Reams Asset Administration Q4 2023 Letter To Customers

Torsten Asmus

Dear Customers and Close friends:

As 2023 attracts to a near, we discover ourselves reflecting on a calendar year that vividly embodied the German phrase “Sturm und Drang,” which translates to “Storm and Strain.” Whilst the time period is now utilised to describe turmoil generically, it initially determined a late 18th-century motion in German literature and music that emphasized intense emotion and unique subjectivity, offering a counterpoint to the rationalism, empiricism, and universalism that described the Age of Enlightenment.

The most outstanding creator associated with the Sturm und Drang motion, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, wrote a dialectical dyad, “Prometheus” and “Ganymed,” that features applicable allegories. These two poems, drawing from Greek mythology, observe a loaded tradition of exploring the interaction of opposing ideas and current an significant parallel to how we navigated 2023, or any other yr for that make a difference. (Goethe is most well-known for his two-portion tragic participate in “Faust” – the origin of the time period “Faustian bargain” – which will possibly give the issue of a foreseeable future letter a lot more immediately involving the Federal Reserve.)

In “Prometheus,” Goethe offers the titular Titan as the embodiment of defiance and resilience. He is the archetypal rebel, challenging the divine purchase (aka Zeus) to bestow upon humanity the reward of fireplace – a image of creativeness, ingenuity, and the relentless human spirit. Conversely, “Ganymed” portrays a harmonious and gratifying union with the divine, reflecting an acceptance of fate and alignment with better forces. At the threat of waxing way too poetic, these contrasting themes from Goethe’s functions illustrate the dual character of our investment decision tactic, a dual mandate if you will. On the a person hand, we channel the spirit of Prometheus, demanding consensus views and using contrarian positions when ideal. On the other hand, we embrace the wisdom of Ganymede through the strategic alignment of portfolios with broader economic trends and prolonged-expression sector dynamics.

Amid the sturm and a entire large amount of drang more than Federal Reserve coverage and climbing curiosity costs in 2023, some may perhaps find it shocking that U.S. Treasury costs barely transformed when the dust ultimately settled. The 2-calendar year Treasury yield (US2Y) declined by 18 foundation details yr-in excess of-12 months, the 10-yr (US10Y) was unchanged, and the 30-12 months (US30Y) charge rose by a mere 6 basis factors. These alternatively modest once-a-year actions stand in stark distinction with the Treasury market’s severe volatility all over the 12 months. This is not to say that almost nothing took place in 2023 – loads of matters occurred in phrases of geopolitics, macroeconomics, Fed plan shifts, etc. – but the previous yr was certainly formed by vacillating extremes in current market sentiment and underlying narratives that defied linear and purely reasonable paths. Navigating this promptly shifting landscape demanded us to stability Prometheus’ defiance with Ganymede’s harmony, making sure that our portfolios ended up equipped to acquire non- consensus tactical stances whilst also running within a dependable strategic framework.

For the vast majority of 2023, our portfolios preserved an over-neutral length stance, reflecting appealing serious yields that arrived at concentrations very last noticed, on a sustained foundation, in 2006/07. When genuine yields are however reasonably eye-catching on a extended-term basis, they are absolutely less so now than they were in October. Respecting the sharp Treasury rally in Q4 2023 and the rather aggressive Fed pivot that is now priced into the forward curve, we have minimized length and adopted a significantly much more neutral stance heading into 2024. This change gains even more advantage when linked to present hazard asset valuations, which indicate a circumstance of declining fascination charges without the need of an accompanying deterioration of economic situations. Although this end result is probable, it is not really probable in our view.

Appropriately, we have also reduced our exposure to company credit rating. Corporate spreads, while not wholly unattractive, now current much less persuasive relative benefit, particularly versus the backdrop of a slowing overall economy and the probable for a recession in 2024. Additionally, we have diminished publicity to non-U.S. greenback belongings adhering to two months of USD weak spot that coincided with the drop in U.S. Treasury yields. A meaningful obese to the house loan sector, which was developed in the course of 2023, remains as a substantial-conviction placement. Although the home finance loan sector outperformed about the closing two months of the calendar year, spreads are continue to extensive and interesting. Notwithstanding this mortgage obese, we have transitioned our portfolios to a additional balanced posture that will make it possible for us to react a lot more nimbly to near-phrase volatility.

Widening the aperture, it is important to recognize that the possibility landscape for bond buyers has shifted substantially. The concentrate for the previous two a long time has been on inflation, growing prices, and heightened volatility. As we search toward the foreseeable future, on the other hand, the actual hazard is not a continuation of these tendencies but alternatively their reversal. In other words and phrases, a return to artificially small interest costs and suppressed volatility. This is not a Q1 2024 dilemma – except anything genuinely drastic unfolds – and the change would be beneficial in the quick expression, but a return to the dim days of the submit-GFC period of time represents a considerable prolonged-phrase danger that bond traders should really start out to confront.

As we forge forward, our unwavering intention is to recognize and get ready for an evolving set of hazards and alternatives. In a dynamic macroeconomic and current market atmosphere, our dedication is to equilibrium currently being flexible and disciplined, proactive and prudent. This tactic, drawing inspiration from both equally Prometheus and Ganymede, need to permit us to carry on to generate exceptional success for our clients, with additional storm and strain absolutely to occur in 2024.

Sincerely,

Mark M. Egan, CFA Running Director


Disclosure:

This letter is delivered for informational uses only and incorporates no financial investment, tax, authorized or accounting assistance or tips to invest in or provide any unique securities. Statements in this letter are based mostly on the views of the writer and the information and facts readily available at the time this letter was created. The views expressed do not necessarily mirror the sights of the organization, its customers or any of its or their respective affiliates. All viewpoints are subject matter to improve devoid of see. All investments require hazard, such as the feasible decline of principal. Past performance does not assurance potential effects. Reams Asset Administration is a division of Scout Investments, Inc., a registered investment adviser that gives financial investment administration providers for both equally managed accounts and mutual money. Scout Investments is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raymond James Investment decision Management, a registered investment decision adviser and a wholly owned subsidiary of Raymond James Fiscal, Inc. Further info is out there at www.reamsasset.com or www.scoutinv.com.


Authentic Post

Editor’s Notice: The summary bullets for this write-up were being chosen by Trying to get Alpha editors.