While investors in gold may find it gratifying to see the price of bullion rise after moving sideways for six years, we make no prediction about whether the recent uptrend will continue. Around the globe, there are many unresolved issues—including financial, monetary and political developments in Europe—that could create significant volatility in financial markets and in the short-term price of gold.
Following an inadvertent tilt to cyclical value stocks in 2018, we have focused on returning the portfolio to its customary position of balance, where individual stock elements may be the determinant factors in stock performance rather than the macroeconomic environment. While the economic background will always influence stocks, ideally, we look for stocks where the stories of corporate change can transcend the macroeconomic environment.
Over the course of the quarter, macroeconomic developments exerted a powerful pull on the markets. In April, better-thanexpected economic data and accommodative central banks allayed concerns about global growth and propelled a rebound in risk assets. In May escalation of the US/China trade dispute darkened the outlook for global growth, sending stock markets lower and prompting rallies in perceived “safe haven” assets such as Treasuries and the Japanese yen. In June, more explicitly dovish comments from the Federal Reserve assuaged investors’ concerns and sent markets higher.
“One of the things that's important that we do a little bit differently at First Eagle, is we don't define value just in purely statistical terms."
Though the current business cycle—the longest in US history—is showing signs of age, the potential timing of and impetus for its end remain uncertain.
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.
The long-simmering trade dispute between the US and China has intensified in recent days.
Nurtured by ever-cheaper computing power and the datafication of modern life, the rate of advancement in technologies based on artificial intelligence (AI) and offshoots like machine learning has a
Despite a downturn in May, the second quarter as a whole was a positive one for investment markets: global equities generally rose, credit spreads remained tight and implied equity volatility (as measured by the CBOE Volatility Index) was well below average. Interest rates remained extremely low both in the United States and abroad—particularly in Europe, where some $13 trillion of bonds are trading at negative yields.1 In addition to equities and bonds, currencies also experienced unusually subdued levels of volatility
Primary issuance picked up in the high yield market; proceeds were used largely for refinancing, which is a sign of health, and issuance quality remained surprisingly high for this late point in the credit cycle. Leveraged loan issuers were on a different course, however, and the leverage on new loans reached an all-time high.
It’s by design that companies in Matthew McLennan’s portfolios aren’t exactly those that set investors’ hearts racing with excitement. “We’re happy to own businesses with what we consider a gradual positive drift to them,” he says. In this article, Matthew McLennan and Kimball Brooker describe how they assess “fade risk” in a number of industries, what makes them uneasy about the state of the world today, why their exposure to gold is higher than normal, and why they see mispriced value in Fanuc, Orkla, Schlumberger, Jardine Matheson and Weyerhaeuser.
The timing and conditions of Brexit remain unclear, but most estimates suggest that both the UK and EU economies will suffer as frictions are introduced into their economic connection.
Investors and consultants frequently ask for the Global Value team’s views on sustainable investing. While we do not offer strategies that focus in this area, we do pay close attention to issues of sustainability because they may be a key to a company’s resilience over the long term. Some investors see the energy sector as the antithesis of sustainability, but we see things differently. In this interview, Benj Bahr, energy-sector analyst on the Global Value team, explains why.
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 Fund marked its 40th anniversary on January 1, 2019. From the time that Jean-Marie Eveillard—a pioneer in global value investing—assumed leadership of the Global Fund, it has consistently employed a disciplined, benchmark-agnostic, value-oriented philosophy.
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