A measured look at recent trends in the investment market
It goes without saying that the global investment market is a complex thing. There are so many variables, so many factors operating at so many levels that - at times - it can be difficult to make sense of it all.
If it is difficult for investment professionals to gauge which way the wind is blowing, think how much harder it is for the investor who cannot spend all their time pouring over every financial index, or the latest analyst's commentary.
Understandably, most people do not want to spend 24 hours a day thinking about money. However, when they do make investment decisions, certain basic facts of life come into play. The 'feel-good factor' is important - do they feel well off, or poor? Equally important, investors have a gut feeling for the level of risk they are willing to take for an equivalent level of reward. In other words, they know their own situation better than anyone else.
At Anglo Irish Bank we have certainly seen changes in investor behaviour over the past 12 months. Once, cash was king: equities were nowhere, and everyone sought the safe harbour of a deposit-based account - and who could blame them? Deposit accounts are still hugely popular but, gradually, things have changed. While we have not seen a revival of equities to 1980s levels they have, nevertheless, come back into favour for many investors.
There is, however, a difference this time. 'Raw' or 'hands-on' equity investment is still too much for many people, and we are seeing what I would call the emergence of the 'cautious optimist' - the investor who wants to participate in the upside of any equity revival - or resurgence of basic building blocks of the economy like oil - but who also wants to limit their exposure to any potential downside.
Only too happy to oblige, we regularly launch a series of multi-asset bonds. Typically, the bonds offer investors the chance to invest in things they understand - like the FTSE 100, oil prices, and basic exchange rates. One of the most attractive aspects of these bonds is that an investor's capital is protected, but they do have the chance to participate in any growth in the value of the assets.
Others have launched similar products. It is a sign of the times, and a hopeful one. No-one would want to see the return of 'equity madness' but I predict that we will continue to see investors return to more broadly-based investment portfolios. A measured 'cautiously optimistic' approach to the future seems to strike the right note, at least over the medium term.
Anglo Irish Bank Corporation (IoM) is based on the Isle of Man, an international financial centre widely acknowledged as one of the most innovative and best regulated in the world.
Since its establishment in 1988, the company has grown steadily, and now provides an unrivalled range of expatriate services including: banking (which incorporates personal deposits and private client services); corporate deposits; commercial lending; trust services; company formation and management; international corporate and personal pension administration; tax consultation and planning and fund administration.
Anglo Irish Bank Corporation (IoM) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anglo Irish Bank Corporation, a leading European financial institution, which provides business banking, treasury, and wealth management services to personal and corporate clients around the globe.
The group is listed on the Dublin and London stock exchanges, with a market capitalisation of $8bn. It is the third-largest quoted bank, and the fifth-largest company listed on the Irish Exchange
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