Which regions do you see attracting investment opportunities in the months ahead?
Some bold investors will be looking seriously at the Brics countries where there will be some great opportunities. As inflation decreases in these countries, their economic policies could become enticing for investors and strong growth is being predicted. The International Monetary Fund upgraded their forecast for emerging markets for 2018 to 4.9%, so an advance on 2017 and 2016. This upbeat picture could lure more investors into the emerging markets.
Which are the winning sectors?
We’ll see a rise in interest in infrastructure investment, real estate, commodities and private equity this year. Interest in infrastructure investment is expected to be particularly strong, with new funds making it easier for individuals to access infrastructure funding.
What are investors to make of the Dow Jones turbulence this year and what can they expect in the months ahead?
As I talk to you in March, there are still some nerves in the market about the possibility of the US initiating a trade war and China and Europe taking retaliatory measures. The anxiety about trade is in addition to concerns that the Federal Reserve could push up interest rates in the US faster than expected, harming profit margins and stock prices. But we should also remember that we have a healthy economic situation and US tax cuts brightening the investor community’s mood.
Will we really see Artificial Intelligence taking over investment advice?
We have already seen investors’ portfolios being chosen and managed by computer algorithms, sometimes referred to as “robo advice”. In the months ahead, we’ll see more of a mixed approach, involving “robo” and human advice, which is likely to be favoured by investors.
In terms of everyday transactions, investors will enjoy benefitting from the lower charges that Artificial Intelligence brings. But for they will still turn to human expertise to outperform the market and also select the investments that best suit their aims.
Is this the year that the investor community will embrace cryptocurrency and blockchain?
We have already seen progress in terms of blockchain being adopted in the financial sector and it will be interesting to see how many research areas become actual working products in the months ahead. Good contenders for success in this field are probably blockchain solutions for payment and so we will have to see how that impacts the old-school wire transfers and SWIFT.
No one could quite agree on cryptocurrencies last year, even as we saw bitcoin soar. Some senior figures remain averse to the trend but we are seeing major institutions setting up cryptocurrency trading desks. As that starts to happen, this obviously boosts the legitimacy of cryptocurrency and more banks will embrace come around to this.
How will Millennials impact the investment world?
In sheer numbers, they will have an impact as they are one of the largest generations in history. We are seeing them come into their own, as consumers of course, but also as investors. They are very clear that sustainability, clean energy and impact investing are important to them. They are becoming a very positive force and as a result, we will see renewable energy offering strong prospects.