The probability that funds will flow into equities “at the possible expense of debt” is increasing, despite forecasts to the contrary. This according to Credit Suisse Group AG, reported in a recent Bloomberg article.
Robert Griffiths, an equity strategist based in Credit Suisse’s London office, told Bloomberg, “The increase in total returns from stocks, if it continues over the next couple of quarters, raises the prospect of a tipping point in asset allocation in favor of equities.”
According to Jefferies Group LLC (citing EPFR Global data), the first half of the year saw bond funds taking in $204 billion versus $167 billion for stocks. However, Credit Suisse argues that “still, the technicals look good for flows into stock markets even as investors fret about valuations,” adding that the market’s low level of volatility in U.S. stocks “should inspire pension funds and systematic traders who measure risk in terms of realized volatility to up their equity allocations at the expense of bonds.”
Market participants, the article says, predict that debt flows will remain robust “thanks to limited inflation, low returns on savings products and aging populations,” but adds, “there still may be solace for stock bulls that have been flustered by the secular reduction to the asset class over the past decade.”
While he doesn’t expect a major shift from bonds to equities, Griffiths says “conditions for higher relative equity allocations haven’t been this good for a long while.”