On long-term investing, dancing with risk against backdrop of reflation
The ongoing global reflation has implications for investment and may serve as a good case for young equity investors to learn how to dig returns from risks.
The rising commodity prices and the feared inflationary risks may seem so real that they could keep some first-time stock or fund investors away from the market.
Rising raw material prices can reinforce market bears' perception that central banks will quicken their steps to withdraw monetary stimulus and that economic recovery will be eroded as downstream sectors see profit margin squeezed and consumers bear higher prices.
The same message, however, could be interpreted the reverse way. The rising commodity prices are actually a reflection of global economic recovery and will benefit upstream sectors like energy and raw materials, bringing about structural investment opportunities.
Moreover, if downstream sectors like manufacturers suffer from the spike in costs, monetary authorities will become even more cautious against tightening, to make sure the pressured corporate sector will leverage ample liquidity conditions for financing.
So, where is the market heading now against a backdrop of this mixed bag－up or down?
It may still take some time before we know the answer. The benchmark CSI 300 Index has been wobbling around 5000 points for over two months now, following a sharp correction from the all-time high of 5931 points on Feb 18.
But some experienced investors have made their bets.
BlackRock, the world's biggest asset manager, is still favoring Chinese equities that benefit from accelerating domestic consumption and other long-term trends.
It has also added investment in some upstream sectors like energy since late last year to capitalize the opportunities brought by higher commodity prices, said Lucy Liu, a portfolio manager at BlackRock.
Estimates from another global investment giant Vanguard showed that A shares are expected to offer long-term annualized market returns of about 6.3 percent, still modestly higher than the global level.
These have indicated that seemingly scary risks like commodity-driven inflation can be translated into emerging investment opportunities and will not hurt some long-term market trends. If young retail investors are to thrive in A-share investments, they must see through such risks for opportunities.
As the upsurge of investment ended with the market slump in late February, some young investors, who have just been lured into the market by the stellar returns in 2020 and 2019, have left the A-share market, bearing losses.
Now, with the market cooling down and having more reasonable valuations, it could be advisable for those investors to consider rebuilding their exposure gradually and hold a diversified portfolio with a long investment horizon, instead of staying away from the market in face of uncertainties.
After all, equity investing is always about dancing with risk. This is where returns come through, at least for those who would like to take a long investment horizon.