UBS Investor Forum

Challenging the UBS House View

Every month, we invite global investment leaders from the fund management industry to challenge our UBS House View. We address global financial questions to make sure we never sin by over-confidence.


What are key trends investors should expect in 2018?

View from the Street

UBS view

Certain broad investing principles will be as important in 2018 as in any other year. There will be plenty of risks to investors over the coming year, from geopolitical threats such as the North Korean crisis to the possibility of policy error as central banks start to lessen monetary stimulus. Since it is never clear which risks will materialize, diversification will be key, both geographically and among asset classes. But we believe that the strength of the global economy and earnings growth will enable equities to continue to grind higher. We remain overweight global equities.

Will 2018 be similar to 2017?

Poll Form

Where are the best opportunities at this stage of the business cycle?

View from the street

Laurent Clavel, Head of Macroeconomic Research at AXA Investment Managers
13th November 2017

UBS view

At UBS, we remain overweight global equities. Data this month showed that the US economy enjoyed its best back-to-back quarterly growth since 2014, expanding at a brisk 3% pace in the third quarter. And US earnings per share were up around 7% in the third quarter, with a particularly strong performance by technology firms. The Eurozone, meanwhile, is on track for the fastest annual growth rate in a decade this year. We don't expect global equities to return another 20% annually, and equity valuations are now close to or above their 20-year averages in most regions. But we believe strong earnings growth should help stocks continue to generate positive returns.

Do you agree with Laurent's view?

Poll Form

What is the most attractive opportunity in the debt space?

View from the Street

Sebastien Eisinger, Deputy CEO & Head of Investments at Pictet Asset Management
13th November 2017

UBS view

Yields are low across all fixed income asset classes, providing a challenging backdrop for bond investors. But some areas still look more attractive than others. We at UBS think emerging market bonds are among the most attractive investment opportunities within the bond universe. Meanwhile, we recommend reducing exposure to high yield bonds in euro, where yields at all-time lows do not compensate well for the risks. We also think investors with suitable risk and liquidity requirements should still find value in US and European senior loans. We currently prefer a neutral duration position, as financial markets price in a reasonable outlook on monetary policy and inflation, in our view.

Do you see value in emerging market debt?

Poll Form

What is the outlook on emerging markets?

View from the Street

Jaco Rouw, Senior Portfolio Manager at NN Investment Partners
13th November 2017

UBS view

At UBS, we agree that fundamentals in emerging markets are strengthening. Credit spreads should remain supported near current levels by firming economic growth, the recent increase in energy prices and a benign external backdrop. On the other hand, US policy uncertainty, geopolitical tensions around North Korea or in the Middle East, or resurfacing worries around China's growth outlook could weigh on emerging market assets. We remain neutral on emerging markets in globally diversified portfolios.

Are you optimistic on emerging markets?

Poll Form

What is the impact of unilateral US trade deals? 

View from the Street

Lucy O'Carroll, Chief Economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments
13th November 2017

UBS view

The Trump administration believes that it will be able to achieve better results for the US through bilateral trade deals than it could with multilateral deals. As the largest economy in the world, the US could potentially wring out concessions from its trading partners that they wouldn't offer to other countries. However, one potential downside is that it could take a very long time to first negotiate deals and then have those deals approved by Congress one country at a time. From the point of view of US exporters, multilateral deals could potentially have a greater impact by opening up access to many markets at once.

Do you agree with Lucy's view?

Poll Form

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