Defensive investing has paid dividends in down markets

在低迷的市场中,防御性投资已经获得了回报

2019/04/25 06:08
对照中文英文原文
Joyce Gordon是美国共同基金的股票投资组合经理和首席投资官。她介绍了当前经济周期以及通过波动市场进行投资的经验教训。

The Cold War was raging, Jimmy Carter became the first candidate from the Deep South elected President since the Civil War and Apple Computer was a newly established company the year Joyce Gordon began her career at Capital Group. She started as an assistant at age 19 – the youngest employee ever hired at the firm at that time.

冷战正在肆虐,吉米卡特成为内战以来南方当选总统的第一位候选人,而苹果计算机公司是乔伊斯戈登在资本集团开始职业生涯的新成立公司。她19岁时开始担任助理 - 当时雇用该公司的最年轻员工。

It didn’t take Gordon long to recognize that the investment analyst role was the job to have at Capital. “For the first couple of years I was in a clerical role, but I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to work as an investment analyst,” she recalls. “Portfolio managers depend on the analysts to provide the information they need to make investment decisions. And I really liked the camaraderie and mutual respect among the investment professionals.”

戈登很久没有认识到投资分析师的角色是资本的工作。 “在最初的几年里,我担任过文职人员,但我很快就决定要担任投资分析师,”她回忆道。 “投资组合经理依靠分析师提供做出投资决策所需的信息。我真的很喜欢投资专业人士之间的友情和相互尊重。“

With Capital’s backing, Gordon earned her degree and then an MBA at night. In 1987 she became an analyst covering savings and loans.

在Capital的支持下,Gordon获得了学位,然后获得了MBA学位。 1987年,她成为一名储蓄和贷款分析师。

“Two years later, my responsibilities expanded to include the banking sector. That was in 1989, right before the commercial real estate crisis, when the average bank lost 67% of its value over 12 months,” she says. “It was about the only group of stocks that was declining because the crisis was centered around real estate. It was a lonely existence. I remember my research director saying, ‘Joyce, you are so lucky. You’re getting five years’ experience in one year.’”

“两年后,我的职责范围扩大到包括银行业。那是在1989年,就在商业房地产危机之前,当时平均银行在12个月内损失了67%的价值,“她说。 “由于危机以房地产为中心,这是唯一一只股票下跌的股票。这是一个孤独的存在。我记得我的研究主任说,'乔伊斯,你真幸运。你在一年内获得了五年的经验。'“

Today, Gordon is the principal investment officer and a portfolio manager for American Mutual Fund® (AMF). Since 1950, the fund has pursued three objectives — capital appreciation, current income and preservation of principal — by investing primarily in quality companies that pay dividends. Such value-oriented shares have lagged the broader market in recent years, behind a few fast-growing technology and consumer leaders. But with equity valuations elevated, market turbulence rising and the U.S. economy in late cycle, dividend-focused investing may start to attract more attention.

如今,Gordon是AmericanMutualFund®(AMF)的主要投资官和投资组合经理。自1950年以来,该基金通过主要投资于支付股息的优质公司,实现了三个目标 - 资本增值,当前收入和本金保全。这些以价值为导向的股票近年来落后于大盘,落后于一些快速增长的技术和消费者领导者。但随着股票估值上升,市场动荡加剧以及美国经济处于后期周期,以股息为重点的投资可能会开始引起更多关注。

We sat down with Gordon to get her perspective on the current environment and lessons learned about investing through volatile markets.

我们与戈登坐下来了解她对当前环境的看法以及通过波动的市场进行投资的经验教训。

The U.S. economy is firmly in late-cycle territory. How are you thinking about portfolio positioning today? Are you doing anything differently?

美国经济稳固处于后期周期区域。你今天如何看待投资组合定位?你有什么不同的做法吗?

Now that the Federal Reserve has halted its interest rate hikes and taken a more dovish stance, I expect the decade-long U.S. expansion can continue, even though we are in the late stages of the cycle. I also feel that markets can continue to offer appreciation.

现在美联储已停止加息并采取更温和的立场,我预计,即使我们处于周期的后期阶段,美国长达十年的扩张仍可继续。我也觉得市场可以继续提供升值。

But equity markets tend to be more volatile during the late cycle. In part, that’s because order volumes start to come down — or at least level off — which increases the potential for companies to fall short of their earnings estimates. So I expect markets to be volatile going forward.

但股市在后期周期中往往更具波动性。在某种程度上,这是因为订单量开始下降 - 或者至少是平衡 - 这增加了公司未达到盈利预测的可能性。所以我预计市场将会出现波动。

In this environment I am looking to be more defensive, focusing on established companies with a track record of generating steady revenue regardless of what is happening in the economy.

在这种环境下,我希望更具防御性,专注于那些无论经济状况如何都能创造稳定收入的成熟公司。

What type of companies are you looking at today that might have those qualities?

您今天看到哪些类型的公司可能具备这些品质?

Utilities such as American Electric Power, with long-term contracts and a stable rate base, have tended to hold up well in troubled economic times. Indeed, in 2018 the utilities sector of Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Index posted a 0.46% gain while the broader S&P 500 declined 6.24%.

拥有长期合同和稳定利率基础的美国电力公司等公用事业往往在陷入困境的经济时期保持良好势头。实际上,2018年标准普尔500综合指数的公用事业板块上涨0.46%,而标准普尔500指数下跌6.24%。

I also look closely at defense contractors, food companies and health care companies such as AbbVie. Hormel [0.6% of the fund’s portfolio as of 3/31/19], for example, has held up better than the market during past declines, as have retailers like Costco.

我还密切关注国防承包商,食品公司和医疗保健公司,如AbbVie。例如,Hormel [截至2009年3月31日该基金投资组合的0.6%]在过去的下跌中表现优于市场,就像Costco等零售商一样。

These types of companies tend to have low debt levels; sometimes they are net cash. And many of them pay dividends. The longer this expansion continues, the more attention I pay to dividend sustainability. Should the company decide to cut its dividend, support for the stock price could collapse. That’s what happened with a lot of companies in the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009.

这些类型的公司往往债务水平较低;有时它们是净现金。他们中的许多人都会分红。这种扩张持续的时间越长,我对分红可持续性的关注就越多。如果公司决定削减股息,对股价的支撑可能会崩溃。这就是2008年和2009年大衰退中许多公司所发生的事情。

What lessons did you draw from the 2008 recession and other down markets over the course of your career?

您在职业生涯中从2008年经济衰退和其他低迷市场中吸取了哪些教训?

One important lesson I learned is to avoid companies with a lot of debt. Companies with significant debt service are subject to a number of challenges. For example, they may feel pressure from credit rating agencies to cut their dividend so that they can maintain an investment-grade rating for their debt issuance.

我学到的一个重要教训是避免负债累累的公司。债务重大的公司面临诸多挑战。例如,他们可能会感受到来自信用评级机构的压力,要求他们减少股息,以便他们能够维持债券发行的投资级评级。

Another thing I learned is to pay close attention to what company executives and boards are doing. Take Washington Mutual, which failed during the financial crisis in 2008. Going into the crisis, the bank issued a proxy proposal that would change its management bonus structure, removing the impact of any loan losses. In other words, management was being incentivized by volume, not quality. Looking back, that should have been a telltale sign that something horrible was coming.

我学到的另一件事是密切关注公司高管和董事会的工作。以华盛顿互惠银行为例,该银行在2008年金融危机期间失败了。在危机中,银行发布了一项代理提案,该提案将改变其管理层奖金结构,消除任何贷款损失的影响。换句话说,管理层受到数量而非质量的激励。回想起来,这应该是一个可怕的迹象,表明可怕的事情即将到来。

I don't see a lot of those types of things going on today. But some companies are issuing debt to buy back shares and pay their dividends, rather than using free cash flow. It’s tempting for companies to do this because rates are so low, but it can be a warning sign.

我今天没有看到很多类型的事情发生。但是一些公司正在发行债券来回购股票并支付股息,而不是使用自由现金流。公司这样做是很诱人的,因为费率很低,但它可能是一个警告信号。

I have also seen some companies that have typically increased their dividend every year that have yet to do so over the past year. And in many cases these have been the companies with a lot of leverage who are becoming concerned about paying down debt. We have seen that with some of the food companies. This suggests that sales growth is tougher in this late-cycle environment.

我还看到一些公司通常每年增加股息,而这些股票在过去一年中还没有增加。在许多情况下,这些公司都是有很多杠杆的公司,他们开始担心偿还债务。我们已经看到了一些食品公司。这表明在这个后期周期环境中销售增长更加艰难。

AMF has a track record of resilience when markets are declining. Are you and the other AMF managers taking a more defensive approach?

AMF在市场下滑时具有适应力的记录。您和其他AMF经理是否采取了更具防御性的方法?

Because preservation of principal is one of the fund’s primary objectives, I am always thinking about steps I can take to help protect on the downside. Today I am holding more cash than usual; it's partly because we are so late in the economic cycle and partly because I'm getting a little nervous about valuations. While I do give up some of the market return potential, holding cash can help mitigate market volatility and, if the market corrects I have the dry powder to invest in good companies at relatively attractive valuations.

由于保留本金是基金的主要目标之一,我一直在考虑我可以采取的措施来帮助保护下行。今天我拿着比平时更多的现金;这部分是因为我们在经济周期中已经很晚了,部分原因是因为我对估值感到有些紧张。虽然我确实放弃了一些市场回报潜力,持有现金可以帮助缓解市场波动,如果市场纠正,我有干粉,以相对有吸引力的估值投资于优秀公司。

In addition, all the portfolio managers in the fund are looking through their portfolios with a fine-tooth comb. We are studying how companies have fared in previous downturns to identify a whole array of stocks that typically do well versus those that don't tend to fare so well.

此外,该基金的所有投资组合经理都在使用细齿梳查看他们的投资组合。我们正在研究公司在之前经济低迷时期的表现,以确定通常表现良好的一系列股票,而不是那些往往表现不佳的股票。

It comes down to doing the fundamental research on individual companies. Over time we have constructed a backdrop of what has typically happened during recessions and the types of companies that have fared better than the broader market.

它归结为对个别公司进行基础研究。随着时间的推移,我们已经构建了经济衰退期间经常发生的事情以及比大盘更好的公司类型的背景。

We go through all the scenarios and try to make sure that we are protecting on the downside while still participating in the market. The goal is to help our investors stay the course through difficult periods by reducing the amount of volatility in the fund.

我们经历了所有情景,并试图确保我们在仍然参与市场的同时保护下行。目标是通过减少基金的波动性来帮助我们的投资者在艰难时期坚持下去。

Joyce Gordon is an equity portfolio manager with 38 years of investment experience and has been with Capital Group for 43 years. Earlier in her career, she covered thrifts, banking and paper & forest products companies as an equity investment analyst. She holds an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in business finance from the University of Southern California.

Joyce Gordon是一位拥有38年投资经验的股票投资组合经理,并在Capital Group工作了43年。在她的职业生涯早期,她作为一名股权投资分析师,曾为储蓄机构,银行和纸张及林产品公司提供服务。她拥有南加州大学的工商管理硕士学位和商业金融学士学位。

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