Ayesha, you run a balanced fund, which includes both shares and bonds, which are you leaning towards at the moment?
So we started the year with quite a positive view on global growth so we were tilted towards riskier assets such as shares and we’ve become a little more cautious on the outlook for growth and that means that we’ve neutralised our exposure to shares. We’re still a little bit cautious on bonds because we think rates are probably still going up especially in the US and we’ve been adding to our cash positions partly because of this move to a slightly more defensive position but also because we want to keep some powder dry as opportunities arise.
You talk about taking advantage of opportunities, which regions or countries in particular look interesting at the moment?
There’s a couple of regions which I think are looking quite interesting. Emerging markets would be one. Valuations really have come down quite a lot there this year but I think you need to be quite selective still in terms of which country and sectors you want to be invested in. The other area that I’m starting to get a bit interested in is Europe. Europe’s done fine domestically this year, wages have gone up because unemployment is going down and the ECB is still quite accommodative but it’s been overtaken by other events, so politics has been the obvious one, what’s going on in Italy is an issue and of course there’s always Brexit and Europe which is weighing on investor sentiment but the other thing that’s affected Europe is the trade wars that we’re seeing so it’s not just about the US and China, Europe gets quite affected because it’s quite tied into the global trade situation so if we could see some stabilisation there that could help out Europe quite a lot but at the moment it’s the politics that needs to quieten down to make Europe interesting.
Now let’s talk for a second about alternative asset classes like gold, commodities, infrastructure, property, what role do they play in a fund like yours?
So when we’re looking at asset classes to include in the fund we really want them to be doing different things. So ideally from alternatives you want them to be giving you returns that are not correlated with what’s happening in shares and what’s happening in bonds. So you’re looking for something that doesn’t behave in the same way. Gold is a very good example, when share markets go down gold tends to do quite well so we’re looking for those alternatives to provide some diversification in the portfolio.
Ayesha thank you very much.