A confusing outlook shows few signs of getting clearer

Uncertainty has become the normal state of mind among financial professionals, and our latest poll is no exception.

A confusing outlook shows few signs of getting clearer

A phrase, or variation of it, that is increasingly used by fund managers is the equivalent of the sportsman’s or politician’s cliché “cautiously optimistic”. This year they have been describing their investment strategy as being in “conservative risk-on mode”.

It’s not a particularly attractive phrase, and it is more often deployed by equity investors than bond investors, but it accurately reflects the dichotomy at play. On the one hand, a great deal of scepticism remains...

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