Additional Insights

06/19/19 Role Model: Land of the Rising Sun?
For years now, Japan has faced such challenges as an ageing population, high pension liabilities and persistently low interest rates. Europe is increasingly being affected by the same challenges. Can Japan's solutions also offer Europe a way out? Model solutions: Abe’s three arrows for Japan
The economic policy of Abenomics, named after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, consists essentially of three arrows: fiscal stimulus including economic recovery measures, ultra-loose monetary policy and structural reforms. They are designed to ensure the generation of sustainable economic growth in the future despite the named challenges.
The ultra-loose monetary policy financed the government’s economic stimulus packages of over 230 billion Euro in infrastructure such as roads, bridges and earthquake protection. The tax cuts for companies - especially for technology companies – have also served to boost the economy. The Nikkei, Japan's leading index, has risen significantly in recent years and unemployment is at its lowest level in 25 years. Part of the structural reform programme included a liberalisation of the labour market and a deregulation of the energy, environment and health sectors to help restore Japan's competitiveness.
The initiative Society 5.0 is also intended to restore Japan’s competitiveness and to increase productivity. Accordingly, robotics was declared a key industry to counter the consequences of demographic change and the associated labour shortage in 2004. Robots are to be found not only in production halls, but also in the service and entertainment sectors. Already today, robots support and facilitate heavy physical activities, such as lifting during care-taking activities. Through targeted support, Japan has developed into an export country for robotics and is making a name for itself as a market leader in the long term, profiting from rising revenues and a relief on the labour market. Nippon is a pioneer of modern technologies and has promising companies whose shares can achieve significantly higher returns than any savings account.
04/09/19 Attractive yields with bonds from Ecuador, Surinam and Papua New Guinea – how can one achieve that?
All three countries belong to the so-called frontier markets, i.e. they are on the verge of becoming emerging markets. The term usually goes hand in hand with robust growth potential, a strong drive for reform and low valuations. This offers interesting investment opportunities for expert investors and active managers. As contrarian investors and early movers, we in the Emerging Markets Team at MainFirst not only observe emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India, but also frontier markets such as Surinam, Papua New Guinea and Ecuador – and their growth potential.
03/11/19 What does China's course mean for European investors?
China was the most developed country in the world for over 4000 years. Only in the last 400 years was this not the case. But over the last 40 years, China has been catching up again and has already overtaken the western world in many areas. The question many investors ask themselves, is how they can profit from this development. In other words, how can investors judge which changes currently offer the greatest growth potential and how can they use them to generate returns. To answer this, the team around Frank Schwarz at MainFirst has analysed general structural trends, specific Chinese developments and the country’s strategic orientation in order to be able to make the best investment decisions. Some interesting trends they found come from the area of power production and consumption. 
02/14/19 The low-interest environment returns problem – do dividend stocks offer a way out?
In a sustained low interest rate environment, dividend stocks are an essential component in maintaining real purchasing power and achieving positive returns after inflation. Dividend stocks enable investors to participate in a broad equity market and to receive continuous distributions. The low interest rate environment coupled with inflation results in a toxic mix for German investors
Real returns, i.e. the interest income after deduction of the inflation rate, of investors in Europe will in future be just around zero percent. These are the results of a recent study by the independent financial services provider MainFirst. Thomas Meier, Head of Equity Fund Management at MainFirst, describes this trend as worrying. To give one example, calculations by the Bundesbank show that the asset allocation of private households in Germany over the past ten years has enabled an average adjusted increase in value of 1.4 percent per year. Over the past 20 years, the increase in value even reached 2.6 percent per year. However, such returns can no longer be achieved today with an average German portfolio due to the ongoing low-interest rate phase. A new weighting must therefore be given to asset allocation – if money is not to dwindle away. 
The MainFirst Emerging Markets Team expects that given the still healthy global economy, EM is set to grow more than developed countries  Strong fundamentals point to performance potential in emerging markets 
Emerging market corporate bonds should deliver solid returns in the coming years as the fundamentals of EM companies remain strong and continue to have upside potential, as they are considerably less levered, and, thus, have more room for manoeuvre than companies in developed countries. For example, bonds in the JP Morgan Corporate Emerging Market Bond Index (CEMBI) have an identical risk-reward profile to USD and EUR high yields. Moreover, in contrast to industrialized countries, emerging markets are still early cycle or at most in the middle of the cycle and there is, therefore, still a lot of growth potential. This makes many emerging market corporate bonds very attractive. The global economy is also still in a healthy state, despite the slowing in growth it has recently seen. And the MainFirst Emerging Markets Fund Management Team, consisting of Cornel Bruhin, Dorothea Fröhlich and Thomas Rutz, do not foresee a recession in the next 12-18 months. Rather, they expect that the current business cycle will continue, albeit with weaker global growth, that positive developments on the trade front between the US and China will start to take effect, and that the Chinese measures of easing should start to affect the real economy by mid-2019. While it may still take a few months for this stabilisation to become visible, constructive outcomes of the trade negotiations should have a further positive influence on this trend. 
09/17/18 If Technological Progress Accelerates Exponentially – Which Companies Are the Winners?
No one doubts today that attractive returns can be achieved with big tech companies such as Alphabet, Amazon or Apple. They are growing fast – sometimes at seemingly exponential rates. But will this continue? And which companies are benefitting from the progress made?
08/14/18 Favourable Fundamentals for Attractive Returns in Emerging Markets
EM fundamentals are intact and dedicated experts can profit from attractive buying opportunities says Thomas Rutz, EM fund manager at MainFirst.
06/18/18 What do a scale and the MainFirst Global Dividend Stars have in common?

Both keep an ideal balance for attractive outcomes.

To generate attractive outcomes for investors, the MainFirst Global Dividend Stars uses the Barbell strategy for a balanced portfolio, and focuses on high quality and sustainability of dividend yields. The fund does not follow a benchmark, and invests globally in companies selected on the basis of an in-depth process of analysis. This is what made it the best fund in its category at the end of 2017 (Morningstar ranked it first of 489 funds in the category Global Equity Income, denominated in EUR. As at 12/31/2017).
04/16/18 Generating attractive returns through long-term trends
Investors are constantly faced with major challenges. With interest rates persistently low, and no prospect of them being raised to their earlier levels in the next few years, they are seeking alternatives. One such alternative is multi-asset funds with a sound investment strategy. MainFirst Absolute Return Multi Asset, headed by Adrian Daniel, has a long-term investment strategy which aims to generate a return of at least 5% while keeping volatility within a reasonable level. The strategy has proven successful thus far, with an annualised performance of 5.68% and average volatility of 5.1% since the fund’s launch on 30 April 2013 (as at 29/03/2018, unit class C, ISIN LU0864714935).
Congratulations to our MainFirst Emerging Markets team!
02/20/18 Invest in the global companies of the future
The MainFirst Global Equities Fund invests in global companies that lead structural trends and are high in growth. This approach has generated a performance of 132 percent since its inception almost 5 years ago and outperformed the MSCI World in Euro by 51 percent.[1]
12/05/17 The MainFirst Multi Asset Team informs – Annual review of 2017
The Fund Managers of the MainFirst Absolute Return Multi Asset and the MainFirst Global Equities Fund are usually looking several years into the future to create valuable ideas for their clients, but today they take a different perspective. They are looking back at the Year 2017.
11/15/17 Automation is on the rise and provides interesting investment opportunities

Automation and in particular robots are reshaping the factory floor, production time and costs. Whether it is the manufacturing of iPhones, or humans with collaborative robots, or the time in which online retailers can pack and deliver their wares. This brings huge chances for investors, as revenues of such companies as Teradyne, Keyence and Ocado soar. This year alone, Teradyne grew by 70 per cent over one year, Keyence had revenues of 379,282 million JPN (respectively 3.4 billion USD, rate as at 15.11.2017) at year end 2016. Ocado’s revenues grew by almost 15 percent from 2015 to 2016. The MainFirst Global Equities Fund invests in high-growth companies such as these to generate attractive returns, resulting in a YTD performance of 41.5 per cent*.

As forward-thinking investors, the key question is whether these are trends that are likely to remain and to continue to bring attractive returns. According to Frank Schwarz, the lead fund manager of the MainFirst Global Equities Fund, which has been nominated for the Fund Manager of the Year Awards by Investment Europe, automation through robots and cobots is one of a number of structural trends that is only just beginning. The area of automation constitutes an underlying market, facilitating the production and delivery of consumer goods that is likely to exhibit further structural growth over the coming years.

09/08/17 Global Perspective: Renewed Growth in Emerging Markets – A Good Time to Invest
Boosted by a strong world economy and its demand for commodities, emerging markets entered a new phase of recovery and growth in 2016 indicating interesting opportunities for investors.
08/04/17 The Power of Platforms
The concept of platforms seems innocuous. Essentially, they provide the space and structure that allows things to happen, such as expressing ideas or opinions, connecting with friends, finding online services, or running programs and apps. Yet, as for example Facebook and Google have shown, harnessed into a business model, this facilitation of exchanges, both between consumers as well as between consumers and producers, can turn into highly valuable companies and bring about profound changes in the business world. How is this possible? 
08/02/17 What does the Lima Metro system have in common with the MainFirst Emerging Markets Funds?

Both are employing positive momentum as a tool for success. 

07/19/17 Investments in restructurings can be significant performance contributors in a portfolio
Equity investments in company restructurings are often shunned by investors and fund managers. Indeed, who would be willing to invest in a company when it is not yet clear that a realignment will be successful, or to defend their decision-making to investors following the unsuccessful restructuring of a company in the portfolio? However, this is precisely why, in the case of a successful restructuring, commitments can feature significant prospects of high profits – in many cases even considerably more than 100 percent.
06/30/17 10 years of steady performance – what is the formula for success?
Since the 1990s, Europe has found itself in a low-interest phase with interest rates decreasing even further during the global financial and economic crisis of 2008. Only now are they beginning to rise again with a very moderate increase. However, it is unlikely that they will reach their former heights – at least in the near future. Investors nevertheless want to generate positive returns. How can this be achieved? 
06/15/17 What does a drone have in common with the MainFirst Global Equities Fund?

A keen sense for pioneering developments. The goal, excellent performance, always firmly in sight.

The advanced technology used for unmanned, remote-controlled flying robots has given rise to countless new business models and belongs to a wave of future-oriented, structural trends, which also include digitalisation and automation. The investment strategy of the MainFirst Global Equities Fund is to participate in these structural trends, using them to generate excellent performance.
05/12/17 What does Silicon Valley have in common with MainFirst Absolute Return Multi Asset?

Once a trend. Today, the foundation for sustained performance.


2017 – A fateful year for the EU

After last year’s surprise outcomes in the Brexit referendum and the US presidential election, the capital markets are now focusing on the upcoming elections in the euro zone. Worried investors are looking ahead in particular to the French presidential elections, where according to the most recent polls, Marine Le Pen, outspoken opponent of the European Union,  is riding high. France occupies an undisputed central role in the EU and the consequences for the capital markets of an election victory for Marine Le Pen would significantly outweigh those of Brexit.  
02/27/17 What do hidden champions have in common with the MainFirst Germany Fund?

Substance, excellence and active management. The success strategy for above-average performance.