Conventional wisdom dictates that everyone should save as much as they can, as early as they can, for as long as they can in order to live a dignified life in retirement.
As we have written in the past, the growth of debt over the last decade has brought forward demand in the economy and generally benefited corporate profit margins; in the future, however, debt instead may become a headwind for nominal growth around the world. Furthermore, when the level of debt is high relative to borrowers’ capacity to repay it—i.e., the cash flows available to businesses and consumers and the latent taxing capacity of governments—debt that comes due cannot be amortized from cash flows; it needs to be rolled over. We believe this renders markets more vulnerable to bouts of risk aversion.
The Global Value Team shares current investment thinking and a year-end update on the Global, Overseas, U.S. Value, Global Income Builder and Gold Funds.
We cannot predict what will happen next in economies or markets, but 2018 had the feel of a transitional year. Volatility, which in our view, had been muted for an unexpectedly long period of time, returned in force during the year—first in February and then again in the fourth quarter.
First Eagle’s Global Value team has adopted the value investment philosophy first developed by Benjamin Graham and later refined by Warren Buffett.