Low risk, not high return, makes Japanese equities attractive
Our proprietary volatility index dropped out of the danger zone three weeks ago, having warned us back in May 2022 that something was going to break. This helps to explain why investors feel so comfortable with equity risk at the moment. All equity regions have levels of realised volatility below their 25-year median and only US Treasuries are still in the danger zone. The volatility of Japanese equity returns is in the 13th percentile of its 25-year history. Investors don’t have to believe the new (or is it the old) shareholder activism story. The risk-cost of entry into Japanese equities is low by historical standards and that is enough to make the risk-reward calculations work.