Why multi-asset matters

Thought Starters 2 minutes to read

Saxo Bank

Summary:  In today's global markets, geopolitical and economic risk are ever-present. To protect your portfolio, you'll need a strategy that defends against those risks. For many traders, multi-asset trading is becoming their tool of choice, not only to mitigate risk but also to capitalise on the markets' volatile movements.


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Interesting times
The ancient Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” has probably been on every trader’s mind during 2019. The impact of the US-China trade war on financial markets has been considerable, wreaking havoc on the tech, auto and agriculture sectors. In May 2019, when the US announced it was increasing tariffs from 10% to 25%, the S&P and the Dow both fell over 2% over the following week. The damage was even higher for the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which fell more than 3.3%.

And it’s not just the US markets being jolted by economic and political events. The trade war waves have reached Germany, where weaker demand for machinery and cars has seen exports decline, while the UK is still being rocked by the fall-out from Brexit, causing significant volatility in the British pound.

Risk mitigation through diversification 
While economic uncertainty is seemingly becoming the new normal, pursuing a diversified trading strategy through multi-asset trading is a way for traders to mitigate unsystematic risk. More specifically, by diversifying not only across sectors and geographies, but also across asset classes such as stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies, investors can reduce asset-specific risk and smoothen out the overall volatility within their portfolios.

Tactical asset allocation 
The basis behind tactical asset allocation is the assumption that certain asset classes, sectors, or geographies perform better during different stages of the macro-economic cycle. Therefore, it is critical for investors to identify the asset classes, sectors or markets that relatively outperform in each stage. As such, tactical asset allocation is an active trading strategy that advises investors to adjust the composition of their portfolios in order to take advantage of cycle-specific price fluctuations across sectors, markets and asset classes. Read our analysis on which sectors to be overweight during recessionary markets.

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