Fund Return 2022-2023

Fund return to 30 November 2022

Fund

Performance

 

1 month

Scheme Year to Date

1 Year

 

 

 

CERS Multi Asset Fund

2.5%

0.2%

-1.4%

CERS Bond Fund

8.2%

-7.2%

-28.8%

CERS Cash Fund

0.0%

-0.2%

-0.7%

CERS Equity Fund

4.8%

-0.7%

-7.4%

CERS Property Fund

0.0%

2.9%

5.9%

CERS Alternative Asset Fund

0.4%

0.1%

4.7%


Investment Commentary

Provided by Mercer - CERS Investment Adviser

Market Developments

After two consecutive months of drawdowns across most asset classes, October saw a notable rebound in developed market equities and growth fixed income. Defensive fixed income saw modest declines, while emerging market assets had negative returns driven largely by declines in Chinese equities.

US GDP for Q3 showed a return to growth after modest declines earlier in the year.  This was mainly due to higher energy exports and lower import demand. Consumer confidence bounced back, but retail sales were flat and the composite purchasing manager index remained in contractionary territory. While the UK and Eurozone are facing more significant headwinds, Eurozone GDP remained positive in Q3. GDP data from China rebounded, largely driven by infrastructure investment, while the property market and consumption remain weak.

Sentiment generally improved during the month, given the absence of bad news beyond what is already priced in. Earnings growth appears to be slowing in line with the weakening macro environment, although US earnings data for Q3 surprised on the upside as a whole, supporting markets. Value outperformed growth by a wide margin as disappointing earnings led to declines for some large US tech companies in late October.

Fixed income returns were mixed. Government bonds in the US suffered from rising rates while they recovered in the UK amid a significant decline in rates. High yield returns were strong as a substantial decline in credit spreads offset rising rates.

Commodities had a strong month mainly because of a sharp increase in oil prices, following OPEC’s announcement of production cuts. US inflation for September was not well received as inflation moved higher. Inflation figures were also disappointing in other major regions.

The political situation in the UK appears to have stabilized following the announcement of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister. The US imposed broad sanctions on semiconductor exports to China, and China’s Party Congress re-elected President Xi Jinping for a third term. Brazil re-elected former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Iran saw mass protests and North Korea resumed missile testing.

The US dollar weakened in October as risk on sentiment reduced demand for safe haven assets, while sterling enjoyed a recovery rally on hopes for a return of political stability and fiscal responsibility.

Outlook

We expect global economic growth to remain soft for the next few quarters as most central banks, especially in the developed world (ex Japan) raise interest rates to intentionally lead to a period of sub-trend growth with the goal of loosening labour markets and thus wages and inflation. Central banks will also continue with their quantitative tightening (QT) programs as they continue to reduce the size of their balance sheets.

Inflation looks to have peaked in the US and some other countries although it remains unclear when inflation will return to normal levels. The main exceptions to this peaking of inflation are in Europe where the surge in electricity and gas prices is likely to keep inflation near current levels in 2023.

There are a large number of big cross currents in markets, each having the potential to move markets dramatically. On the one hand high inflation, rising interest rates, geopolitical tensions and soft growth create a negative backdrop to risk markets. On the other hand, valuations are more attractive, sentiment is very soft and the Fed might start to bring its tightening campaign to a close at some point over the next few months.

As a result we remain neutral. We have however moved to a modest overweight position in growth fixed income. We think high yield could attract inflows with the overall yields near 10%, the highest in many years. In addition, we think the corporate sector is in a robust financial position, which should help keep defaults relatively modest.

 

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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