All-weather investing

Seeking good positive returns.

Come rain or shine.

Ruffer provides investment management services for institutions, pension funds, charities, financial planners and individual investors.
Ruffer LLP
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80 Victoria Street
London SW1E 5JL
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Edinburgh EH2 4ET
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Market views

Inflation: bad for portfolios, good for society?
As inflation has soared to its highest level for 40 years, financial markets have taken fright, with most bond and equity markets down significantly so far in 2022. In fact, the US is now officially in a bear market, and inflation pressures show few signs of fading – quite the contrary.
What if?
Our approach to building portfolios favours being roughly right, as opposed to precisely wrong. The portfolio is designed to preserve capital across a range of economic and market outcomes. But naturally, we consider some outcomes more likely than others. At this critical juncture in markets, Duncan MacInnes offers an exercise in imagination - what if we are wrong? Fast forward a year from now, what would need to happen in the world to prove our concerns or hopes, misguided or misplaced?
DC pension schemes
Conventional strategies have served defined contribution (DC) pension scheme investors well for the past half century. But this year – as inflation has taken hold and policymakers scramble to contain it – the vulnerability of bonds and equities has been laid bare.
Turbulence warning
The return of inflation has jolted markets. But investing for higher inflation is not the same as investing for inflation volatility – this presents and unique and complex problem for investors.
Demise of the deflation machine
The global economy has been inherently disinflationary since at least the early 1990s. The result: a generation of investors who have never had to take inflation risk seriously.
Equities: a false sense of security
For the current generation of investors, equity markets have been remarkably happy hunting grounds. There have been crashes, bangs and wallops in recent years but, so far, central banks have ensured any pain was short-lived. As interest rates have fallen, investors have chased stocks up the page and global equity markets are now more highly valued than ever.
Many options, little choice
Investors have been wrestling with how best to defend their portfolios against financial repression (higher levels of inflation relative to lower interest rates) ever since the Financial Crisis in 2008. And now with inflation numbers hitting multi-decade highs, this search has become increasingly urgent. Here, we assess the options available to investors and look at what we’ve chosen in our inflation protection toolkit.
Worried about inflation?
The return of inflation poses a critical threat to balanced portfolios – severing the relationship between bonds and equites which has held steady for nearly half a century. And yet investors, so far, have stuck to what they know – trusting a portfolio built for the world which we are leaving.
The 60/40 portfolio
This has been the allocation of choice for traditional balanced portfolios and has served investors well for the past 50 years. Is this all about to change and should investors be looking for something different?
The Barber Boom
The story of an economic gear shift which sent post-war Britain careering around country lanes, before skidding on an oil slick and being sent ditchward. There it was left, engine smoking, entangled in the brambles of inflation. It wasn’t until 1980 that road-side recovery eventually arrived in the shape of Paul Volcker and his inflation curbing toolkit.