Sanlam MM Defensive FoF comment - Sep 18
A thawing in trade relations between the US and its key trading partners, better-than-expected corporate earnings, and solid US economic growth underpinned gains in developed market risk assets during the quarter. Global growth remains relatively resilient, but inflation risk is clearly on the rise. Although US growth is diverging somewhat from the rest of the world, leading indicators of economic activity suggest that global growth has peaked, and with it earnings growth. As such, some risk mitigation in 2019 is warranted as the late-cycle recovery wanes. Trade war concerns, while ever present in investors’ minds, were largely shrugged off. The Fed unanimously agreed to raise interest rates by 25bps, in line with market expectations. Also, the Italian bond yields reached a five-year high after the government unveiled plans for a sharp increase in public spending. Also, emerging market contagion was a key theme in the third quarter of this year. Locally, President Ramaphosa announced measures – both financial and non-financial – which is intended to revitalise the economy.
The MSCI World index delivered some 8.39% in rands, largely underpinned by the strong performance of the US equity markets reaching record highs. As such, the S&P 500 delivered some 7.71% in dollars, while its developed counterparts across the Atlantic struggled during Q3. Global bonds underperformed their risky counterparts, delivering 2.39% in rands, as the US 10-year bond yield weakened above the psychological 3% level. Emerging market bonds came under selling pressure in the first half of the quarter as capital flight resulted in bond spreads widening. The capitulation of emerging market central banks to raise rates did, however, place a floor under currencies and bonds. As such, emerging market bonds outperformed their developed counterparts, delivering some 4.78% in rands. Global listed property was muted during Q3, delivering some 0.10% in dollars and 3.35% in rands.
SA equities underperformed their developed and emerging market counterparts in Q3, delivering some -2.17%% in rands. The local market was largely driven lower by the Indi-25 index, which delivered some -8.25% in rands. Also, the Resi-20 and Fin-15 indices delivered 4.60% and 4.20% respectively in rands. Bond yields pushed higher during the course of the quarter, and eased somewhat in September. As such, the ALBI delivered some 0.81% in rands. Inflation-linked bonds underperformed their sovereign counterparts, delivering some 0.56% in rands. Also, local cash delivered some 1.76% in rands for the same period. SA listed property came under further selling pressure in Q3 and a derating of property relative to bonds accounted for the sector’s -1.01% return in rands. The derating was in all likelihood due to ongoing uncertainty about the FCSA and JSE investigation of insider trading against the Resilient Group.
The SMM Defensive Balanced FoF portfolio outperformed its benchmark over the quarter ending 30 September 2018. The biggest contributor to the outperformance was the Truffle Low Equity Fund, which performed very well in these poor market conditions, whilst Rezco and Matrix also contributed. The detractor from performance was the Satrix Low Equity Fund as beta performed poorly, particularly via domestic equity and the larger stocks such as Naspers.
The fund invests in a balanced and diversified portfolio of collective investments which invests in sectors or shares with sound growth potential in order to achieve stable income and capital growth.
This fund is a prudential fund (Regulation 28), and is thus suited to the cautious investor wanting to save for eg, retirement. The fund is suited for any investor wanting to earn a real return. This fund also provides manager diversification which should help the portfolio to have a lower volatility than similar mandated single manager portfolios.
Why Choose This Fund?
* The fund aims to provide investors with positive returns in excess of inflation over the long-term and positive returns over any 12-month period.
* The fund is diversified across the major asset classes.
* The fund is managed by a combination of leading South African investment managers.
* The multi-manager approach diversifies the portfolio across managers and management styles.
* The fund's asset allocation is appropriate for a conservative investor.
Additional Fund Information
*The fund manager may borrow up to 10% of the market value of the portfolio to bridge insufficient liquidity. A fund of funds unit trust only invests in other unit trusts, which levy their own charges, which could result in a higher fee structure for these funds.
* The fund's name, benchmark and category changed on 1 April 2004. In line with ACI regulations, the fund lost its performance history prior to 1 April 2004. The fund was previously called the Sanlam Worldwide Fund of Funds.
* This fund is also available via certain LISPs (Linked Investment Services Providers), who levy their own fees.
* Total Expense Ratio (TER): This fund (retail class) has a TER of 2.55%. For the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 March 2007 2.55% of the average net asset value of the portfolio were incurred as charges, levies and fees related to the management of the portfolio. The ratio does not include the cost of acquiring assets. A higher TER does not necessarily imply a poor return, nor does a low TER imply a good return. The current TER cannot be regarded as an indication of future TERs.