Performance

Income Strategy

Review

For the month of October 2021

We have seen an eventful six weeks in fixed income markets. Inflation has been the key driving force as official numbers are beginning to reflect what we can see in daily life - that prices are steadily increasing. Importantly, this is a global phenomenon as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased over the last year by 4.9% in New Zealand, 5.4% in the United States and by 3% in Australia.

These inflation numbers have led to a reassessment of whether the central banks around the world are ‘ahead or behind the curve’ - market jargon for whether central banks, such as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), have inflation under control or are running to catch up.

This is a bit like the R value for COVID-19; if the R is greater than 1 then infection numbers are accelerating. With high CPI numbers, the market has decided the R value is >1 meaning the RBNZ will have to more aggressively increase the Official Cash Rate (OCR) to slow the increase in inflation.

In October, the RBNZ increased the OCR for the first time in seven years, from 0.25% to 0.50%. However, the market has been aggressive and priced in that the RBNZ will increase the OCR at every meeting between now and the end of next year - in other words, taking the OCR from the current level of 0.5% up to close to 3%.

While we do see the need for the OCR to increase, a move all the way to 3% seems excessive to us. Mortgage rates, aside from a few specials, are already at 4% and above. On a $500,000 mortgage (which is lower than many in Auckland) the annual interest bill will increase by $5,000 to $10,000 after people roll off their existing fixed rates. This will significantly reduce the money left over for discretionary spending. Combined with uncertainty regarding the state of the Auckland economy after three months of lockdown, we think that short-term interest rates in New Zealand look attractive so we are adding positions to the Income Category.

Details

Strategy objective Strategy summary Risk category Minimum suggested investment timeframe
To provide an active exposure to income assets. Anticipated to mainly own and trade New Zealand, Australian and international bonds and other authorised asset classes over the minimum suggested investment timeframe. 2 years+

Performance

Performance since inception (27 February 2020) to 30 October 2021
Wealth Builder Income Strategy Chart Wealth Builder Income Strategy Performance Table

NZ Funds Wealth Builder Income Strategy

  • Returns are stated after Strategy fees and expenses, but before any advisory fees or investor tax. Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future returns.
  • Cumulative returns.

Maximum Decline and Risk

  • Returns should be looked at in conjunction with the level of risk associated with an investment. "Maximum decline" is a measure of risk. It represents the largest decline in value in the previous 12 months or since inception of the Portfolio if it has not existed for 12 months.
  • This is the annualised standard deviation calculated using weekly returns of the Strategy and market index data over the 5 years ending 30 September 2021. Market index data is used for calculating the volatility prior to the inception date. For more details on the market index data, see the Statement of Policy and Objectives document on the Offer Register at www.companiesoffice.govt.nz/disclose. For more details on the Strategy’s Maximum Decline and Volatility please contact NZ Funds.

Note: Rounding may affect some numbers.

Portfolios

NZ Funds Wealth Builder Income Strategy

Complete Strategy as at 20 October 2021
Wealth Builder Income Strategy Portfolio Table


1. The yield calculation represents an estimate of the yield on the Strategy, calculated using the most recent information provided by the external investment managers involved in managing the Strategy, hedged back to New Zealand dollars where appropriate. It is not calculated 'as at' any particular date as different external investment managers provide data at varying dates. As a result, in some instances the yields may lag the date of this Strategy summary. The yield is not the actual return on the Strategy, nor is it a projection or forecast. The Strategy's return could be less than the Strategy's yield. Details of the yield calculation are available on request from NZ Funds.
2. Total economic exposure represents the total economic value of a Strategy, which is the net asset value of the Strategy adjusted for the effect of direct equity index futures positions taken by the Strategy. For more details of the total economic exposure calculations, contact NZ Funds.
Note: Rounding may affect any subtotals and totals.

Overview

Risk & volatility Please see the NZ Funds Wealth Builder Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or the latest Fund Update for information on risk.
Life Cycle allocation Life Cycle allocates 5% of a member’s funds to this Strategy until the member reaches age 58, from when their allocation will gradually increase.
Further information New Zealand Funds Management Limited is the issuer of the NZ Funds Wealth Builder Income Strategy. Further information is contained in the NZ Funds Wealth Builder Product Disclosure Statement

Inflation Strategy

Review

For the month of October 2021

The Inflation Category had negative returns in October driven primarily by weak returns in the New Zealand and Australian share markets and losses made on the United States interest rates position.

Compared to the global MSCI benchmark (up by more than 5%), the New Zealand share market was down 1.3% while the Australian share market was flat. The relative underperformance of the New Zealand and Australian markets is partially due to the specific sectors comprising these indices, but also that these markets were largely immune to September’s significant market pullback.

United States interest rates underwent changes as shorter-term rates increased while longer-term rates decreased. Higher inflation levels contributed to this as did markets’ reassessment of when central banks will need to increase cash rates to dampen rising prices. We lost money on our longer-term interest position which caused the majority of interest rate losses in October.

We had a small negative return from our energy commodities positions in natural gas and heating oil. Significant volatility in natural gas through the month reflected the ‘shoulder season’ when the Northern Hemisphere anticipates a colder than normal winter or not. From a fundamental standpoint our investment case remains intact, particularly regarding the lack of natural gas making its way into Europe from Russia.

We saw positive returns from our uranium positions, although the spot price was volatile and finished the month at a similar level to where it began. Share prices of uranium mining companies had strong performances as a result of continued positive headlines on the need for increased nuclear power generation around the world. This remains a high conviction position in the inflation portfolios as the global decarbonisation drive continues to accelerate.

Digital assets exposures performed well, and the Income Category benefitted from the cryptocurrency price rally through positions in Bitcoin, Ethereum and a small direct investment into a Galaxy-managed decentralised finance fund. Over the month, the price of Bitcoin increased from US$44,000 to US$61,000, while Ethereum increased from US$3,000 to US$4,300. The rally resulted from a number of factors, but we believe one of the key drivers was high inflation data points globally, leading investors to look for alternative assets to protect against inflation.

We believe the environment remains generally supportive for share markets. However, we monitor this closely moving towards the end of the year and potential risks increase as the United States Fed begins tapering. We continue to see very attractive investment opportunities across several different asset classes to provide multiple drivers for clients’ portfolios to increase over the next six to 12 months.

Details

Strategy objective Strategy summary Risk category Minimum suggested investment timeframe
To mitigate the impact of inflation on your investment over the medium and/or long term through active management. Anticipated to mainly own and trade New Zealand, Australian and international bonds and shares, and other authorised asset classes over the minimum suggested investment timeframe. 5 years+

Performance

Performance since inception (27 February 2020) to 30 October 2021
Wealth Builder Inflation Strategy Chart Wealth Builder Inflation Strategy Performance Table

NZ Funds Wealth Builder Inflation Strategy

  • Returns are stated after Strategy fees and expenses, but before any advisory fees or investor tax. Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future returns.
  • Cumulative returns.

Maximum Decline and Risk

  • Returns should be looked at in conjunction with the level of risk associated with an investment. "Maximum decline" is a measure of risk. It represents the largest decline in value in the previous 12 months or since inception of the Portfolio if it has not existed for 12 months.
  • This is the annualised standard deviation calculated using weekly returns of the Strategy and market index data over the 5 years ending 30 September 2021. Market index data is used for calculating the volatility prior to the inception date. For more details on the market index data, see the Statement of Policy and Objectives document on the Offer Register at www.companiesoffice.govt.nz/disclose. For more details on the Strategy’s Maximum Decline and Volatility please contact NZ Funds.

Note: Rounding may affect some numbers.

Portfolios

NZ Funds Wealth Builder Inflation Strategy

Complete Strategy as at 20 October 2021
Wealth Builder Inflation Strategy Portfolios Table


1. Where a strategy is shown, the asset class reflects the predominant assets in the strategy. The strategy may include other assets including cash.
2. The yield calculation represents an estimate of the yield on the Strategy, calculated using the most recent information provided by the external investment managers involved in managing the Strategy, hedged back to New Zealand dollars where appropriate. It is not calculated 'as at' any particular date as different external investment managers provide data at varying dates. As a result, in some instances the yields may lag the date of this Strategy summary. The yield is not the actual return on the Strategy, nor is it a projection or forecast. The Strategy's return could be less than the Strategy's yield. Details of the yield calculation are available on request from NZ Funds.
3. As at the date of the security listings, the majority of the assets of the Absolute Return Strategy were held in this asset class. This Strategy may also hold assets in other asset classes.
4. Total economic exposure represents the total economic value of a Strategy, which is the net asset value of the Strategy adjusted for the effect of direct equity index futures positions taken by the Strategy. For more details of the total economic exposure calculations, contact NZ Funds.
Note: Rounding may affect any subtotals and totals.

Overview

Risk & volatility Please see the NZ Funds Wealth Builder Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or the latest Fund Update for information on risk.
Life Cycle allocation Life Cycle allocates 10% of a member's funds to this Strategy until the member reaches age 55, from when their allocation will gradually increase to 34% by age 65.
Further information New Zealand Funds Management Limited is the issuer of the NZ Funds Wealth Builder Inflation Strategy. Further information is contained in the NZ Funds Wealth Builder Product Disclosure Statement

Growth Strategy

Review

For the month of October 2021

The Growth Category finished October with positive returns after navigating some volatility in key positions including interest rates, natural gas, and uranium.

Digital assets and cryptocurrencies were the best performing asset class, and we benefitted from the cryptocurrency price rally through positions in Bitcoin, Ethereum, shares in Galaxy Digital and a small direct investment into a Galaxy-managed decentralised finance fund. Over the month the price of Bitcoin increased from US$44,000 to US$61,000, while Ethereum increased from US$3000 to US$4300.

The cryptocurrency rally was caused by a number of factors, with one of the key drivers being high inflation data points globally, causing investors to look for alternative assets for protection against inflation. Bitcoin continues to be seen by a growing number of institutional investors as a form of ‘digital gold’ which can provide inflation protection as well as upside as digital growth continues.

Our international equities book performed strongly as most international markets bounced back from September’s significant sell-off. The S&P500 overcame its September losses by increasing 7% in October. This reflected the easing of concerns over Chinese property company defaults, and a return of ‘risk on’ sentiments once initial negative reactions to inflation concerns were absorbed.

Our New Zealand and Australian equities book saw negative returns reflective of weaker overall equity markets. The NZX50 fell 1% over the month although it had avoided September’s global equity market weakness.

We had a small negative return from our energy commodities positions in natural gas and heating oil. Significant volatility in natural gas reflected the ‘shoulder season’ when the Northern Hemisphere anticipates a colder than normal winter or not. From a fundamental standpoint our investment case remains intact, particularly regarding the lack of natural gas entering Europe from Russia.

We generated positive returns from our uranium positions, even though the uranium spot price was volatile and finished the month at a similar level to where it began. Uranium mining company share prices had strong performances following continued positive headlines on the need for increased nuclear power generation worldwide.

Looking forward, we believe the environment remains generally supportive for share markets. However, we will monitor this closely as we move towards 2022 and potential risks increase as the United States Fed begins tapering. We continue to see investment opportunities across commodities and digital assets to provide multiple drivers for clients’ portfolios to increase over the next six to 12 months.

Details

Strategy objective Strategy summary Risk category Minimum suggested investment timeframe
To grow your investment over the long term through active management. Anticipated to mainly own and trade New Zealand, Australian and international shares, and/or hedge funds and other authorised asset classes over the minimum suggested investment timeframe. 10 years+

Performance

Performance since inception (27 February 2020) to 30 October 2021
Wealth Builder Growth Strategy Chart Wealth Builder Inflation Strategy Performance Table

NZ Funds Wealth Builder Growth Strategy

  • Returns are stated after Strategy fees and expenses, but before any advisory fees or investor tax. Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future returns.
  • Cumulative returns.

Maximum Decline and Risk

  • Returns should be looked at in conjunction with the level of risk associated with an investment. "Maximum decline" is a measure of risk. It represents the largest decline in value in the previous 12 months or since inception of the Portfolio if it has not existed for 12 months.
  • This is the annualised standard deviation calculated using weekly returns of the Strategy and market index data over the 5 years ending 30 September 2021. Market index data is used for calculating the volatility prior to the inception date. For more details on the market index data, see the Statement of Policy and Objectives document on the Offer Register at www.companiesoffice.govt.nz/disclose. For more details on the Strategy’s Maximum Decline and Volatility please contact NZ Funds.

Note: Rounding may affect some numbers.

Portfolios

NZ Funds Wealth Builder Growth Strategy

Complete Strategy as at 20 October 2021
Wealth Builder Growth Strategy Portfolio Table


1. Where a strategy is shown, the asset class reflects the predominant assets in the strategy. The strategy may include other assets including cash.
2. The yield calculation represents an estimate of the yield on the Strategy, calculated using the most recent information provided by the external investment managers involved in managing the Strategy, hedged back to New Zealand dollars where appropriate. It is not calculated 'as at' any particular date as different external investment managers provide data at varying dates. As a result, in some instances the yields may lag the date of this Strategy summary. The yield is not the actual return on the Strategy, nor is it a projection or forecast. The Strategy's return could be less than the Strategy's yield. Details of the yield calculation are available on request from NZ Funds.
3. Total economic exposure represents the total economic value of a Strategy, which is the net asset value of the Strategy adjusted for the effect of direct equity index futures positions taken by the Strategy. For more details of the total economic exposure calculations, contact NZ Funds.
Note: Rounding may affect any subtotals and totals.

Overview

Risk & volatility Please see the NZ Funds Wealth Builder Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or the latest Fund Update for information on risk.
Life Cycle allocation Life Cycle allocates 85% of a member’s funds to this Strategy until the member reaches age 55, from when their allocation will gradually decrease.
Further information New Zealand Funds Management Limited is the issuer of the NZ Funds Wealth Builder Growth Strategy. Further information is contained in the NZ Funds Wealth Builder Product Disclosure Statement