Market & Portfolio Update - May 2022
Volatility in global share markets continued in May as investors focused on inflation and rising interest rates. Despite the volatility, global share markets rebounded to end the month flat, with the energy sector leading the way (up 13.5%). The energy sector includes oil producers which benefitted from oil prices rising to $123/barrel. The European Union agreed to a partial ban on Russian oil. The ban is expected to cover 90% of Europe’s Russian oil imports by the end of this year.
As expected by markets, the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.5% in May. This was the largest interest rate hike since 2000, and signals the Federal Reserve’s commitment to ‘walk-the-walk’ to try to control inflation.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand also raised interest rates in May after it hiked the OCR by 0.5%. The OCR now sits at 2%, and the Reserve Bank’s updated forecasts show it reaching 4% by September of next year. While the rapid rise in interest rates has impacted portfolio returns over the last year (particularly conservative funds with a high allocation to bonds), it is important to note that market expectations have already adjusted so that a rise to 4% next year is already baked into prices of bond investments. There is a silver lining though - higher interest rates mean reinvestment rates are now much more attractive, supporting the future returns of bond investments.
Unlocking Financial Harmony: Navigating the Symphony of Life with Mindfulness
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, the concept of mindfulness often finds its place in discussions about mental health and stress reduction. However, its impact on financial wellbeing is a hidden gem worth exploring.
A 2021 survey by the New Zealand Retirement Commission ranked New Zealand’s overall financial wellbeing as 61 out of 100. In this case, financial wellbeing is defined as “a combination of meeting commitments, being financially comfortable, and resilient for the future.” The area in which New Zealand scored the lowest was preparedness for retirement, with a 43 out of 100 which highlights that around one in three New Zealanders are concerned that they will not have adequate savings to last through their retirement.
Finding Your Financial Ikigai: The Japanese Art of a Balanced & Purposeful Life
In a world that often measures success in financial terms, the Japanese concept of Ikigai offers a refreshing perspective. Transcending the boundaries of culture and geography, this philosophy loosely translates as "a reason for being". Ikigai is a convergence of what you love, what you're good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. It's an approach that represents a broader view of prosperity, encompassing joy, purpose, and contentment. As financial advisers, we find this particularly compelling. This article delves deeper into how Ikigai can not only enrich your life but also inform your financial decisions for a more fulfilling journey.