The Covid-19 crisis has left some levels of Valuation in the portfolios of Spanish investors similar to those of 2016. Specific, the average decline for moderate portfolios has been 10.5% between February 19 and April 30. According to the latest Natixis Investment Managers barometer, no asset has served to preserve capital in Spanish portfolios. Only gold and some fixed income categories achieve positive returns that have hardly minimized the losses of the rest of the assets.

May 26, 2020

Act at 14:21

In these two and a half months, they have only contributed positive returns on gold (4.3%) and the categories of American fixed income (2.5%) and global fixed income (0.8%), in the last two cases covered in euros. If not for gold, above all, the Spanish wallets would have fallen more, although the precious metal has not been able to stop on its own all the fall derived from the coronavirus.

“People think that gold covers as the stock falls, but it is imperfect coverage. It is not a refuge for everything, it is a portfolio diversifier. In fact, gold is a very volatile asset that may have fallen when you need it most, ”says Juan José González de Paz, senior consultant at Natixis IM Solutions.

From the end of 2019 until the fall to market lows, conservative portfolios lost 13.8%; the moderate fell 21.2% and the aggressive fell 28%. The firm highlights the setback of the ‘value’ investment styles (with a decrease of 26.7% in the MSCI Europe Value) and European ‘small caps’ (more than 23% in the MSCI) and ‘value’ style continental equities, with losses of over 30%. In contrast, the ‘quality’, ‘momentum’ and ‘growth’ styles have offered a better relative performance, with declines of between 14% and 14.6%, in the face of an “expectation of better results and greater resistance than expected recession”.

However, from that ground until April 30, their recovery has been inverse. Aggressive portfolios are up 19%; the moderate ones, 14.1%, and the conservative ones, 8.7%. As for the macroeconomic recovery that follows that of the financial markets, González de Paz expects this to take ‘V for Nike’ shape, with a “slower recovery because there are still many uncertainties”.

DIVERSIFICATION AND ILLiquid Funds

The manager’s experts continue to advocate diversifying the portfolio and investing over the long term to smooth out potential losses. In fact, from its analysis the conclusion is drawn that, from 1998 to now, a non-diversified portfolio has an annualized volatility of 19.62%, compared to 8.66% for a diversified portfolio. Further, after the falls, the diversified portfolio takes fewer days to recover than the non-diversified portfolio, specifically 249 days compared to 628, according to Natixis IM.

Another conclusion of the barometer is that “trying to hit the market timing is also very risky.” According to the consultant, “it has been shown again in the Covid-19 crisis, as in other previous financial crises, that trying to hit the timing can mean increasing falls and losing investment opportunities.”

From a point of view of trends, the director of Natixis IM for Iberia, Almudena Mendaza, highlights the opportunities that arise in fields such as thematic investments or alternative funds in private markets. “Liquid assets make sense in portfolios because they bring less volatility. In this sense, we have detected more interest on the part of institutional investors to continue advancing in this idea ”, acknowledges Mendaza.

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