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How investors can prepare for recession

How investors can prepare for recession

The global economy is moving towards a recession at the end of 2019, Peter Elston, chief investment officer at Seneca, has warned.

Mr Elston said key developed economies are either now in expansion phase (US and UK) or still in recovery phase (Europe and Japan).

He said the expansion phase was evidenced by unemployment having fallen to low levels and inflation hitting levels that require central banks to start tightening monetary policy.

The phase behind the expansion phase is called the recovery phase, where employment conditions and inflation are still weak, and thus where economies still require a great deal of central bank support.

Mr Elston said: "My belief is that 2019 will see key developed economies progressing further along the business cycle and thus towards the point at which monetary policy becomes tight.

"This will be the point at which a global downturn becomes a real possibility. I think we will probably towards the back end of 2019, so we have a little way to go yet.

"In the meantime though, I expect returns from equities and other risky assets to fall, albeit remain positive.

"We have already been reducing our equity weights and will continue to do so, with the expectation that we will be materially underweight by the time the next bear market starts in or around 2019, in anticipation of an economic downturn."

James Montier, a member of the asset allocation committee at fund house GMO, said he thinks the market is being too optimistic about the growth prospects for the economy in 2019.

david.thorpe@ft.com