Using the 1890s as a Guide to Bond Investing (Not the 1980s)

使用19世纪90年代作为债券投资指南(不是20世纪80年代)

2019/05/07 02:12
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对照中文英文原文
一本关于1892年由女性撰写的投资书与今天的债券市场有着惊人的相似之处。

Jenna Barnard, Co-Head of Strategic Fixed Income, shares the story of how receiving a book on investing from 1892 – found by chance at a second-hand book shop – turned out to be a rare gem of a birthday gift. The book’s lessons on investing are not only instructive but also shine a light on the predicament facing bond investors today.

战略固定收益联席负责人詹娜巴纳德分享了一个故事,即如何从一本关于1892年投资的书籍获得具有指导意义的投资建议,而且还能揭示当今债券投资者面临的困境。

Last month I received a birthday present of a singular little book dating from 1892 that was found by chance at a second-hand book shop. Counsel to Ladies and Easy-Going Men on their Business Investments and Cautions against the Lures of Wily Financiers & Unprincipled Promoters turned out to be a personal guide to bond investing written by an anonymous woman based on her own investment experience in the late 1800s. Understandably, this might not appeal to everyone, but from my perspective it turned out to be a rare gem of a birthday present.

上个月我收到了一本生日礼物,是一本可以追溯到1892年的小书,这本书偶然发现在一家二手书店里——《为女士们和随和的男士们提供商业投资方面的建议,并告诫他们提防狡猾的金融家和无原则的推销商的诱惑》。这是一位匿名女性根据她自己在19世纪后期的投资经验,撰写的关于债券投资的个人指南。可以理解的是,这可能不会吸引所有人,但从我的角度来看,它已成为生日礼物中罕见的宝石。

The book’s contents are not only instructive but also bring illumination to the predicament facing bond investors more than a century later. It is worth noting that the book was written in the UK in 1892 in the midst of what was known as “The Long Depression.” This period has many parallels to our own but hit the UK particularly hard. The UK became a pursued economy, with its industrial hegemony eroded by the emergence of the U.S. as a competitor. Globally, the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s were a period of falling price levels and economic growth rates that were significantly below the periods preceding and following. Triggered by financial crises (railroad bonds in the U.S., a silver crisis in Europe) and stagnant real wages, this period exhibits many parallels to the current global malaise.

这本书的内容不仅具有指导意义,而且还为一个多世纪以后债券投资者面临的困境带来了光明。值得注意的是,这本书于1892年在英国写成,这个时期被称为“长期萧条”。这一时期与我们自己有很多相似之处,但对英国的影响特别大。英国的工业霸权因美国作为竞争对手的出现而受到侵蚀。在全球范围内,19世纪70年代,1880年代和1890年代是价格水平下降和经济增长率明显低于前后期间的时期。受金融危机(美国铁路债券,欧洲白银危机)和实际工资停滞的影响,这一时期与当前的全球萎靡不等有许多相似之处。

The book contains timeless investment principles, and here I’ve chosen a few choice quotes from the book to reflect on:

这本书包含了永恒的投资原则,在这里我从书中选择了一些选择引用来反思:

Recurring Troublemakers & Government Bond Investing in Europe

经常性的麻烦制造者和投资欧洲政府债券

Northern Europe:

北欧:

“Securities of good Continental Governments, such as Germany, Prussia, Holland and Scandinavia are too dear as a rule.”

“德国,普鲁士,荷兰和斯堪的纳维亚等美国大陆政府的证券通常都是非常珍贵的。”

“France, Austria, Hungary and Italy, are honest, but they add to their debts year by year.”

“法国,奥地利,匈牙利和意大利都很诚实,但他们逐年增加债务。”

Southern Europe:

南欧:

“The government securities of the South of Europe, Spain, Portugal, and Greece are dangerous as permanent investments; from time to time they have compromised their creditors in the past, and will do so again.”

“欧洲南部,西班牙,葡萄牙和希腊的政府证券作为永久性投资是危险的;过去他们不时会损害他们的债权人,并会再次这样做。“

The relevance of these statements is obvious given the experience of Europe in recent years, but it continues to amaze us that many investment managers exhibit little long-term stewardship of their clients’ money or perspective during “hot” markets. A classic case in point was the almost farcical Argentinian 100-year bond issued in 2018 and currently trading at 67 cents on the dollar.1

鉴于近年来欧洲的经验,这些陈述的相关性是显而易见的,但令人惊讶的是,许多投资经理在“热门”市场中对客户的资金或观点缺乏长期管理。一个典型的例子就是2018年发行的阿根廷100年期债券,目前交易价格为67美分.1

Corporate Bond Investing

公司债券投资

“No investments are more dangerous for a lady than new banks and new insurance companies.”

“对于一位女士来说,没有比新银行和新保险公司更危险的投资。”

“New banks at home or abroad are often started by second class people, and must be carefully avoided. Established and solid business firms do not readily change their bankers, so that many of the clients of a new bank are third or fourth rate firms; for some years usually bad debts are made, and the management has to buy its experience at a heavy, and sometimes ruinous cost.”

“国内外新银行通常由二等人开办,必须小心避免。成熟而稳固的商业公司不容易改变他们的银行家,因此新银行的许多客户是第三或第四流的公司;多年来,通常都会产生坏账,管理层必须以沉重的,有时甚至是毁灭性的成本来购买它的经验。“

This point is not lost on anyone who might have invested in bonds from Metro Bank, a UK challenger bank that was launched a few years ago.

任何可能投资于几年前推出的英国挑战银行Metro Bank债券的人都不会忘记这一点。

Metro Bank 5½% 6/26/28 Bond Price

地铁银行5½%6/26/28债券价格

Source: Bloomberg, Metro Bank 5½% 6/26/28 Bond. Data from 6/20/18 – 4/28/19, GBP

资料来源:Bloomberg,MetroBank5½%6/26/28 Bond。数据从6/20/18 - 4/28/19,GBP

“Loans of small states and the securities of companies with small capital… are difficult of sale and the quoted margin… is usually considerable. Moderate stakes in large companies are the best.”

“小国家的贷款和资本规模较小的公司的证券......难以出售,而且报价的利润率通常很大。大公司的适度股权是最好的。“

We have also found the bonds of smaller companies to have higher default rates, on average, and lower recovery rates. Lending to a company with less than $100 million in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) is, in our view, best avoided by investors.

我们还发现,较小公司的债券平均违约率较高,回收率较低。在我们看来,投资者最好避免向息税前利润低于1亿美元的公司(利息,税项,折旧和摊销前的盈利)提供贷款。

Short-Duration Bond Strategies

短期债券策略

“Bonds to be paid off at par in a few years are not very desirable for ladies. If good they will have to buy at a premium, and will of course incur a loss of capital at the end of the term. They will then have the trouble of finding a new investment and as the interest on money may further decline, this may be a considerable disadvantage.”

“几年内以平价回报的债券对于女士来说并不是很理想。好的情况是她们将不得不以溢价购买,并且当然会在期限结束时产生资本损失。然后,他们将难以找到新的投资,而且由于对货币的兴趣可能进一步下降,这可能是一个相当大的劣势。“

The issue of reinvestment rates is particularly pertinent today if, as we believe, the Federal Reserve has signaled that rates in the U.S. have peaked at the 2.4% effective fed funds rate. Rates in much of the developed world will likely not rise by much, if at all, during this cycle. Thinking about where rates may go in the next recession is sobering and makes longer-dated investment-grade bonds attractive, in our opinion.

如果像我们认为的那样,美联储已经暗示美国的利率达到2.4%有效联邦基金利率的最高点,那么再投资利率问题今天尤为重要。如果有的话,在这个周期中,许多发达国家的利率可能不会大幅上升。在我们看来,考虑下一次经济衰退时的利率走势是令人清醒的,并使长期投资级债券具有吸引力。

Sensible Income

明智的收入

“In a country like England, where low rates of interest rule, a security offering 5 or 6 per cent would properly be looked at with suspicion.”

“在像英格兰这样低利率国家的国家,提供5%或6%的证券将被怀疑地看待。”

“Avoid bonds or shares to concerns which hold out a promise of an unusually high rate of interest, or an excessive profit.”

“避免债券或股票出现承诺异常高利率或超额利润的担忧。”

In conclusion, this little book is a useful reminder of the importance of style and discipline in credit investment. It also emphasizes that anchoring to the high interest rate and inflation regime of the 1980s, when many investment managers started their careers, is neither useful nor rewarding as a mental starting point. Periods of low inflation, low interest rates and speculative manias are many and varied through history. Sensible bond investing can help investors navigate these environments with their capital intact.

总而言之,这本小书有助于提醒风格和纪律在信贷投资中的重要性。它还强调,当许多投资经理开始他们的职业生涯时,锚定于20世纪80年代的高利率和通货膨胀制度,既不是有用的,也不是有益的作为一个心理起点。低通胀,低利率和投机狂热的时期很多,历史也各不相同。明智的债券投资可以帮助投资者在资本完整的情况下驾驭这些环境。

It is fitting to end on this final bit of wise counsel from the book:

从这本书的最后一点明智的建议结束是恰当的:

“It is the common experience that fortunes tend steadily to increase in the ratio that losses are avoided.”

“通常的经验是,在避免损失的比例中,财富稳步增加。”

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