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"The stock market will continue to be the best asset, but will pay below the historical average 6%"

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Without fear of recession and good prospects for exchanges, although more moderate than in the past. That is the main conclusion reached by fund managers. The balance of 2019 has been extraordinarily positive for the markets and continuity seems guaranteed, at least during the first half of 2020. "The stock market will continue to be the best long-term asset, but it may pay below the historical average 6%." In the fourth edition of MarketWatch, a round table organized by Bolsamanía and Banca March, experts from different front-line investment firms also analyzed the evolution of fixed income and the Ibex, two of the favorite assets of the Spanish investor.

One of the key messages left by 2019 is that "We have found that the dreaded recession of benefits has not occurred" and, therefore, "we expect a positive 2020 in terms of stock exchanges". According to Íñigo Colomo, Investment Director of March Asset Management, "It doesn't necessarily have to be a double digit exercise, but being the benefits of the companies maintained, we believe that It will also be a year of good returns. ”

This diagnosis is shared by Francisco Quintana, director of Investment Strategy of ING: "The stock market will continue to be the asset with the best long-term profitability-liquidity binomial, but perhaps it will pay less in the future, below the historical 6% average." Although the expected returns are more humble, you should not miss the train of equities, and for that you need more financial education among customers.

"The dilemma is not a bag or mortgage, but a bag or deposit," Quintana points out. The average deposit of a Spanish family is 45,000 euros, a savings that is parked without profitability with official interest rates in negative territory. "Yes, of that amount, half would come out in extraordinary expenses, the rest would not even give to give the entrance to a house and, nevertheless, it does have a high opportunity cost being in the deposit and not in the stock market, "contrasts the expert.

FIXED INCOME, WAITING FOR INFLATION

For those who are more conservative and allocate their savings to bonds, in 2020 "you have to think about inflation," predicts Sebastián Velasco, general director for Spain and Portugal of Fidelity. As the manager recalls, “for many years, we have been on the basis that there will be no inflation. However, the quantitative relaxation policies of the central banks, added to the foreseeable fiscal stimuli of this year by the countries, the inflationary pressures derived from the tariffs and a United States where the employment market has behaved very well, they are factors that can generate inflation ”.

Íñigo Colomo (March AM), Iciar Puell (Bankia AM) and Sebastián Velasco (Fidelity)Alberto Sánchez, Bolsamanía

The debt market is possibly the most difficult asset to manage for professionals with the current scenario, between the negative rates and the bubble in the step that separates the investment grade bonds from the speculative ones. "The new times require that managers invest differently and, in fixed income, it will be an obligation," says Fernando Aguado, director of Investments at Fonditel. "If the current context lengthens, we will have to place bets with greater conviction on assets that until now were considered marginal." In his opinion, "over-diversification in traditional assets does not always add value, especially in terms of profitability."

DOUBTS WITH SPAIN

In Spain, the discount with which the Ibex quotes against its comparable Europeans makes it one of the assets with more potential for the next year. This is what Bankia Asset Management believes. “Our companies have good profit prospects, although we see a lot of dispersion between them. Some have risen a lot and others have lagged far behind, and there are many very penalized companies that can do really well, ”according to Iciar Puell, the company's equity manager.

Almudena Benedit (Julius Baer), Francisco Quintana (ING) and Fernando Aguado (Fonditel)Alberto Sánchez, Bolsamanía

The expert is optimistic with the Spanish banks, even weighing its high weight in the Ibex and the environment of low rates in the continent. “One of the milestones that we are now considering is to raise the weight a bit on the bench. With the change in the ECB, if the rates are not lowered more, the banks can do it less badly than they have done ”he augurs.

Doubts come when we talk about the new government and its possible macroeconomic measures. "The perspective of a weak and unfavorable government for freedom of business has led us to reduce our optimism regarding the Spanish economy," recognizes Almudena Benedit, director of Portfolio Management at Julius Baer. "For example, if the interprofessional minimum wage is raised too much, Spain may lose a lot of competitiveness," the expert warns, while "business sentiment has deteriorated, because tax pressure on companies and higher regulatory costs are expected."

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