Top U.K. Managers Look to U.S.

Some top U.K. fund managers are upping their allocations to U.S. stocks, seeing the American market as offering more safety than some cheaper-looking markets in other parts of the world.

“The scene is set for a year of good, broad-based equity returns provided the euro leaders push ahead with a joint fiscal arrangement with real ECB support and avoid a fully fledged banking crisis,” Robin Geffen, who recently upped his Neptune Global Equity fund’s U.S. allocation to the highest point in the fund’s 10-year history, tells Investment Week. “In this scenario the US is not vulnerable to fall into a recession and the emerging market economies can look after themselves so long as the advanced world is not in a state of acute financial crisis.”

Fellow fund manager Bill McQuaker also likes the U.S. “The world continues to have its troubles, and against that backdrop the U.S. is a safer place to be,” he says. “You are buying assets denominated in dollars and if there is a downturn then you have got that dollar safe haven exposure.”

McQuaker says China and Europe may look cheaper than the U.S. in terms of valuation, but that doesn’t mean they are more attractive.  He also says the U.S. is lined up for a manufacturing “renaissance” that would make it a “new emerging market”, according to Investment Week. “The US has put itself in a wonderful position with regards to its currency and its labour costs, and in some sense the U.S. is the new emerging market,” McQuaker says.