Price is what you pay for, value is what you get.
~ Warren Buffett

BFI Infinity InSights Q3 2021

A lot has happened since our last investment update was published in May. While financial markets have been resilient with no major downside moves in the past few weeks, there have been some major developments on the geopolitical front, chief among them being the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, due to the rushed withdrawal of western forces that were there for almost 20 years. Two decades after the attacks of September 11, 2001 I think it is important to ask the question: Was is really worth all the lives lost and resources spent to stay in Afghanistan all those years trying to build up a democratic system?


BFI Infinity InSights Q2 2021

Since the release of our January InSights update, the global economy has continued to go through a challenging time. But now, finally, the outlook
is turning more positive for the future, as the world is starting to get the pandemic under control. While more and more people, especially in the West, are vaccinated, there are still regions where the pandemic is still raging, which is especially true for India. And yet, despite this, global macro-economic indicators are pointing to a solid global recovery that will, in combination with massive fiscal stimulus programs, lead to a very strong bounce for the world economy.


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BFI Infinity InSights Q1 2021

Finally, 2020 is behind us. It was a year that probably no one among us will ever forget. The Covid pandemic has impacted all of our lives and created uncertainty for everybody. While the initial reaction was panic, we have started to deal with the situation, learned to go on with our lives and work towards solving the problem.

BFI Infinity InSights Q3 2020

Since our June update, equity markets have continued to recover despite the fact that most major economies saw a sharp contraction during Q2/2020. While the contraction in Europe was still below 10%, the economic crisis in the U.S. has been more severe with much higher levels of nemployment. Central banks and governments around the world have started to provide monetary and fiscal stimulus like never before.​

BFI Infinity InSights Q2 2020

​The title of our February 2020 update was: “The year ahead: Expect the best, prepare for the worst” and we explained in our publication why we were cautious and advised investors tohedge their bets. While our main concern was a slowing global economy, the start of the corona pandemic added extra uncertainty and we clearly highlighted the risk of a stock market correction. Also in our February edition we looked at the potential impact of the developing corona crisis and while we certainly realized the potential risk, we did not foresee the enormous impact it would have on all of us.

BFI Infinity InSights Q1 2020

The past year was exceptional from an investing point of view. After a very difficult fourth quarter in 2018, with heavy losses in global equity markets, the rebound that started early in 2019 lasted much longer than many expected. In fact, despite the recent volatility caused by increasing fears of the coronavirus spread and the political tensions between the U.S. and Iran over the killing of Qassem Suleimani, the bull run in global equities might have further to go, even though most likely the coming weeks will be challenging.

BFI Infinity InSights Q4 2019

We want to look at the economic cycle and where we currently stand. The central bank called it a “mid- cycle slowdown”, which indicates that they expect it to be temporary. However, there are clear signals that suggest we are in a late-cycle environment.

While it is true that current and leading economic indicators fueled fears of a recession in many investors’ minds, a more nuanced and comprehensive approach is arguably best suited in order to fully understand where we stand today and to form our expectations of what lies ahead.

BFI Infinity InSights Q3 2019

We are going to look at the different central banks around the world and the policy approaches they are likely to adopt in the coming months. While the overall more expansionary trend speaks for continued asset price inflation, we are almost certain that the political risks globally will create more volatility going forward.

BFI Infinity InSights Q2 2019

Despite concerns over issues such as Brexit or the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, global equity markets had a surprisingly strong start to the year. Within just a few weeks, pretty much all the losses seen in 2018 were erased. This great reversal of fortune was something that probably not even the greatest optimists expected after the challenges of the last year. So, what are the reasons for this sharp recovery we’ve been seeing so far?

BFI Infinity InSights Q4 2018

With 2018 almost behind us and 2019 already waiting in the wings, it is the perfect time to reflect
on the developments of the year that is coming to an end and to look ahead at what awaits us in the coming twelve months.

BFI Infinity InSights Q2 2018

Equity valuations remain elevated and the macro-economic landscape continues to be supportive. But escalating global trade tensions have grabbed the majority of the headlines lately and serious concerns are growing over a potential, all-out trade war.

BFI Infinity InSights Q1 2018

After a strong and profitable 2017, with record low volatility, high investor confidence and arguably increased complacency too, this year began

with a sharp reminder that the stock market still has the potential for turbulence and unpleasant surprises.

BFI Infinity InSights Q4 2017

We can safely say that 2017 has been a good year so far for the global markets. Most developed economies are currently operating under a favorable environment of broad-based growth, low inflation and supportive monetary policies. Momentum gained so far shows potential to continue supporting the global markets’ uptrend. But the question on everyone’s mind is sustainability.

BFI Infinity InSights Q3 2017

Marching into the 2nd half of 2017, the global economy’s increasingly strong vital signs appear to be providing us with some firm ground for moving forward. Economic recovery has broadened and we are seeing a synchronized, sustained expansion. Central bank monetary policies, improved financial conditions, positive labor markets, and positive investor sentiment are all driving factors.

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BFI InSights Q2 2017

​After a sustained and record-setting stock market rally in the US, signs of recovery in Europe and improved economic indicators accumulating globally, 2017 so far appears to be the year that could finally “break the curse” of the sluggish growth, not to mention the political and economic instability, we’ve seen in recent years.

BFI InSights Q1 2017

A year full of surprises, plot twists and failed predictions is now behind us and, from what we know so far, 2017 is poised to be equally interesting. The political, economic and social tensions that brought us Brexit, the Trump victory in the US elections and the roaring “NO” vote of the Italian referendum are by no means resolved or overcome. With key elections in Europe scheduled for the year ahead, the wave of anti-establishment sentiment has the potential to bring about fundamental changes in the political and economic landscape. The future of the Eurozone and the vision of European integration hangs in the balance, as the ongoing immigration crisis and the continent’s deeply troubled banking sector sets the stage for another year of uncertainty, further amplifying investors’ unease.

BFI InSights Q4 2016

As I write this, updates on Deutsche Bank’s woes keep rolling in. Its shares have plummeted to record lows and fears of its potential collapse are on the rise, all under the weight of a proposed $14 billion fine from the US Department of Justice. No help is forthcoming either, as the German government made it clear that there is no rescue plan in the works.

BFI InSights Q3 2016

After the turbulence in August 2015 and February 2016, we had another shake-up in the markets at the end of the last quarter. On Thursday, June 23rd, after being a member for 43 years, the British people voted with a slim majority of 52% for an exit from the EU.

BFI InSights Q2 2016

The investment climate thus far in 2016 has proven to be quite tough, just as we had predicted in our previous BFI InSights. The year started with heavy losses in the equity markets, but the rally, which began mid-February, reduced those losses. Gold continued to rally, once again reminding us of its role as a reliable hedge during turbulent times. Gold is up over 16% in the first quarter. The daily fluctuations of gold prices are less critical than the confirmation of the general role gold can play in our clients’ portfolios: as protective buffer in uncertain times and a shield during a crisis.

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