Global Intelligence

Our 2H | 2021 outlook

Sustainability scenarios

While the history of the global pandemic is still being written, one enduring outcome of the past year will certainly be its effect on the imperative of sustainability. This shared trauma served to remind us just how fragile we are as a community, as a global economy, and as stewards of the earth’s climate. The difficult work of improving environmental, social, and governance norms is taking place at all levels of society, and the resulting changes will have profound implications for investors.

We devote much of this issue of Global Intelligence to examining those sustainability scenarios. Global Chief Economist Frances Donald explores what it means to incorporate ESG factors into macroeconomic forecasts. Our Global Head of Private Equity and Credit Vipon Ghai and our Director of ESG in Private Markets Maria Clara Rendon Echeverri look at the ways that sustainability is being embraced by private companies seeking capital around the world. Senior Portfolio Managers Kathryn Langridge and Philip Ehrmann partner with our Head of ESG in Asia Eric Nietsch to describe how emerging markets represent a concentration of ESG risks and opportunities. Our Global Head of ESG Integration and Research Peter Mennie and our Head of Sustainability in Private Markets Brian Kernohan explore the issue of biodiversity and how investors can better understand the relationship between their portfolios and the natural world.

Another significant issue highlighted by investors over the past year is the deepening search for yield and income security in retirement. Senior Portfolio Manager of Asian Fixed Income Paula Chan and Client Portfolio Manager Dylan Ngai review the merits of a relatively high-yielding asset that until recently was beyond the reach of most investors: onshore Chinese bonds. Serge Lapierre and Frédéric Kibrité from our liability-driven investing team partner with Professor Andrew Clare of the University of London to demonstrate how various approaches to liability-driven portfolios can improve retirement outcomes.

We’re pleased to provide our latest thinking on issues that we believe will affect investors in the months and years to come. At Manulife Investment Management, our global footprint and diverse capabilities enable us to offer both the insight of our experts around the world and the product solutions to help investors realize the possibilities.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Global Intelligence, and we welcome your feedback.

Paul R. Lorentz

President and CEO, Manulife Investment Management

Asset allocator's view

Asset allocation team’s six to 12 month allocation view on equities, as of May 10, 2021. The team has a moderate overweight stance on U.S. equities, Canadian equities, European equities, emerging-market equities and Chinese equities. It is neutral on Japanese equities. Asset allocation team’s six to 12 month allocation view on fixed-income assets, as of May 10, 2021. The team has an underweight stance on U.S. government bonds. It has a moderately underweight stance on Canadian fixed income and developed-market debt. The team has a moderately overweight stance on emerging-market debt, high-yield debt, and investment-grade debt. It also has a neutral stance on real estate investment trusts and global natural resources.
Source: Manulife Investment Management’s asset allocation team, May 10, 2021. Model inputs form part of Manulife Investment Management’s research and are not meant as predictions for any particular asset class, mutual fund, or investment vehicle. To initiate the investment process, the investment team formulates five-year, forward-looking risk and return expectations developed through a variety of quantitative modeling techniques and complemented with qualitative and fundamental insight; assumptions are then adjusted for economic cycles and growth trend rates. This chart may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events, targets, management discipline, or other expectations, and is only as current as of the date indicated. There is no assurance that such events will occur, and if they were to occur, the result may be significantly different from that shown here. The information in this material, including statements concerning financial market trends, are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate and may be superseded by subsequent market events for other reasons. This material should not be viewed as a current or past recommendation or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investment products or to adopt any investment strategy. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

A widespread health crisis such as a global pandemic could cause substantial market volatility, exchange-trading suspensions and closures, and affect portfolio performance. For example, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has resulted in significant disruptions to global business activity. The impact of a health crisis and other epidemics and pandemics that may arise in the future, could affect the global economy in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen at the present time. A health crisis may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks. Any such impact could adversely affect the portfolio’s performance, resulting in losses to your investment.

Investing involves risks, including the potential loss of principal. Financial markets are volatile and can fluctuate significantly in response to company, industry, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments.  These risks are magnified for investments made in emerging markets. Currency risk is the risk that fluctuations in exchange rates may adversely affect the value of a portfolio’s investments.

The information provided does not take into account the suitability, investment objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any specific person. You should consider the suitability of any type of investment for your circumstances and, if necessary, seek professional advice.

This material is intended for the exclusive use of recipients in jurisdictions who are allowed to receive the material under their applicable law. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and are subject to change without notice. Our investment teams may hold different views and make different investment decisions. These opinions may not necessarily reflect the views of Manulife Investment Management or its affiliates. The information and/or analysis contained in this material has been compiled or arrived at from sources believed to be reliable, but Manulife Investment Management does not make any representation as to their accuracy, correctness, usefulness, or completeness and does not accept liability for any loss arising from the use of the information and/or analysis contained. The information in this material may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events, targets, management discipline, or other expectations, and is only current as of the date indicated. The information in this document, including statements concerning financial market trends, are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. Manulife Investment Management disclaims any responsibility to update such information.

Neither Manulife Investment Management or its affiliates, nor any of their directors, officers or employees shall assume any liability or responsibility for any direct or indirect loss or damage or any other consequence of any person acting or not acting in reliance on the information contained here.  All overviews and commentary are intended to be general in nature and for current interest. While helpful, these overviews are no substitute for professional tax, investment or legal advice. Clients should seek professional advice for their particular situation. Neither Manulife, Manulife Investment Management, nor any of their affiliates or representatives is providing tax, investment or legal advice.  This material was prepared solely for informational purposes, does not constitute a recommendation, professional advice, an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of Manulife Investment Management to any person to buy or sell any security or adopt any investment strategy, and is no indication of trading intent in any fund or account managed by Manulife Investment Management. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee returns or eliminate risk in any market environment. Diversification or asset allocation does not guarantee a profit or protect against the risk of loss in any market. Unless otherwise specified, all data is sourced from Manulife Investment Management. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Manulife Investment Management

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