Many of today’s younger fund managers – for example those who started their careers in 2007 or later – have only known an environment in which growth equities have outperformed value equities. Indeed, many industry discussions at conferences we attend discuss the view that growth is the only way forward, particularly in the United States. Many analysts in particular are unable to fathom why anyone would adopt a value bias, in any circumstance!
It has been a tricky environment for UK equity income investors in 2017 so far, with a number of stock and sector-specific issues. For example, companies such as AstraZeneca and Provident Financial suffered significant share price falls, whilst the shock announcement from the US Food & Drug Administration on future tobacco regulation had a big impact on the sector.
In 2016, we timed the portfolio shifts of the CF Canlife Global Equity and CF Canlife North American funds very well, rotating our overweights into the more value areas of the market as economic indicators – such as the Citigroup Economic Surprise Index – began to suggest that consensus views were too bearish.