the regulators are.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Efficient investors don't check their portfolios too frequently. Once a year is enough, and around New Year is a good time.
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.
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.