01 Feb 2024
Author: Alexander Pelteshki - CFA
The final two months of 2023 were among the strongest on record for global bonds. The catalysts were expectations of imminent global central bank easing combined with growth holding up quite well. The result was that all asset classes fundamentally repriced the investment outlook, and bonds were not left behind.
So far, 2024 has started pretty much the same way that 2023 finished. Animal spirits are alive and well, with new records almost daily in terms of bond supply and a market which is subsequently eager to absorb this new issuance. It is clear that investors have finally warmed up to bonds and are now allocating in size to it, after a near two-year pause.
We expect to see this trend continue well into the year. Granted, we are now off the recent highest point in bond yields, but long-term bond markets continue to look very attractive to us. Fixed income continues to offer the same fundamental, attractive characteristics versus most other asset classes. Investors can still pick up yield and move up the capital structure by simply re-allocating their portfolio to investment grade bonds from equity. They can build a true defensive income generating portfolio with bonds only, instead of chasing riskier alternatives with capital at risk. And they can also improve liquidity while picking up the yield on offer. For as long as at least two of these three characteristics remain in place, it is difficult to turn bearish on bonds.
For our strategic bond strategy, the recent change in Central Bank rhetoric means that while the market scenarios ahead remain binary, the distribution of the ‘tail risks’ outcomes have narrowed. Overall, we are less bearish on growth and less worried about inflation compared to six months ago.
This material is provided by Aegon Asset Management (Aegon AM) as general information and is intended exclusively for institutional and wholesale investors, as well as professional clients (as defined by local laws and regulation) and other Aegon AM stakeholders.
This document is for informational purposes only in connection with the marketing and advertising of products and services, and is not investment research, advice or a recommendation. It shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation to buy any investment nor shall any offer of products or services be made to any person in any jurisdiction where unlawful or unauthorized. Any opinions, estimates, or forecasts expressed are the current views of the author(s) at the time of publication and are subject to change without notice. The research taken into account in this document may or may not have been used for or be consistent with all Aegon AM investment strategies. References to securities, asset classes and financial markets are included for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon to assist or inform the making of any investment decisions. It has not been prepared in accordance with any legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research, and may have been acted upon by Aegon AM and Aegon AM staff for their own purposes.
The information contained in this material does not take into account any investor's investment objectives, particular needs, or financial situation. It should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter and should not be relied upon as such. Nothing in this material constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a representation that any investment or strategy is suitable or appropriate to any particular investor. Reliance upon information in this material is at the sole discretion of the recipient. Investors should consult their investment professional prior to making an investment decision. Aegon Asset Management is under no obligation, expressed or implied, to update the information contained herein. Neither Aegon Asset Management nor any of its affiliated entities are undertaking to provide impartial investment advice or give advice in a fiduciary capacity for purposes of any applicable US federal or state law or regulation. By receiving this communication, you agree with the intended purpose described above.
Past performance is not a guide to future performance. All investments contain risk and may lose value. This document contains "forward-looking statements" which are based on Aegon AM's beliefs, as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events, based on information currently available. These statements involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions which are difficult to predict. Consequently, such statements cannot be guarantees of future performance, and actual outcomes and returns may differ materially from statements set forth herein.
The following Aegon affiliates are collectively referred to herein as Aegon Asset Management: Aegon USA Investment Management, LLC (Aegon AM US), Aegon USA Realty Advisors, LLC (Aegon RA), Aegon Asset Management UK plc (Aegon AM UK), and Aegon Investment Management B.V. (Aegon AM NL). Each of these Aegon Asset Management entities is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aegon Ltd. In addition, Aegon Private Fund Management (Shanghai) Co., a partially owned affiliate, may also conduct certain business activities under the Aegon Asset Management brand.
Aegon AM UK is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 144267) and is additionally a registered investment adviser with the United States (US) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Aegon AM US and Aegon RA are both US SEC registered investment advisers.
Aegon AM NL is registered with the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets as a licensed fund management company and on the basis of its fund management license is also authorized to provide individual portfolio management and advisory services in certain jurisdictions. Aegon AM NL has also entered into a participating affiliate arrangement with Aegon AM US. Aegon Private Fund Management (Shanghai) Co., Ltd is regulated by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and the Asset Management Association of China (AMAC) for Qualified Investors only; ©2022 Aegon Asset Management or its affiliates. All rights reserved.