All funds had very pleasing returns for the June quarter with strong contributions from both shares and bonds.
Sharemarkets have been supported by lower interest rates and the prospect of global central bank easing. Shares have been recently trading at record highs despite evidence of a slowdown in global growth. Sharemarkets, however, remain sensitive to future developments.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) nudged down its global growth forecasts in July to 3.2% for this year and 3.5% for 2020, citing the potential for adverse developments including further US-China trade tariffs, US auto tariffs, or a no-deal Brexit as items that could “sap confidence, weaken investment, dislocate global supply chains, and severely slow global growth below the baseline”.
Boris Johnson’s win in Britain’s conservative party leadership race did not erase concerns around the future of Britain (i.e. Brexit). The looming Brexit deadline (31 October) will no doubt come increasingly into focus.
The funds remain diversified, emphasise quality, and are cautiously invested with a focus on longer-term returns.
Many of us have grown up with the stories of Winnie the Pooh. If we didn’t, some of us may have seen the recent movie called ‘Christopher Robin’ which re-introduces Winnie the Pooh to a wider audience.
Many of us would be surprised to know that Winnie the Pooh owned a gun in 100 Acre Wood. We would be puzzled as to why they would own guns in that wood as they don’t hunt, and they don’t have target practice. Yet, in one account of Winnie the Pooh’s exploits, there was a knock on the door of his tree. Winnie answered the door … with a gun in his hands.
When A. A. Milne started writing about Winnie the Pooh in 1926, it was a different time with a different attitude toward guns. Like climate change, guns and munitions have increasingly become something that people are concerned about.
After the attacks on the Al-Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch earlier this year there has been a growing concern about whether New Zealand KiwiSaver providers have invested funds in arms or munitions. There are some providers that have invested in this industry. But the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme is not one of those; it is among a small number of KiwiSaver providers that provide ethical investments and excludes munitions.
In a recent Colmar Brunton survey, over 70 percent of respondents answered that it was important for them that their KiwiSaver money was not invested in weapons. The survey found that a lot of members didn’t know if their funds were invested in munitions at all.
In New Zealand, there are over 2.7 million people signed up with KiwiSaver. The New Zealand Herald quoted a 2018 Consumer survey finding that around seven out of 10 people wanted their money invested ethically. But only around 8,600 people had signed up to specifically targeted ethical investment funds. While some people may hesitate in investing in ethical funds as they may feel these funds give lower returns, some of the best companies in the current market are those that are the most sustainable companies – they look after the environment and their employees. So thinking seems to be changing among investors.
Remember you can log into your account and check which fund your money is invested in. Or, if you prefer, give us a call on (0508) 738 473.
Winnie the Pooh image from www.disneyclips.com