- Results of the Natixis Investment Managers mid-year survey of 42 experts show that even as the market considers the first real dose of inflation in 13 years, complacency may actually be the biggest risk facing investors.
- Despite big returns from investment markets, the global economy has not yet fully reopened. More than half (57%) of strategists project it will take another six to nine months for the world to fully reopen.
- Looking at a post-pandemic world, respondents saw little change in the projected winners compared to last year’s survey. This year, strategists call for technology (88%), healthcare (83%), Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing (76%), and housing (74%) to be the winners from the crisis.
- Half (48%) of strategists say ESG investments are becoming mainstream and a quarter (26%) call them a must-have.
More than a year into the pandemic, with light at the end of the tunnel, Natixis experts believe that long-term consequences of the last year will be slow to unfold. Still, the year-end outlook remains constructive with few risks on the horizon, suggesting investors best keep their eyes wide open as the long-term effects slowly begin to unfold. The “Roaring Twenties” lived up to the hype in the first half of 2021 as most major indexes posted double-digit returns and, looking into the second half of the year, strategists said along with rising returns, investors should watch inflation and valuations.
“The Wall of Worry continues to keep sentiment in check. We hear a lot of concerns about peak growth and we remind investors to not confuse peak growth and peak momentum. We expect the pace of the recovery to ease but ease to levels that are still very supportive for corporate earnings,” says Jack Janasiewicz, Portfolio Manager & Portfolio Strategist for Natixis Investment Managers Solutions.
Is Complacency the Real Risk?
No single risk stood out for Natixis strategists in this annual survey, with no risk factor rated above an average of 7 on a scale of 10. Taken together, the views suggest that investors should monitor risks and investors be on the watch for potential headwinds.
“Indications are that inflation will prove transitory, driven by consumers fresh out of lockdown and flush with cash, coupled with supply chain bottlenecks. But the risks are clearly to the upside. Even the Fed had to acknowledge that inflation would run hot in 2021, though it is confident it will not spiral beyond that,” said Lynda Schweitzer, Co-Team Leader of Global Fixed Income, Loomis Sayles.
Source: Natixis Strategist Midyear Outlook Survey as of July 2021
Value Continues to Lead in Equities
One of the key market trends to come out of the pandemic has been the rotation to value investing. Looking into the second half of the year, 64% of those surveyed say value has at least a few more months to run, though only a quarter (26%) believe that outperformance could last for a few years. Only 10% believe the value run is already over, a sentiment that was strongest among the 21% of respondents who see markets stalling in the last two quarters of 2021.
“For value to continue to outperform, we will need inflation to prove transitory and further fiscal spending by the federal government,” says Chris Wallis, Chief Investment Officer, Vaughan Nelson Investment Management.
It All Comes Down to the Fed
Of all factors that could impact market performance over the second half of 2021, strategists say that Fed moves matter most, rating them 7.2 out of 10.
The outlook for emerging markets in the second half of the year is also dependent on the Fed, according to our respondents. Emerging market1 outperformance is dependent on a stable dollar and stable rates.
Will EM Equities Outperform DM in H2 2021?
Source: Natixis Strategist Midyear Survey as of July 2021
In considering two of the leading investment stories to come out of the pandemic, Natixis strategists have the strongest convictions about ESG investing.2 Throughout the pandemic, ESG strategies generated impressive results in terms of both returns and asset growth.
While cryptocurrencies have been grabbing headlines over the past year, not one of the 42 strategists surveyed believes cryptocurrencies are a bona fide alternative to traditional currencies.
Post-Pandemic Winners Remain the Same
As we start to look post-pandemic, respondents saw little change in the projected post-pandemic winners compared to last year’s survey. This year, strategists call for technology (88%), healthcare (83%), ESG investing (76%), and housing (74%) to be the winners from the crisis.
Given that nearly six in ten strategists (57%) put stay-at-home business in the winners’ column, it appears many think it will take time for the sector to mirror the return to the office. Convictions do not run as strong for energy (38% winner, 62% loser) and travel (52% winner, 48% loser), an outlook that aligns with a full reopening sometime in the first half of 2022 rather than the last half of 2021.
The full survey can be found here.
2 Sustainable investing focuses on investments in companies that relate to certain sustainable development themes and demonstrate adherence to environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices; therefore the universe of investments may be limited and investors may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as investors that do not use such criteria. This could have a negative impact on an investor’s overall performance depending on whether such investments are in or out of favor.
About the Natixis Strategist Outlook
The Natixis Strategist Outlook is based on responses from 42 experts including 32 representatives from 16 of Natixis’ affiliated asset managers, 5 representatives from Natixis Investment Managers and 5 representatives from Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking.
- Adam Abbas, Portfolio Manager and Co-Head of Fixed Income, Harris Associates
- Michael Acton, CFA®, Managing Director, Head of Research, AEW Capital Management
- Carl Auffret, CFA®, Fund Manager, European Growth Equity, DNCA Investments3
- Pierre Barral, Head of Absolute Return Portfolio Management, Natixis Investment Managers Solutions
- Benito Berber, Chief Economist for Latin America, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking
- Axel Botte, Global Strategist, Ostrum Asset Management
- Michael Buckius, CFA®, Chief Investment Officer, Gateway Investment Advisers
- Craig Burelle, Senior Macro Strategies Analyst, Loomis Sayles
- Rafael Calvo, Managing Partner, Head of Senior Debt and Co-Head of Origination, MV Credit
- François-Xavier Chauchat, Global Economist and member of the Investment Committee, Dorval Asset Management
- Isaac Chebar, Fund Manager, European Value Equity, DNCA Investments3
- Elisabeth Colleran, CFA®, Portfolio Manager, Emerging Markets Debt Team, Loomis Sayles
- Mounir Corm, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Founding Partner, Vauban Infrastructure Partners
- Michael Crowell, Co-Director of Macro Strategies and Director of Quantitative Research Risk Analysis, Loomis Sayles
- Carmine de Franco, PhD, Head of Fundamental Research, Ossiam
- Stéphane Déo, Head of Markets Strategy, Ostrum Asset Management
- Esty Dwek, Head of Global Market Strategy, Natixis Investment Managers Solutions
- Amber Fairbanks, CFA®, Portfolio Manager, Global Equity, Mirova US4
- Jean-Jacques Friedman, Chief Investment Officer, Vega Investment Managers5
- Pascal Gilbert, Fund Manager, Fixed Income and Global Macro, DNCA Investments3
- James Grabovac, CFA®, Investment Strategist, Municipal Fixed Income Team, Loomis Sayles
- Alexander Healy, PhD, Chief investment Officer and Portfolio Manager, AlphaSimplex Group
- Brian Horrigan, CFA®, Chief Economist, Loomis Sayles
- Jack Janasiewicz, CFA®, SVP, Portfolio Manager & Portfolio Strategist, Natixis Investment Managers
- Nicolas Just, CFA®, Deputy CIO and CEO, Seeyond
- Kathryn Kaminski, PhD, CAIA, Chief Research Strategist & Portfolio Manager, AlphaSimplex Group
- Brian P. Kennedy, Portfolio Manager, Full Discretion Team, Loomis Sayles
- Karen Kharmandarian, Chairman and Partner, Thematics Asset Management
- Ibrahima Kobar, Deputy CEO, Global CIO, Ostrum Asset Management
- Joseph Lavorgna, Chief Economist for the Americas, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking
- Troy Ludtka, US Economist, Cross Asset Research, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking
- Garrett Melson, CFA®, Portfolio Strategist, Natixis Investment Managers
- Jean-Charles Mériaux, Chief Investment Officer and Fund Manager, DNCA Investments3
- Jens Peers, CFA®, CEO and CIO, Mirova US4
- Cyril Regnat, Head of Research Solutions, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking
- Lynne Royer, Portfolio Manager, Co-Head of Disciplined Alpha Team, Loomis Sayles
- Dirk Schumacher, Head of European Macro Research, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking
- Lynda L. Schweitzer, CFA®, Portfolio Manager, Co-Team Leader of Global Fixed Income Team, Loomis Sayles
- Christopher Sharpe, CFA®, SVP, Portfolio Manager, Natixis Investment Managers
- Frank Trividic, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Seeyond
- Hans Vrensen, CFA®, MRE, Managing Director and Head of Research & Strategy, AEW Europe
- Chris D. Wallis, CFA®, CPA, CEO, CIO, Senior Portfolio Manager, Vaughan Nelson Investment Management
Natixis Investment Managers serves financial professionals with more insightful ways to construct portfolios. Powered by the expertise of more than 20 specialized investment managers globally, we apply Active Thinking® to deliver proactive solutions that help clients pursue better outcomes in all markets. Natixis Investment Managers ranks among the world’s largest asset management firms1 with more than $1.3 trillion assets under management2 (€1,152.8 billion).
Headquartered in Paris and Boston, Natixis Investment Managers is a subsidiary of Natixis. Listed on the Paris Stock Exchange, Natixis is a subsidiary of BPCE, the second-largest banking group in France. Natixis Investment Managers’ affiliated investment management firms include AEW; Alliance Entreprendre; AlphaSimplex Group; DNCA Investments;4 Dorval Asset Management; Flexstone Partners; Gateway Investment Advisers; Harris Associates; Investors Mutual Limited; Loomis, Sayles & Company; Mirova3; MV Credit; Naxicap Partners; Ossiam; Ostrum Asset Management; Seeyond; Seventure Partners; Thematics Asset Management; Vauban Infrastructure Partners; Vaughan Nelson Investment Management; Vega Investment Managers;5 and WCM Investment Management. Additionally, investment solutions are offered through Natixis Investment Managers Solutions, and Natixis Advisors offers other investment services through its AIA and MPA division. Not all offerings available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit Natixis Investment Managers’ website at im.natixis.com | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/natixis-investment-managers.
2 Assets under management (“AUM”) as of March 31, 2021 is $1,354.8 billion. AUM, as reported, may include notional assets, assets serviced, gross assets, assets of minority-owned affiliated entities and other types of non-regulatory AUM managed or serviced by firms affiliated with Natixis Investment Managers. Excluding H2O Asset Management.
3 A brand of DNCA Finance.
4 Operated in the US through Mirova US, LLC (Mirova US). Prior to April 1, 2019, Mirova operated through Ostrum Asset Management US, LLC (Ostrum US).
5 A wholly-owned subsidiary of Natixis Wealth Management.