The likely challenge over the next few years is likely to be to preserve, rather than seek higher returns on capital. This is particularly important given that global central banks are currently withdrawing monetary easing. We believe that active management will be crucial in this kind of market environment, particularly in the short-dated corporate credit space.
We have often talked about the extraordinary bull market we have witnessed in bonds in recent history, with 10-year UK gilt yields falling from 15% in 1974 to just 1% today. However, the long-term data shows that – although 2016 and 2017 have seen the lowest yields in the history of the UK gilt market – they are not that anomalous. Indeed, the incredibly high yields of the 1970s and 1980s look to be the anomalies in this context.