‘The market has changed’: Here’s what to do about it

A young woman sits at her desk in deep contemplation with her hand to her chin while seriously considering information she is reading on her laptop

A young woman sits at her desk in deep contemplation with her hand to her chin while seriously considering information she is reading on her laptop

The ASX share market has seen significant volatility since the end of 2021. We may be entering a new investment environment with higher inflation and higher interest rates than in the 2010s. But this could be an exciting time for stock picking, according to two fund managers.

The previous decade saw interest rates steadily decline, which provides a natural boost for asset values. As Warren Buffett has explained, interest rates are like gravity – the weaker interest rates are, the stronger that asset prices can bounce.

Most asset prices, including the share market, benefited from that low interest rate environment, providing a tailwind for passive investing in index funds.

However, some fund managers think the investment environment has now changed.

Fund manager views on the outlook for investment markets

Contrarian fund manager Allan Gray’s chief investment officer Simon Mawhinney recently said:

The chances of the S&P/ASX 300 Index (ASX: XKO) delivering close to 10% returns each year for the next 10 years are slim. The market environment has changed, and blindly investing in the share market is unlikely to yield results from here. Investors will need to be more selective in where they allocate their capital in future.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities though, provided you can adopt a contrarian mindset.

Interestingly, fund manager L1 also backed this broad view. It recently said in an investor presentation:

We believe passive and index hugging strategies will no longer be able to deliver 10%+ returns.

Going forward, active stock picking will be required to generate attractive returns.

For L1, the fund manager is targeting ASX shares with a low price/earnings (p/e) ratio, an attractive free cash flow yield, and are expected to generate above-market earnings per share (EPS) growth.

What to make of this?

It’s perhaps unsurprising that stock pickers are going to say that the current investment environment is a stock pickers’ market.

But I think it’s fair to say that with an uncertain economic situation due to inflation and higher interest rates, only certain businesses may be able to keep performing with their profits and share prices.

In 2023 to date, the ASX 300 has risen by around 4.4% while some specific names have done very well. For example, the Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) share price is up 34% and the Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) share price is 17% higher.

A lot of the Motley Fool’s content is about trying to find investments that can do well in the coming years, so you’re at the right place to pick stocks. I’m always on the lookout for ideas and I’ll keep writing about them if I see them, or if fund managers have identified opportunities.

No matter what’s happening on the ASX share market or with the broad economy, I believe we’ll always be able to find some attractive or unloved investments that can do well.

The post ‘The market has changed’: Here’s what to do about it appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

Should you invest $1,000 in S&p/asx 300 right now?

Before you consider S&p/asx 300, you’ll want to hear this.

Motley Fool Investing expert Scott Phillips just revealed what he believes are the 5 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and S&p/asx 300 wasn’t one of them.

The online investing service he’s run for over a decade, Motley Fool Share Advisor, has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.* And right now, Scott thinks there are 5 stocks that are better buys.

See The 5 Stocks
*Returns as of April 3 2023

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More reading

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Xero. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Xero. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

from The Motley Fool Australia https://ift.tt/YxDbwEe

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