• Key market indices
    • S&P500: 3714.25 -3.31%
    • DJIA 29982.63 -3.27%
    • Hang Seng Index: 28573.86 +2.50%
    • Straits Times Index: 3004.87 +0.38%
    • Gold Spot $/Oz: 1827.64 -1.13%
    • Brent Crude: 52.11 -0.94%
    • Bitcoin: 35011.91 -8.28%
  • Eight in 10 global funds struggle to beat the benchmark, ETFs gather record net flows of more than $500bn in 2020 (Link)
    • Only 20% of global funds have managed to beat the FTSE World Index over five years according to Morningstar data
    • ETF assets reached $5.5 trillion at the end of 2020, adding more than $1 trillion from year-end 2019
    • ETFs gathered a record $520bn in net flows in 2020
  • VC investment in the Asia-Pacific region remained strong with $25.2bn in Q4 (Link)
    • In its strongest performing quarter of the year, Asia attracted $25.2bn in VC investment in Q4'20 - up from $24.4bn in Q3'20
    • This is mainly driven from a continuous surge in investment in China, where VC investment rose to an eight-quarter high
    • Health and biotech are expected to remain very hot areas of investment, in addition to edtech, logistics, and marketplace platforms
    • Fundraising activity focused on niche sectors - such as sustainability or inclusive finance is also expected to increase.
  • GameStop traders outsmart the smart guys, leaving an indelible mark on Wall Street (Link)
    • Big investors or hedge funds, who hold short positions in individual stocks, saw some of these positions come under siege from a large cohort of small investors, many of whom use a reddit forum
    • The trading phenomenon has taken off during the pandemic and is accelerating as people are stuck in their homes
    • Market pros say that hedge funds will now be wary of putting on shorts, and instead may create positions in the options market that would take the role of a short
    • Individual investors have grown to 20% of the market from the low teens, as retail trading surged during the pandemic; retail is now capable of driving the valuation in certain stocks
  • Bitcoin is risky, here's how institutions can manage it (Link)
    • As an emerging asset class, traditional risk modelling strategies - like factor, statistical, or macroeconomic models - cannot be applied to bitcoin in the same manner
    • Bitcoin's lack of correlation to other asset classes makes the level of volatility less concerning; although bitcoin is slightly positively correlated to most asset classes, the correlation never goes beyond 0.2
    • Constructed a sample of portfolios that substituted bitcoin in for 5% of equities, and found out that the portfolio's overall risk only increased by just 0.35%
  • Scaramucci (Skybridge Capital): This is the age of decentralization, and bitcoin is the epicenter (Link)
    • Democratization of trade where retail traders are getting the same amount of information from institutions
    • Bitcoin is the epicenter of democratization and decentralization of finance
  • Broadridge launches ESG advisory service (Link)
    • The new service, that leverages proprietary data, will help corporate issuers and asset managers improve sustainability strategies while effectively positioning their ESG programs with stakeholders
    • Companies are making corporate responsibility initiatives part of their business strategy as more retail and institutional investors raise ESG concerns and seek long-term performance advantages and benefits of ESG-focused businesses
    • Enables clients to move from strategy to execution by benchmarking ESG efforts to peers and industry best practices to identify areas for improvement, aligning ESG capabilities with emerging frameworks and standards, enhancing EGS program through all aspects of shareholder communication, calculating carbon footprints and setting long-term environmental impact reduction goals, and help asset managers align corporate ESG strategies with product development

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