Displaying items by tag: bubble
House prices are at all-time highs, and since a small slump at the start of the pandemic have really seen rapid growth but are they in a bubble? Long story short, probably not, because a few key metrics are keeping them elevated. Federal Gov assistance programs have diminished the foreclosure numbers. Added to that the trillions poured into countless QE and MBS purchases have made mortgage rates be at near all-time lows. Finally, there appear to be real shortfalls in different housing markets, and the pandemics work from anywhere policies are having strong growth in places like Boise, Austin, and Orlando. All of these factors come together to say that there is a relatively low risk of a housing bubble but to keep your eyes peeled.
Finsum: The Case Shiller home price index is at an all-time high but more importantly growing at an all-time rate, this is getting close to bubble territory but it is lacking the speculative component.
Environmental, social, and governance investing drew in almost $35 trillion last year and that number is expected to grow another 42% by 2025, and while those dollars might be better for the environment the large inflows from unseasoned investors are pushing ESG into a price bubble. Large inflows are can disregarding traditional financial discipline which can affect debt/equity ratios, dividends, and distort valuations for future mergers and acquisitions. New companies in the onset of their financial growth are already being evaluated at 15 times revenue, on top of that investments in the traditional sector are suffering as outflows continue this could cause supply shortages and further inflation. Continued inflows into ESG could swell the bubble further and risk a collapse.
FINSUM: ESG could be swelling into risky territory, investors should be cautious particularly with retirement vehicles.
Any seasoned market veteran will tell you that today’s hottest thing might very well turn into the epicenter of tomorrow’s crisis. Tech stocks led to the Dotcom crash, structured credit led to the Financial Crisis. Now ask yourself, what is the hottest product of the moment? The answer is simple: ESG stocks. ESG is nebulous as an asset class since it crosses many boundaries, but in reality, a lot of the new ESG AUM has flowed directly into large cap tech stocks. This means that a lot of the buying going on in large cap tech is just de facto ESG buying.
FINSUM: ESG is a surging category and a lot of Dollars are flowing in. Since the term and its actual meaning are still vague, a lot of the money flows into tech, which is almost universally seen as ESG friendly. When might the music stop?
Many investors are worried that the huge growth in ESG assets might be causing a bubble in the most common stocks in ESG funds. However, the reality is that they are not. According to Bridgewater Associates: “The shift to ESG appears to be still in its early innings. Investor positioning in sustainable equities is not yet overextended … The US ESG index looks very similar to the aggregate market, and much less frothy than stocks that have been most popular with retail investors where we think valuations are most stretched”.
FINSUM: In other words, despite all the hype about ESG asset growth, overall valuations are in line with the broader market so there is no specific risk to ESG funds.
One of the largest asset managers in the world made a potentially very worrying claim today: that ESG today is a lot like the tech bubble was in year 2000. The sovereign wealth fund of Norway’s CEO, Nicolai Tangen, says that much like dotcom stocks, ESG asset are trading at very frothy valuations. What is interesting about his claim, though, is that he is not focused on the potential “bubble”, but rather on what those valuations mean. “What is interesting is, if you compare the situation now with, for example, the situation before the year 2000, then the stock market was right that technology companies were going to do well in the future … But the valuation went a little high, so it came down again, but the technological development continued, said Tangen. He continued, “We may see something of the same sort now, that what is happening in the green shift is extremely important and real”.
FINSUM: So Tangen is saying there is a big bubble in ESG, but in the way only an ultra-long-term investor like a sovereign wealth fund can, he is focused on how the market is “right” about its long-term potential.