We at Zurich maintain that we are not market forecasters and the tumultuous events seen in 2016 and into 2017 underscore that stance. Being in tune with market trends, having a flexible stance whilst maintaining conviction is our approach, and one we have persisted with for many years now.
Historical patterns suggest to us that the remainder of 2017; and into 2018, could be another period of volatility. We believe that volatility presents opportunities for active managers, and the active asset allocation decisions that we made, in particular in the latter part of the 2016 and into 2017, has led to strong returns across the large majority of our funds.
We see two main trends continuing for the rest of 2017 - volatility across asset classes, and positive returns from equities. Dutch and French elections, the new US administration, and the formal signalling of Brexit were all highlighted by commentators as potential events to derail markets. However, many of the same commentators have been confounded by how quickly equity markets regained their poise and moved higher shortly after those events. We remain focused on our top-down view of the world - where economic and market cycles drive asset allocation preferences - combined with a due regard for price trends and risk control. We feel that the balance of evidence backs our current market stance: namely heavy equity positions and low fixed income weightings.
To read the Investment Outlook 2017: The half-year update in full download the pdf here