Investors turn to multi-asset funds, says Jersey-based Ashburton

Investors confronted by today’s globalised markets are turning to multi-asset, says Peter Bourne, managing director of Jersey-based Ashburton.

“Not surprisingly, investors are increasingly delegating these decisions to professional managers. Globally, multi-asset sectors, under a variety of names such as managed, balanced and target return funds, continue to attract sizeable investment flows.

“Other than the complexity of the global asset allocation decision itself, ageing Western demographics have led a shift towards outcome-based investment, while a lack of yield and increased risk awareness among individuals and advisers have also built strong appetite for this product suite.”

As part of a continued effort to improve their investment process, said Bourne, “in recent years we have embraced the influence of behavioural theory on markets and investors to reduce the level of emotion in decision-making and more easily recognise opportunities.”

Bourne believes that investor sentiment may have turned for the better in the first quarter of 2012, but warns that similar positive changes have evaporated in the past.

“While we know that markets do everything else but move in a straight line, there certainly seems to be more room for optimism than more of the same gloomy scenarios we have grown used to over the past couple of years.

“What is perhaps not so clear for investors is in what geographies, which asset classes and where on the risk curve they should be investing; is it in the safer, developed markets like the US stock market, which has had a stellar performance recently, or in emerging markets, where lower and volatile returns can often belie the perceived risk-reward pay-off?”

Ashburton is part of the FirstRand Group, and has assets under management of more than £1bn. 

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