Booster Client Update - How To Train Your Dragon

31 August by Booster

Booster Client Update - How To Train Your Dragon

Booster Client Update - How To Train Your Dragon

Consider the multitude of things around you at this very moment that were probably made in China. Your phone, chair, mug, shoes, or the clothes on your back? Even potentially that new car you are looking at!

Much like New Zealand prior to 1984, China had a closed economy. Over the last few decades however, government reform has helped transform it into both the world’s largest factory and the world’s second largest economy. Today China adds more than 25% of value to global manufacturing supply chains and accounts for 50% of global demand for steel, nickel, copper, aluminium and cement.

The Great Wall (Street) of China

Since the start of the year China’s stock market has weakened and is now at the same level it was two years ago. In contrast, global developed markets have risen 40%. Although this recent performance has largely been driven by concerns over trade with the United States, there has also been debate around domestic debt, as Chinese corporations have borrowed and spent over US$500 billion on foreign acquisitions in the last 5 years.

While GDP growth rates are still almost double that of developed economies (6% vs 3%), these have pulled back from the double digits witnessed in the previous decade. Once again, however, a transformational shift is underway.

China’s Plan for its Future

With growth still forecast at a faster pace than “developed” economies, and a stable government, the plan is to transition away from a manufacturing economy, to a western style one led by consumption. Over 40% of the population has already moved from rural areas to cities over the last four decades. This represents 550 million people! With the trend set to continue, there will be one billion urban residents in the country by 2030. This tailwind for economic growth supports baffling statistics like a new skyscraper being built every 5 days, 27% of global graduates being Chinese by 2030, and over 100 of the world’s largest companies now being Chinese; in the year 2000 there were only four!

Booster portfolios continue to have some exposure to China and its long-term growth through a range of investments, like the Vanguard Emerging Markets Fund, individual companies such as Tencent (China’s social networking giant), and indirectly through companies we hold that sell products to China, like Schindler (Elevators and Escalators), Ansell (Latex Surgical and Safety Gloves) and A2 Milk, who sell, not surprisingly, milk- based products like infant formula. While the road will be bumpy at times, these provide some access to the opportunities from the growing Chinese dragon.

What do travel and retirement planning have in common? At first glance not much, however, whilst visiting the UK recently I was reminded of this saying at the London Tube stations – “mind the gap”. Most visitors to London have heard the words “mind the gap” when travelling on the tube.

by Lifetime in Market Update, Investments

September was a positive month for most share markets across the world, bouncing back from some softness in August.