The Spanish saver Take time with the fly behind the ear. In the last quarter of the year the global stock markets panicked. This nervousness was justified by the generalized awareness of a scenario of global economic slowdown, combined with the change in direction of monetary policies. The collapse of the quotes and increased volatility brought more pessimism, as reflected in the Investor Confidence Index prepared by JP Morgan Asset Management and published exclusively by EL PAÍS. In the wave corresponding to the period between October and December, the indicator fell again for the third consecutive quarter, although it is still in positive territory.
Manuel Arroyo, investment director of JPMorgan Asset Management, believes that the good start of the year in the markets is due to a logical "adjustment" after the "excessive punishment" suffered by most of the assets during the last stretch of 2018. "It is true that we are in a lower growth environment, both in developed and emerging countries. But it keeps growing. In our forecasts we do not see that neither the United States nor any other large economy goes into recession in the short term, "he points out. In addition, he points out as another catalyst that has pushed up the stock market since January messages from central banks, especially the Federal Reserve, on a possible brake to the rate of increases in interest rates.
Arroyo believes that what investors should do is "readjust their profitability expectations" to this new environment in which not only will macroeconomic data slow down "but also business profits".
In recent months, the US manager has been reducing the weight of equities in their portfolios. "It's a gradual decline and it's not an underweight of the stock at all." JP Morgan AM is committed to strategies that historically tend to do well in the final phases of economic cycles. "It's mainly about absolute return strategies where managers have more flexibility to get short [vender] or long [comprar]"
In a market moment with lower potential returns in almost all assets, choosing the right currency to invest is key. "After its appreciation in 2018, the dollar is the least attractive currency by valuation. From now on we should see a weaker dollar. "
The key question to elaborate the index is the one that asks the respondents (1.369 in this sample) to point How do you think the stock market will evolve? in the next six months. The group of optimists – are "likely" or "very likely" that the market rises to stand at 30.9% of total respondents, practically the same weight as in the third quarter. However, the group of pessimists increases (they foresee falls in equities), which now represent 24% compared to 20.7%. The group of those who think that the market will remain at six months seen at current levels decreases and accounts for 45% of opinions while in the third quarter of 2018 it was 48.2%.
Fear of another crisis
Among the reasons offered by pessimists to justify their forecast of falls in the indices, the most repeated is the fear of another economic crisis world. Internally, the current political situation in Spain also weighs in its spirit (although less than in the previous quarter). Another quite repeated response has to do with the uncertainty generated by the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
As it has happened in other times of uncertainty, Spanish investors feel more comfortable with those markets they know best, that is, European and Spanish. This is reflected in the answers to the question on which stock market they think will evolve better in the next six months. 31% of the respondents point to European equities as the assets with the greatest potential, followed by the shares of Spanish companies (24.6%).
A novel datum of the latest report of the US fund manager is on the future intention of citizens when hiring investment products. Almost all options (stock market, fixed income, real estate, funds, pension plans) rise, minus deposits. The traditional refuge of the most conservative savers loses appeal in the face of the prospect that interest rates will eventually not rise as quickly as originally anticipated. Even so, it remains the majority investment option (40.7% will buy a deposit in the next semester).
41.7% of the participants in the survey recognize that their main incentive when investing is "do not lose money", a percentage very similar to the previous wave. 29.5% of savers explain that they are willing to extract part of the potential return in exchange for "certain security". Investors with greater tolerance to risk, that is, their goal when they play their money is to achieve "maximum profitability" grew in the fourth quarter to represent 28.8% compared to 25.2% in the previous period.