Posts tagged: investments

Opinion. The Future of Automotive and Related Industries

A Columbia University study suggested that with a fleet of just 9,000 autonomous cars, Uber could replace every taxi cab in New York City – passengers would wait an average of 36 seconds for a ride that costs about $0.50 per mile. Such convenience and low cost will make car ownership inconceivable, and autonomous, on-demand taxis – the ‘transportation cloud’ – will quickly become dominant form of transportation – displacing far more than just car ownership, it will take the majority of users away from public transportation as well. With their $41 billion valuation, replacing all 171,000 taxis in the United States is well within the realm of feasibility – at a cost of $25,000 per car, the rollout would cost a mere $4.3 billion.

 

- Car ownership has been rising with the growing global middleclass. There are 3.5 billion or so global middle and this could rise to 5.5 billion by 2030
- Self driving cars will start bending that curve or car and vehicle ownership and the growth of driving and driving related jobs
- Intel just announced they will spend $15.3 billion to buy Mobileye (a maker of self driving car components)
- Qualcomm spent $47 billion to buy NXP, the largest automotive chip supplier
- Google, Uber, Ford, Tesla, Nvidia and others are pushing hard to make self driving cars
- Regulation and laws

 

Peak Car – Rise and fall or car ownership

According to a forecast by PwC, a total of 107.4 million vehicles will be manufactured worldwide in 2020. Globally over 90 million motor vehicles were produced in 2015 and there were about 73 million passenger cars built.

Self driving cars will mean that far fewer drivers and cars and trucks will be needed to fulfill many of the motor vehicle related tasks.
- Commuting
- Delivery of goods
- Non-commuting passenger travel Read more »

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The guideline for emotional investors

Investors are more likely to reach their long-term goals if they remain invested and avoid short-term decisions that may take them off course. As the hypothetical example below shows, investors may make suboptimal decisions when emotions take over, tending to buy out of excitement when the market is going up and sell out of fear when the market is falling. Markets do ultimately normalize, and when they do, those who stay invested may benefit more than those who don’t.

To help reason prevail, first make sure you’re comfortable with your allocation to riskier assets and that it makes sense in light of your time horizon. You also need a logical framework for financial decisions and a plan that anticipates periods of market turbulence. A systematic approach for reviewing portfolio results, with pre-established guidelines for selling, may help as well.

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Something important about S&P 500 Index (as of Feb. 28, 2017)

S&P Index at inflection points

Source: J.P.Morgan Asset Management, as of Feb. 28, 2017

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Something important about the global bond market (as of Feb. 28, 2017)

           Source: J.P.Morgan Asset Management

 

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One Opinion About QE

Bill Gross: “The expansion of central bank balance sheets from perhaps $2 trillion in 2003 to a now gargantuan $12 trillion at the end of 2016 is remarkable. Not only did central banks buy $10 trillion of bonds, but they lowered policy rates to near 0% and in some cases, negative yields.

Withdrawal of stimulus, as has happened with the Fed in the past few years, seemingly must be replaced by an increased flow of asset purchases (bonds and stocks) from other central banks, as shown in Chart below. A client asked me recently when the Fed or other central banks would ever be able to sell their assets back into the market. My answer was “NEVER”. A $12 trillion global central bank balance sheet is PERMANENT – and growing at over $1 trillion a year, thanks to the ECB and the BOJ.

 

Chart: Central Bank Balance Sheet (US$)

 

An investor must know that it is this money that now keeps the system functioning. Without it, even 0% policy rates are like methadone – cancelling the craving but not overcoming the addiction. The relevant point of all this for today’s financial markets? A 2.45%, 10-year U.S.Treasury rests at 2.45% because the ECB and BOJ are buying $150 billion a month of their own bonds and much of that money then flows from 10 basis points JGB’s and 45 basis point Bunds into 2.45% U.S. Treasuries. Read more »

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US economic indicators in one chart

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Trading Is Hazardous to Your Wealth

“Individual investors who hold common stocks directly pay a tremendous performance penalty for active trading. Of 66,465 households with accounts at a large discount broker during 1991 to 1996, those that trade most earn an annual return of 11.4 percent, while the market returns 17.9 percent. The average household earns an annual return of 16.4 percent, tilts its common stock investment toward high-beta, small, value stocks, and turns over 75 percent of its portfolio annually. Overconfidence can explain high trading levels and the resulting poor performance of individual investors. Our central message is that trading is hazardous to your wealth.

 

 

The white bar represents the net annualized geometric mean return for February 1991 through January 1997 for individual investor quintiles based on monthly turnover, the average individual investor, and the S&P 500. Read more »

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Harvard Management Company: Annual Endowment Report, Sep. 2016

“For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016, the return on the Harvard endowment was (2.0)%, resulting in a relative return to its benchmark of (300) basis points. The value of the endowment on June 30, 2016, was $35.7 billion. The low interest rate environment and market volatility of the past fiscal year presented a number of challenges to generating returns. However, we recognize that execution was also a key factor in this year’s disappointing results.

 

 

The last ten years, inclusive of the global financial crisis, have been challenging for the Harvard endowment. However, over the last twenty years the endowment has returned 10.4% annualized, exceeding the average annual return on the benchmark portfolio of 7.7%. The value of $1,000 invested in the Harvard endowment has significantly outpaced both a traditional US and Global 60/40 mix of stock and bonds over the same time period. Read more »

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Vanguard: The Disruptive Innovation Company

Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment companies, offering a large selection of low-cost mutual funds, ETFs, advice, and related services. From its start in 1975, Vanguard has stood out as a very different kind of investment firm. Vanguard was founded on a simple but revolutionary idea—that a mutual fund company should be managed in the sole interest of its fund shareholders. Founder John C. Bogle structured Vanguard as a client-owned mutual fund company with no outside owners seeking profits.

  • More than $3 trillion in global assets under management, as of December 31, 2015
  • About 175 U.S. funds (including variable annuity portfolios) and about 145 additional funds in markets outside the United States, as of December 31, 2015
  • More than 20 million investors, in about 170 countries, as of December 31, 2015
  • Average expense ratio: 0.18% (U.S. fund expenses as a percentage of 2015 average net assets)

 

Vanguard is different from the rest

Vanguard's unique ownership structure, the Vanguard funds own Vanguard

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BlackRock Investment Institute: Asset Class Expected Return For 5 Years and Long-Term

The BlackRock Investment Institute publishes capital market assumptions and asset class return every quarter. Five-year and long-term equilibrium annualised return assumptions are in geometric terms. There are long-term volatility and correlation assumptions. Global equities are represented by the MSCI World ex USA Index in the correlation assumptions; global treasuries by the Barclays Global Aggregate Treasury Index ex US. We break down each asset class into factor exposures and analyse those factors’ historical volatilities and correlations over the past 15 years. Expected return estimates are subject to uncertainty and error. Expected returns for each asset class can be conditional on economic scenarios; in the event a particular scenario comes to pass, actual returns could be significantly higher or lower than forecasted.

 

Fixed Income

Source: BlackRock Investment Institute, July 2016.

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