Market & Portfolio Update - January 2021
January continued the eventfulness of 2020 with the US presidency and Senate elections being finalised, continued social unrest in the US, new strains of Covid-19 and the roll-out of vaccines around the world. The result for share markets was a slight easing in performance for the month. Arguably, a much-needed breather after strong returns in the second half of 2020.
Video game retailer GameStop stole headlines during January. GameStop, among several other companies, was subject to a ‘short squeeze’ where a large number of retail traders joined together to drive the share prices of these companies up, forcing several hedge funds to also buy the stock to close their short positions (a trading strategy where the investor borrows stock from another investor and sells it, betting the share price will fall).
The GameStop share price has since reversed much of its rise, causing a wild ride of gains and losses for those involved. For our Booster clients - these portfolios don’t have any exposure to GameStop – and Booster don’t use short selling either, so clients’ savings are not exposed to similar ‘short squeezes’.
Booster also took advantage of markets moving around as these events unfolded to tweak their funds’ Australian share investments more in favour of those businesses that are likely to benefit the most from the global economy reopening – from banks to travel and recruitment companies – adding to allocations that we bought during December.
Consilium’s approach reminded us that while Indexing can be an effective strategy, not all indexes are the same. An example is when Tesla was added to the S&P 500 recently, and the world’s largest index providers all scrambled to pay $4.6 Trillion in to buy shares of Tesla. This caused a huge surge in the price, however, Consilium portfolios were able to patiently wait until prices came down. This led to all 18 Consilium portfolios outperforming their respective indexes for the quarter.
Market & Portfolio Update - April 2022
Global share markets continued their choppy start to 2022 during April.For New Zealand based investors, a fall in the NZ dollar played an important role in helping offset the volatility global share markets experienced. The NZ dollar fell against most major currencies supporting the returns of unhedged overseas assets (assets that are free to move with exchange rates). As a result, ‘unhedged’ overseas investments fell by only 1.8% for NZ based investors.
The KiwiSaver Gender Divide – Why are women saving less and what can be done to combat this?
Recent data shows that, on average, women have 20% less in their KiwiSavers than men. The gap being at its largest between men and women in their 40s and 50s. There are a few factors that come into play causing this divide and although it will take years to achieve equality, there are ways in which we can be proactive to help close the gap. As of August 2021, the gender pay gap is at 9.1% in New Zealand, a decrease of about 0.4% from 2020’s stats.