Summary: Inflation is surging and as an investor it is important to prepare your portfolio. And it is even more important this time, as it may not be as straight forward as the books would lead you to believe.
You need to be aware of inflation as an investor. But it does not need to be a scary thing. In fact, inflation is an important factor in the way the world’s economies are built – and without it, we would be in a much worse situation. Apart from that, inflation can also provide investment opportunities. So, if you, like we do, believe that inflation is here to stay and will keep pushing prices upwards, it could be potentially be relevant for you to review your portfolio and make sure it is positioned towards it.
Time to diversify your portfolio?
There is one important paradox that is important to deal with, when looking at the current development within inflation and your portfolio. Usually, inflation would favour equity markets, but right now it is more important to look at how the central banks will get inflation under control, rather than looking at the wild running inflation itself.
“We have long believed that the current inflation is more structural than temporary, which is contrary to especially the American Fed. This also means that we believe there is a much larger need for tightening the financial conditions than legislators believe. Such tightening will hurt companies across the globe and thus we expect the equity markets to suffer,” says Economist, Christopher Dembik.
On top of that, the green transformation makes it harder for the central banks to tighten fiscal policy, as the former takes priority. “Since late 2020, the Saxo Strategy Team has held the view that the real economy is far too small for the financial and economic agendas of governments, central banks and the green transformation. This prompted our call for higher inflation throughout 2021, which crystallised with the inflation spike in the second half of 2021, capped by a 7 percent US December CPI print,” Chief Investment Officer, Steen Jakobsen said in our Q1 2022 Quarterly Outlook.
This means, according to Dembik that we should expect the opposite of a positive run for equities: a risk sell-off and the re-introduction of other asset classes’ strength in a portfolio. “With the expectation of fiscal tightening - even though less than we think is necessary – and potentially the first real move back towards historical averages for equities, the concept of a diversified portfolio – not within equities – but across asset classes, could be a key step towards getting the best risk-adjusted return for all investors,” he says.
If you want more inspiration from Jakobsen about this topic, go check out his SaxoSession about inflation, where you can also get inspiration to create a portfolio, which is sturdy today as well as tomorrow, from his 100-year portfolio.
If you want to read our Head of Equity Strategy, Peter Garnry's, more detalied view on the equity side of inflation, take a look at this article.