Just as multi-asset funds puzzle out where to place their assets in a challenging market, they are also puzzling out how to get their message across. A good deal of negativity surrounds the sector and outflows have been prominent in press coverage.
The problem is that multi-asset returns are often scrutinised in comparison to what some pure equity portfolios (which are enjoying a bull market) are delivering. The loudest marketing message in the multi-asset sector has always been about delivering equity-like returns for less volatility.
But given the diversity of benchmarks and objectives that multi-asset funds have, it is only right for a sub-set of multi-asset funds to be compared to equity funds. This is the view of an asset owner on our roundtable panel – and even then, comparisons should be over the longer term.
Many multi-asset funds try to outperform cash rather than equities and the industry understands it will need to clarify its messages if it is to dispel negativity.
Nick Fitzpatrick, group editor, Funds Europe
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