Geopolitical tension can put a damper on investment outlooks.
Think of “the Russian [intervention] into Ukraine and Crimea, and then the subsequent implementations of sanctions by the U.S. and its allies on Russia,” says Patrick Bradley, senior vice president of Investment Research at Brandywine Global Investment Management. His firm manages the Renaissance Global Bond Fund.
Currently, “you can see [geopolitical tensions] day-to-day affecting markets,” he adds.
But, there can also be positive surprises that benefit outlooks, Bradley says. For instance, economic growth can be stronger than expected by economists, investors and analysts.
Consider “that what we see coming out of the European central bank is a very credible, aggressive quantitative easing program that’s going to push interest rates lower, [as well as] partly help the Eurozone countries move out of the current economic malaise that they find themselves in.”
More specifically, “you may see Germany instituting an infrastructure stimulus program to stimulate demand,” says Bradley. Further, “Italy may pass positive structural reforms that…will increase the potential growth rate of [its] economy” over the long term, even if they depresses expansion in the short term.
Or, new markets could be discovered: “You [could] see positive economic surprises coming from the Middle East.”
When determining the depth of investment risks, says Bradley, “you need to be balanced in your evaluation of risks; but the fact of the matter is, if we can discuss those risks and isolate them, it’s likely that they’re already priced into a variety of securities.”