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Ruffer

May 5, 2022

Globally, inflation is likely to be higher and more volatile. Inflation risk, an absent adversary throughout the careers of most investors today, will need to be priced once again, says Ruffer LLP’s Jamie Dannhauser.

In the late 1970s, the world was on the cusp of radical change. The ‘Deflation Machine’ was being born. Deng Xiaoping, having outmanoeuvred Mao Zedong’s preferred successor, began the process of reforming China’s moribund economy. In the West, liberal, free-market ideals were gaining traction, ideals that underpinned the subsequent regime of rapid, disinflationary global growth.

April 21, 2022

Inflation-linked bonds are a key defence in a world of deepening negative real yields, says Jasmine Yeo, investment manager at Ruffer LLP.

What was the real return on the US ten-year bond over the past two years? Flat? Down a little?

Wrong – down a lot. The bedrock of the balanced portfolio has delivered a real return of -20% over the past two years [1].

That’s the worst inflation-adjusted performance since 1981 [2].

Traditional balanced portfolios rely on equities and bonds fulfilling their roles – equities for good times, bonds to cushion the bad. But after a torrid three months for markets, investors are being forced to tear up the rulebook.

April 4, 2022

China’s bid for global power, climate change and the transition away from fossil fuels are three of the defining megatrends of our time. Collectively, they promise generational upheaval. But decades of peace and stability have left markets, politics, economies and societies complacent and vulnerable. It’s going to get bumpy says Ruffer LLP investment director Alexander Chartres.

China’s bid for global power, climate change and the transition away from fossil fuels are three of the defining megatrends of our time. Collectively, they promise generational upheaval. But decades of peace and stability have left markets, politics, economies and societies complacent and vulnerable. It’s going to get bumpy says Ruffer LLP investment director Alexander Chartres.

Note: This article was written in late 2021, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

March 17, 2022

Inflation is running hot, even before wage-price pressures have begun says Ruffer LLP economist Jamie Dannhauser.

Inflation is running hot, even before wage-price pressures have begun says Ruffer LLP economist Jamie Dannhauser.

Central bankers tell us the current burst of inflation will be transitory and workers will not mind the temporary squeeze on their living standards.

In today’s full employment economy, this is not convincing. The implied policy response is flawed, potentially even reckless.

March 3, 2022

Increasing inflation volatility represents the greatest challenge to investors for a generation. A new regime and the collapse of the financial market status quo requires us to reimagine portfolios. No longer can we rely on yesterday’s logic says Ruffer’s chief investment officer Henry Maxey.

Increasing inflation volatility represents the greatest challenge to investors for a generation. A new regime and the collapse of the financial market status quo requires us to reimagine portfolios. No longer can we rely on yesterday’s logic.

“Inflation is the endgame. Just brace for inflation volatility first.”

This was the punchline of my 2021 Ruffer Review article.

February 15, 2022

Inflation volatility is coming says Ruffer LLP’s investment director Duncan MacInnes.

Inflation volatility is coming says Ruffer LLP’s investment director Duncan MacInnes.

Inflation is at a 40-year high. Given Ruffer has warned against rising inflation for some time, you might be forgiven for thinking we’ve cracked open the fancy (chocolate-covered) biscuits.

Unfortunately, we cannot rest upon our laurels. Because, ironically, now inflation is perceived as a problem, we can rest assured it will soon appear ‘Transitory’. But appearances can be deceptive.

December 1, 2021

Investors have divided into two camps. Those who believe inflation will subside and the rise in prices will prove temporary. And others who fear we are entering a period of high sustained inflation reminiscent of the 1970s. We consider both scenarios unlikely.

Investors have divided into two camps. Those who believe inflation will subside and the rise in prices will prove temporary. And others who fear we are entering a period of high sustained inflation reminiscent of the 1970s. We consider both scenarios unlikely.

Overlay the bottom chart below and you would be forgiven for believing that we are now on the same trajectory as we were 50 years ago. There are parallels but to assume the economy will meet the same inflationary fate would be a grave mistake for investors.

October 27, 2021

The energy sector has fallen from 16% of the S&P 500 just 13 years ago, to below 3% as of today, as our chart shows. If you looked back to the early 1980s you would have seen it was more than 20%.

The energy sector has fallen from 16% of the S&P 500 just 13 years ago, to below 3% as of today, as our chart shows. If you looked back to the early 1980s you would have seen it was more than 20%.

If you add up all of the listed oil majors (BP, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron etc) you get a market cap less than 40% of Apple’s $2.5 trillion (1). It looks decidedly like a one way track, reflecting an irreversible change to investor sentiment, indicative of a future no longer powered by fossil fuels.

October 15, 2021

In the 26 years that Ruffer LLP has been in existence, a clear pattern has emerged. When the market mood is either complacent or ebullient, equity indices tend to rise strongly, and we lag behind them. An ‘unexpected’ crisis then hits, and Ruffer quickly recovers lost ground.

In the 26 years that Ruffer LLP has been in existence, a clear pattern has emerged. When the market mood is either complacent or ebullient, equity indices tend to rise strongly, and we lag behind them. An ‘unexpected’ crisis then hits, and Ruffer quickly recovers lost ground.

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