Fund Return 2022-2023

Fund return to 30th July 2022

Fund

Performance

 

1 month

Scheme Year to Date

1 Year

 

 

 

CERS Multi Asset Fund

4.2%

0.8%

1.1%

CERS Bond Fund

10.8%

4.4%

-20.6%

CERS Cash Fund

-0.1%

-0.1%

-1.0%

CERS Equity Fund

8.2%

0.7%

-2.4%

CERS Property Fund

1.5%

2.4%

6.7%

CERS Alternative Asset Fund

0.4%

-1.3%

3.6%


Investment Commentary

Provided by Mercer - CERS Investment Adviser

Market Developments

Equities staged a recovery rally during July despite economic data continuing to deteriorate. US GDP declined for the second consecutive quarter, marking what is by some definitions a technical recession. Earnings growth also continued to slow. The clearest catalyst for the recovery was the decline in longer term interest rates, suggesting the Fed would not have to tighten policy as much to control inflation. Growth stocks outperformed value and the US outperformed the rest of the world. China was the only major country with significantly negative returns.

Bond returns were positive as well. Falling yields and spreads supported fixed income assets. High yield spreads declined sharply, supported by risk-on sentiment and elevated spreads drawing some investors to the space.

Commodities indices also performed well, driven by the roll yield on futures even though spot prices for oil and wheat saw another month of decline. Wheat prices saw some relief, driven by an agreement between Russia and Ukraine to allow merchant ships to use their ports again, which is bringing back supply from two of the world’s most important wheat producers.

Inflation continued to accelerate across the world. For the US, UK and Eurozone, inflation exceeded previous multi-decade highs even though market-based inflation expectations declined. US inflation breakeven rates remain in line with the Fed’s long-term inflation target. Central banks continued their hiking cycle with interest rate increases in all major economies except Japan and China. In the US, Congress passed legislation aimed at revitalizing domestic semiconductor manufacturing. Key Democrats in the Senate have reached agreement to move forward with parts of President Biden’s agenda through the budget reconciliation process later in the year.

Russia and Ukraine remain in a stalemate on the Eastern front. The resignation of Prime Minister Draghi is leading to another general election in Italy, which is facing a major economic downturn and higher costs to serve its enormous debt.

The US dollar’s performance was mixed this month, strengthening against the euro and most emerging market economies but weakening against the yen, Australian dollar and Canadian dollar. Gold declined by 1.4%, its fourth consecutive monthly decline. Bitcoin recovered to above $20k during July, gaining over 25% for the month.

Outlook

Inflationary pressures that began bubbling during the Covid crisis have come to a head, and central banks are fighting it by engineering an economic slowdown. Risks remain high in some markets, but in others there are grounds for optimism and buying opportunities. The global economy is facing significant cyclical pressures. After an unprecedented recession driven by the COVID-19 crisis, economies have recovered aggressively. However, that recovery has outpaced capacity and, combined with supply chain disruptions, high commodity prices and tight labour markets, has ignited inflation across both developed and emerging markets. Although some emerging Asian economies, such as China and India, are not witnessing the same price pressures as the rest of the world.

The Federal Reserve (Fed) and other central banks have begun tightening monetary policies to curb these inflationary pressures. A slowdown is now inevitable, it is necessary to ensure inflation – wage inflation, in particular – does not become entrenched. The Fed’s response has been belated, but we believe inflation is likely to be brought back towards the 2% target over the medium term, consistent with sustainable growth in the US.

Further, our base case is that this can be achieved without a deep recession as we believe the global economy is fundamentally resilient. We believe that the excess savings accumulated over the COVID crisis and healthy corporate balance sheets are likely to provide a valuable cushion in a period of tightening financial conditions and economic slowdown. Although our base case is for inflation to be tamed without going through a period of deep recession, the risk of recession is elevated.

Geopolitical turbulence, volatile markets, tightening financial conditions and sharply rising global inflation have defined the first half of 2022. Central banks’ fight with inflation will slow economies down. The question is whether that leads to a soft landing or a hard one. We lean towards the former rather than the latter, although acknowledge that the range of outcomes is larger than normal given the unprecedented events in recent years. In our central case of a soft landing, we believe certain growth fixed income segments offer value while we believe the outlook for equities is more balanced with a slight favour for small-caps. We are neutral on sovereign duration. In currencies, we see opportunities in Japanese yen as a hedge against possible recessionary outcomes.


Notes

Scheme Year to date performance is the period from 1 June 2022 to the most recent month shown.

  • 1 Year performance is the cumulative performance of the last 12 months to the most recent month shown.
  • Multi Asset Fund performance assumes no lifestyling.
  • Performance shown is net of annual management charge.
  • The investment choices offered by the Trustee will be regularly reviewed and may be varied from time to time.

Before you choose a fund we recommend that you speak to a financial adviser. The CERS Trustee preferred financial adviser is Milestone Advisory DAC. You can contact them or your own financial adviser to assist you to review your investment choices. You can contact Milestone Advisory DAC via the website (www.milestoneadvisory.ie), by post: Linden House, 4 Clonskeagh Square, Clonskeagh Road, Dublin 14, D14 FH90, by email (info@milestoneadvisory.ie), or by phone (01) 4068020. Milestone Advisory DAC t/a Milestone Advisory is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

If you require further information please contact the CERS Team at info@cers.ie

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