After carefully assessing the client and keeping in mind her constraints, risk appetite, time horizon, return demand, and personal interests we have formulated our investment strategy for her. As per our strategy, we will invest all the available fund of $100,000 in stocks; whereas, allocating 20% of the fund for short term liquid stocks. In order to diversify the unsystematic risk and hedge the uncertainties of geopolitical world, our proposed investment portfolio would consist of a mixture of tech, consumer discretionary, financial services, healthcare, and material processing sector.
Our investment strategy is both tailored to the current events affecting the global economy and the personal preferences of the client to suit the client’s stated and implicit needs.
We applied technical analysis to all the stocks and compared the 20 day moving averages to that of 200 day. Unless the technical analysis hinted an explicit decline in stocks in the future, we considered it safe.
If a company’s 200 day moving average were higher than the 20 day moving average, we concluded that the company has a higher potential to prosper in future. When the difference between the 200 day moving average and that of 20 day of a company was really critical, we marked the company as a potential short term investment.
For screening, we used the website Screener.in where the website showed PE ratio of the company from the year it was created to the present.
Fundamental Analysis — Projections of the US-China Trade War
As many may know, the United States and China are currently undergoing a trade war and in order to win this war, there is a currency war going on alongside. To accomplish this, they are lowering the intrinsic value of their currency to gain advantage over the other nation, a practice seen in many countries. However, a major difference is that, for this trade war, the countries participating in it are the two biggest countries in the world, in terms of gross GDP, with US and China having gross GDPs of $21.41 trillion and $15.54 trillion respectively. (World Population Review, 2019) With this, because the two countries are dropping their dollar ($) price and RMB (¥) price, an economic recession seems inevitable.
So then, why does a trade war necessarily lead to an economic recession? First, we have to know why devaluing the national currency necessarily serves as an advantage. There are three main advantages of currency devaluation: boost of domestic demand, improvement in currency deficit, and economic growth. These seem to be what the current Trump administration is striving to achieve with the devaluation of currency, which is why devaluation will keep on happening.
Boost of domestic demand is caused because exports become cheaper. When exports become cheaper, then domestic exports are more appealing to foreign buyers than that of other countries, and when that happens, there will be a boost for domestic demand because the items that could have been sold to the domestic market is now overseas. Therefore, in order to meet the demand, there can be more job creation to meet exports. As there are more exports, this would then in turn lead to an improvement in the nation’s deficits, something that is important especially for a country like the United States, which has a massive deficit due to multiple loans. Lastly, economic growth can be caused due to the two benefits listed above, as those benefits may in turn bolster the economy as more jobs are created and more products are created for consumption.
However, there is a caveat to this. Although the three advantages listed above may happen, there are also other factors that need to be accounted for: the state of business cycle, elasticity of demand, and competitiveness. Those three factors need to be adjusted for and must come in consonance, in order for currency devaluation to truly play a positive effect, something that the United States is missing. If those three factors do not harmonize then the disadvantages of devaluation will follow, such as inflation, reduction of purchasing power, reduction of international investors, and debt repayments.
Something to note is that the United States is a heavily import-dependent country, in which many of the items in daily use are imported from foreign countries such as China. If the United States were a country in which the majority of citizens bought from domestic selections, then it would be alright but since the United States citizens opts to choose from imports, more currency if flowing out of the country than before, one of the reasons causing an economic recession. Also, although imports are more expensive, the US cannot rely on domestic items because the US has been so import-dependent for such a long amount of time and because even if imports are more expensive, it’s still better and cheaper for the consumer than domestic items. Due to the inelasticity of demand for domestic items, we can see that economic growth does not happen, and jobs will not be created.
In response to the inevitable economic recession that is projected to happen, we decided to buy companies that deal in gold and precious metals. The purchasing power of gold, unlike currencies, stays relatively the same for a long time, while currencies, such as the US dollar, tend to fluctuate and are at risk of currency devaluation. Therefore, gold is frequently used as a hedge or a safe haven during trade wars as their value tends to remain stable and likely rise during deliberate currency drops, it is good to invest in companies that deal with gold, as their values will likely rise.
Fig. 1 Price fluctuation of gold during economic recessions in the past 35 years in comparison to S&P 500 price fluctuations
Fig. 2 Graph of Fig. 1 with trendline
As seen in Fig. 2, gold prices tend to rise the more the economy falls (as seen in the trendline). With only one instance of gold falling during an economic recession, it is a safe bet to target companies that deal with gold.
Our selected Portfolio:
While strategizing for the investment strategy, we specially kept in mind the need and importance of a diversified portfolio. As mentioned above, the global economy is going through a tough period and as per our consideration, the situation may get little tougher with coming years. With such fear of sluggish economy and high probability of recession, keeping all the fund in one company or sector was not advisable.
8.75% of our total fund would be allocated to consumer discretionary. As per our analysis and research, this particular sector has always performed well as compared to other sectors during recessions as even in tough time, people won’t probably stop using the products and services of consumer discretionary sector. Our selected stock in this sector is “New oriental education & technology group INC” which is a online provider of education in China.
The largest pie of our fund would be invested in the financial services sector. After thorough analysis and researching the past trends, we came into conclusion that there are few types of the companies in financial sector which performs at par even in sluggish time. Such companies may include credit analysts, private equity and alternative investment firm. Moreover, as our client is a tech savy and in greatly inclined towards tech startups, we picked Fair Isaac Corporation, Experian PLC, and KKR & Co. Inc. from financial services sector.
Fair Isaac is a data analytics company, focused on credit scoring services. Its FICO score, a measure of consumer credit risk, has become a fixture of consumer lending in the United States. Experian PLC is aconsumer credit reporting company; it collects and aggregates information on over one billion people and businesses including 235 million individual U.S. consumers and more than 25 million U.S. The last but not least, KKR & Co. is an American global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit, and, through its strategic partners, hedge funds.
Our third sector was healthcare, from which we selected Myriad Genetics which is a leading molecular diagnostic company dedicated to saving and improving lives by discovering and delivering tests across major diseases. We believe that in future, the combination of tech, data and health will progress greatly. We allocated 12.5% of our fund in this stock.
To diversify our portfolio and to hedge even the systematic risk of the market, we decided to invest a big chunk of our fund, 23.12%, in material and processing sector. Whenever people are skeptical and fear that the recession is coming, they turn towards safe haven investments like material precisely gold, silver and other precious stones. Royal Gold is a precious metals company with royalty claims on gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc at mines in over 20 countries. SSR Mining Inc. is a Vancouver-based mining company focused on the operation, development, exploration and acquisition of precious metal projects.
24% of our fund would be invested in tech sector. The future belong to the companies which are acknowledging the importance of technology and aligning their operations and strategies with the evolving era. We carefully assessed the tech sector and picked three companies which we believe will perform very well in future. Hexaware Technologies Limited is an IT and business process outsourcing service provider company based in India, founded in 1990. Mindtree Limited is an Indian multinational IT and outsourcing company headquartered in Bangalore, India and New Jersey, USA.NIIT Technologies Limited is a leading global IT solutions organization with over 10,000 employees serving clients across Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia. With selecting these companies, we also diversified our portfolio geographically as two out of three companies have their head offices in India.
Following are the key considerations which we kept in our mind while making out the strategy and picking up the stocks.
- Diversification, as we envisage and fear sluggish economy or even a recession in future.
- Client’s preferences such as 20% of the fund in short term liquid assets so that she can get some monthly or yearly income.
- Long term perspective, as the client wants to fund the education of her kids and plan her retirement from this fund, we have specially picked growth stocks which may not be able to give great returns right now but would be very fruitful in future.
Analyzing the Client’s Needs
Furthermore, our client, Ms. ReshmaSohoni expressed that she’d like her portfolio to reflect her long-term investment goals: education, retirement, and larger contributions to society. She also indicated a deep interest in technology and business. Upon closer inspection, it was apparent that she revealed multiple times in her social media account, namely Twitter, that she’s also interested in financial technology and the environment. In accordance, we targeted these industries and executed fundamental and technical analyses to narrow down our candidates.
In particular, Ms. Sohoni seemed to have great interest for Financial Technology (Fintech), according to her Twitter account.
Exhibits 1~4 (ordered chronologically from most recent), examples of client’s interest in Fintech
Also, because Ms. Sohoni seemed like she knew much about Fintech, we believed that it would be better to invest in, for high liquidity short term stocks, the Fintech sector. Therefore, we decided that to suit her interests, we would invest money into high liquidity stocks (to suit one of her stated needs) in the Fintech sector such as ICICI Bank and Mr. Cooper Group INC.
As we expected, the two companies we decided to invest in as our short-term showed increase in value. For the short term stocks, we used technical analysis to predict whether they are highly liquid and whether they would bring profit. ICICI showed a 16.6 % return while Mr. Cooper Group INC showed a 5.60 % return.
Mention d specifics (itz on the sheet above)
One of the many challenges our team faced when working as a team was communication. Because some of our members were busy with SATs while some were busy with schoolwork, it was really hard to schedule a meeting where all the members were available. We were able to overcome such challenge by maximizing the number of meetings with members that were available at that time and later on informing the members who couldn’t attend the meeting with what we went over during the meeting. Also when the majority of the members didn’t have enough time to meet physically, we communicated through skype. We divided the tasks into three sections : Portfolio manager, Stock managers and Client . There were two portfolio managers and they decided the overall strategy for our investment and decided the portion of money for each company to be invested on. The two stock managers researched the stocks and decided the stocks to invest in that met the portfolio managers’ requirements. They also managed the OTIS, looking at the progress and making changes when needed. The last section, Client, had one person connect the two sections to the client of the competition. We decided the roles by having those who have strength in fundamental analysis to be the portfolio managers, those who have strengths in technical analysis and research to be our stock managers and lastly to those who clearly know the client’s background to work on the client section. All 3 sections require advanced researching skills and stock analysis skills which all our members excelled in. During the competition, we didn’t really have disagreements. We trusted each other sections to do their jobs properly and helped each other if others made a mistake or needed help with anything.
As we planned and carried out our strategy for our client Ms. Sohoni, we made sure that we operated by the CFA Institute’s Asset Manager Code. Our decisions were made entirely based on our client’s interests as well as our well-planned strategy based on detailed research and well-founded predictions of the market and economy.
Our research was mainly based on current news, which we then researched deeper to find out the impacts it has on the economy. Through his process, we were able to develop a reasonable and adequate strategy. As for our client research, we mainly branched off of the case study. To further our knowledge about our client and her investment objectives, we took a look at her social media account (Twitter) to get an idea of what other values she holds.
Our client expressed numerous times through both the case study as well as her personal social media account of what we should invest in. In her case study, she stated she’s interested in education, retirement, large contributions to society, business, and technology, while in her social media, she revealed her interests in financial technology and the environment.
We first put our client’s interests before our strategy. We selected stocks that would best fit her interests such as Hexaware Technologies Ltd and New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc.
As we moved onto stocks that would fit our strategy, we still kept the client’s interests in mind. During meetings, we discussed whether or not the stocks we chose would support her interests and be applied to our strategy at the same time.
By complying with the Asset Manager Code, we were able to uphold our most important values: always putting our clients first and developing reasonable and effective strategies that best suit the clients.
From this competition, our team learned how the whole investment process works as well as learning new stocks and companies through researching what stocks to invest in. We also learned how to do fundamental analysis and technical analysis on stocks as these two were the main methods for our team to decide on what stocks to invest in. Obviously our team would have not invested in some stocks and invested in others in hindsight as we now know if they will increase or decrease. However, other than that, I think our team would have done the same thing when deciding our investment strategies because our investment strategy was both tailored to the current events affecting the global economy and the personal preferences of the client. The competition was more difficult than our team imagined because none of the members had experience with investing. We had to start from the very beginning, where we learned what fundamental and technical analysis were and watched a movie that had a content of investing to know more about investment. Our team enjoyed this competition as this competition was such a new experience for each of us. Also seeing the result of our investment and our stocks in OTIS go up and down really was really entertaining . The fact that OTIS was based on real life, as the increase and decrease of stocks were legit, it made the whole competition more realistic, making it more interesting.