We are pleased to report that since it became clearer six months ago that the economic cycle was normalising and a global recovery was underway, the Fund has generated a +20% return, outperforming the broader market by around 2%. We believe this has been achieved by taking only moderate and manageable risks, as we have discussed in previous Investment Reports.
While the Australian equity market continues to post strong monthly returns, fragilities are starting to emerge as equity and bond markets are in the midst of trying to work out whether:
1. There is a strong global economic recovery occurring or whether delays in vaccine rollouts or second or third wave COVID-19 strains will cause delays;
2. The Fed is serious about not intervening in the rapidly rising bond yield situation and if inflation will actually arrive and;
3. The easy monetary conditions of the past few years has led to inherent risk taking that is now threatening to unwind, starting with the first major hedge fund and finance house bankruptcies, even while we are in the midst of a bull market.
Informed by our observations, mostly from our interactions with individual companies, we believe that an economic recovery is coming led by improving demand. But it won’t be pervasive and may well see long delays for some sectors. It is also likely that there has been excess risk built up in a system of easy money and an effective “Fed Put” having been assumed by markets for many years. We see central banks as having little choice but to continue to preach no intervention lest they inadvertently and prematurely overturn a fragile restoration of growth.
Full Report attached
Ethical Partners are pleased to see Australia take the next steps to implement mandatory climate reporting with the release of draft climate standards, which we provided feedback on.
Ethical Partners have continuously called for the provision of high quality, comparable data on company’s climate governance and carbon metrics, which we believe is imperative for investors to fulfil the potential of responsible investment.
Ethical Partners have been proud to have been active supporters of the TNFD Forum over the past few years, and to provide regular feedback on the development of the official TNFD recommendations, which were launched in December, as well as to be active members of the RIAA Natural Capital Working Group.