Our flagship product, called Synopsis, is published every two weeks. It uses the data generated by our process to address whatever we think are the most important issues in global investing at the time.

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All our notes are tagged thematically, so feel free to click on any of the topics and explore what we have written.

Under UK regulations, our research is only available to professional clients and eligible counterparties; they are not available to retail (investment) clients. Harlyn Research is not registered as an investment advisor with the SEC and therefore any information about our investment products or services is not directed at nor intended for US investors.

Bear Market Sector Strategy

Friday, November 4th, 2022

What to focus on and what to ignore

It easy to be overwhelmed by the speed and quantity of information in a bear market. Investors need a clear focus on what matters and what doesn’t. In any bear market, there are about 10 sector pairs (out of 45) which really drive the performance of a regional equity portfolio and the rest don’t matter very much. These pairs vary from one bear market to the next but are relatively easy to identify. There is also another set of pairs, which may be significant in market cap terms, whose relative performance cannot be easily integrated with the rest of the portfolio. US sectors which feature heavily in this list in this bear market include Financials, Healthcare and Industrials. In Europe, they are Materials, Utilities and Financials.

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Timing the Turn

Monday, October 17th, 2022

Think like a hedge fund with a short-equity position

At the bottom of every bear market, there is a moment when equities turn, but most long-only managers are too risk-averse to believe it. Our approach does not try to anticipate this, but there are techniques we can use to spot the opportunity sooner. The trick is to think like a hedge fund manager with a short position in equities. In every bear market since 2000, the window for a risk-efficient short position in equities has opened weeks or months after our long-only models have got to an underweight position. This window also closes well before our long-only model rebuilds its position in equities. At the bottom of the cycle, the marginal buyer is the person with a short position.

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Switch Off the Autopilot

Friday, October 7th, 2022

Currency impact on equity allocation is now extreme

The strength of the US dollar has hugely overstated the attractiveness of US equities to both US and international investors. The currency effect against developed markets is more powerful than it has been in all but 3% of weekly observations, going back to 1995. This is fine while it lasts, but one day it will go into reverse. Meanwhile, the dollar index is approaching generational highs. After the last tech-bust and peak dollar, US equities underperformed the rest of the world, in dollar terms, for the next five years (2003-08).

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The Unreal, Real Yield

Friday, September 16th, 2022

Inflation expectations in the US are still too low.

There is a big mismatch in US inflation expectations, with 10-year breakeven rates anchored around 2 percent, survey data at 5 percent and core CPI at over 6 percent. We think the latter figures are far more realistic, which means that the US fixed income and equity markets could be in for a nasty shock. We also think that global currency markets are becoming disorderly and that the yen, euro and sterling will all test historic lows against the dollar. It’s not a “sell-everything” strategy, but it is closely related. There may soon be an interesting opportunity in EM Equities and EM Bonds. The last bull market in EM Equities started about three months before the dollar index hit its last high in late 2001 and we see other historical parallels which spark our attention,

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Currency, Currency, Currency

Friday, September 2nd, 2022

Euro and sterling FX markets could become disorderly.

Nobody likes to consider the prospect of a currency crisis, but we think this is getting more likely by the day. We have long thought that the hiking cycle in the US would cause at least one major asset class to come unstuck.  When we wrote the original note, we didn’t think it would be European currencies, but this is what the price action now suggests. Both sterling and euro have broken down out of previous trading ranges and both could test historic lows if the FX markets become prisoners of their own momentum, as sometimes happens. European investors need to own as many natural hedges as they can – US issuers in credit and dollar earners in equities.

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Messy Reality

Friday, August 19th, 2022

Using sector betas to evaluate investor attitudes to risk

We wanted to get a handle on which equity regions had the most risk-averse investors, so we measured the beta of our recommended overweight and underweight sectors. We found that reality is much messier than we thought and that pre-conceived, US-centric attitudes to risk do not translate well to other regions. Our numbers suggest that Eurozone investors are the most risk averse, but the sectors they use to express this view are not the ones that US investors would choose.

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