While shepherds watched their stocks…with Tilney’s Ben Seager-Scott

In a festive Q&A series investment experts reflect on how much markets and work life has returned to normal in 2021

Ben Seager Scott

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Tilney’s Ben Seager-Scott has little faith in the so-called Santa rally and is entering 2022 with an overweight in alternatives

How do you expect the Santa rally to play out this year? 

My belief in Santa Claus is considerably stronger than my faith in the Santa rally and I prefer to try and invest with at least some level of fundamental conviction. Of course, the Omicron variant is highly likely to add a lot of volatility to the mix, but volatility isn’t just in one direction.

What are your biggest over and underweights heading into 2022? 

Our biggest underweights continue to be broadly within fixed income, especially to nominal interest rate duration, so we have essentially nothing in conventional government bonds, favouring short-dated credit and inflation-linked exposures. Against this, we have an overweight within our alternatives allocations, including physical gold exposure as well as absolute return funds with managers where we have high conviction.

How much have you been meeting fund managers face-to-face this year compared to last? 

Well last year is an extremely low base comparison, so we’ve certainly had considerably more face-to-face meetings this year.

How have in-person meetings changed compared to pre-pandemic times? 

Well there is certainly more Covid-19 awareness and protocols, but I think the big change has been much more embracing of hybrid meetings now that everyone is a lot more comfortable with using video conferencing.

How different are your Christmas plans going to be in 2021 compared to last year? 

Assuming we stay out of lockdown, it will be good to be able to see family during the festive period and I think a lot of people will generally be being a little more cautious in the preceding days – that’s certainly the approach I’m planning on taking.

What’s on your Christmas wish list? 

Beer and a bingeable boxset!

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