MANILA March 19, 2021 – In a recent webinar by Manulife Asset Management and Trust Corporation, global investment experts from Manulife Investment Management shared how investors can better position themselves as economies reopen, and vaccine rollouts in critical markets begin.
Titled “Resilient Solutions for Volatile Times and Beyond,” the webinar offered insights into how a multi-asset investment strategy can help investors generate income in highly volatile times, as well as investment opportunities in global healthcare equities given the healthcare sector’s exciting growth potential.
"The economic downturns experienced by markets globally in 2020 are now being reversed by marked progress on vaccine rollouts in most economies," said Manulife Asset Management and Trust Corporation President and CEO Aira Gaspar. "As markets begin to recover, this webinar is part of our continuing commitment to keep our investors informed of these latest market developments. We want to provide them with insights that can help them develop a sound investment strategy and reach their financial goals."
Strategic positioning aims to generate income from multiple sources
Paul Kalogirou, Managing Director and Client Portfolio Manager for Multi-Asset at Manulife Investment Management, said that while the global economy contracted in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreaks, the outlook for 2021 is improving with vaccinations, as well as coordinated actions by international central banks and governments.
Kalogirou says the Fed is expected to keep its foot on the monetary policy gas pedal for years to come to spur economic growth. Negative-yielding debt has grown to a record of USD17 trillion in early November 2020. Meanwhile, the spreads of emerging markets and Asia credits may narrow further. The U.S. high yield spreads continue to improve, with defaults close to peaking. Trailing 12-month default rates should decline in 2021.
The economic restart has helped equities rebound from the 2020 bottom, but recovery is still vulnerable to another outbreak of the pandemic. Meanwhile, with large-scale fiscal and loose monetary policies, global stocks have regained their pandemic losses.
Market sentiment swung to risk-on mode with positive news about the vaccine rollouts and the U.S. election results, while market volatilities retreated. “Fiscal stimulus plans and ongoing loose monetary policies, and the potential impact on economic recovery’s pace, remain key in 2021,” explains Kalogirou.
Against this backdrop, Manulife Investment Management’s multi-asset strategy, Manulife Global Multi-Asset Diversified Income Fund aims to achieve income from multiple sources and seeks to buffer market downsides via a flexible investment mandate that pivots for income.
Growth potential in global healthcare equities
Steven Slaughter, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager for Global Healthcare Strategy at Manulife Investment Management, shared that global healthcare stocks are a powerful long-term investment opportunity that have outperformed the broad market, with substantial growth potential for over 25 years. “Because global healthcare stocks have typically held up better in down markets with low volatility, healthcare is a defensive sector that has attractive valuations and significant growth catalysts,” he says.
Manulife’s Healthcare Fund has a diversified sub-sector positioning to capture three global secular trends: an aging population that has increasing expenditures for healthcare; medical advances towards disease prevention; and unmet medical needs. Manulife Investment Management’s investment process allocates capital using appropriate valuation disciplines to companies tackling critical unmet medical needs such as pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, healthcare equipment and supplies, and healthcare providers and services.
Long-term investment and diversification
While the initial roll-out of vaccines provides optimism for the re-opening of economies, rising COVID-19 cases will significantly impact market performance. Having a long-term investment horizon and diversified portfolio can help mitigate these risks.
“Manulife understands the needs of investors who want to generate income and benefit from resilient investment solutions amidst the volatile market environment. We are pleased to provide access to global investment opportunities via the Global Multi-Asset Diversified Income Feeder Fund and Global Healthcare Feeder Fund, which are positioned to withstand market volatilities over time,” said Gaspar. “We will continue to provide differentiated unit investment trust funds that can help our clients live every day better.”
Those interested may view the webinar on Manulife Philippines’s Facebook page and website.