With 2018’s year-end sell-offs in U.S. equities, investors are giving value investing another look as growth and momentum slowly make their way to the exits thus far in 2019. A byproduct of a shift to value is a focus on the quality of investments–being selective and using due diligence as screeners to find the best-performing investments–something that Mark Hackett, Chief of Investment Research at Nationwide, knows all about.
During the volatile moments of the market, investors were quick to react to news–trade wars, inverted yield curves and now government shutdowns. It’s the type of noise that muddies the minds of investors and disconnects them from the fundamentals of an asset.
“There’s always going to be noise,” Hackett told ETF Trends. “At certain times, they’re more reactive to that than others.”
“You get this momentary dislocation that’s reinforced by negative sentiment among investors,” added Hackett.
Part of that noise is also rising interest rates. The Federal Reserve didn’t show much dynamism in 2018 with respect to monetary policy, obstinately sticking with a rate-hiking measure with four increases in the federal funds rate.
That appears to have changed given the current economic landscape, and especially in the capital markets as Fed Chair Jerome Powell is now preaching patience and adaptability. Powell’s latest comments come as U.S. equities finished their worst year in over a decade–the Dow fell 5.6 percent, while the S&P 500 lost 6.2 percent and the Nasdaq Composite fell 4 percent.
“The Fed continues their incremental dovishness, with comments from Chair Powell and other Fed officials signaling patience,” Hackett noted. “This includes hints that the balance sheet normalization can be changed if the facts change. Vice Chair Clarida said in a speech that growth prospects in other economies had moderated somewhat and overall financial conditions have tightened materially.”