Minding the Gap Between Short-Term and Long-Term Trends

The Invesco Perpetual Multi Asset team believes that identifying investment opportunities requires a comprehensive view of economic and market dynamics — one that accounts for short-term, cyclical drivers but also looks beyond to incorporate longer-term, structural trends. We believe a two- to three-year time frame can help account for both types of trends to reveal attractive investment opportunities. In this blog, we explain why.

Cyclical versus structural drivers

First, let’s define what we mean by structural versus cyclical drivers.

  • Cyclical drivers, or indicators, tend to be more volatile, reflecting shorter-term changes. For example, the Purchasing Manager Indices (PMI), which reflect growth in the manufacturing sector, are a cyclical indicator of economic recovery.
  • Structural drivers are typically slower-moving factors that can reflect longer-term, secular changes across economies and markets. At the macroeconomic level, one such example is public debt, which is accumulated over an extended time period and may take an even longer period to unwind.

Case study: Bond yields

Let’s explore an investment opportunity in bond yields around the fall of 2010, and the potential impact of considering both cyclical and structural drivers. Historically, bond yields have tended to rise during periods of economic growth, as increased economic activity creates upward pressure on inflation and increases the demand for borrowing.

  • Cyclical signals: In the period following the 2008 financial crisis, short-term indicators like the PMI signaled the economy was moving toward recovery. Expectations of higher inflation and increased borrowing would then suggest higher bond yields. But that conclusion would fail to take into consideration the impact of longer-term factors, such as debt.
  • Structural drivers: Borrowing — especially in developed markets — grew rapidly in the early 2000s, leading to unsustainable levels of private sector debt in the run-up to the financial crisis. Historically, unwinding these heavy debt burdens has been a major component of post-crisis periods. Such episodes of deleveraging have often been protracted and complicated, and have weighed heavily on the pace of economic recovery, as credit creation slows dramatically. New banking regulations introduced after the 2008 crisis compounded that effect, further reducing credit creation. Other structural drivers such as demographics and quantitative easing created additional downward pressure on yields.

An intermediate time period of two to three years to evaluate an investment opportunity — such as this one in bond yields — provides the team with the appropriate framework to consider a more complete investment picture.

Incorporating a medium-term outlook into our investment process

Examples like these help confirm our belief that taking a two- to three-year view is the most appropriate for our investment process. Each investment idea within Invesco Global Targeted Returns Fund is, therefore, designed to seek a positive return over a two- to three-year period. We believe this time frame has the potential to uncover investment opportunities by taking into consideration both structural and cyclical economic drivers, especially if other market participants are exclusively focused either on shorter-term views or much longer-term, mean-reverting valuations.

This perspective is imbedded into every step of our TEAM investment process, which suggests that for every idea considered for the portfolio, the sponsor of the idea needs to lay out the: (T) Theme of the idea; (E) Economic drivers; (A) Analytics and valuation supporting the idea; and incorporate the views of the relevant Invesco managers (M) outside of the Multi Asset team to reflect the views of a bottom-up, asset class specialist.


In financial markets, accounting for and considering both structural and cyclical drivers can help reveal investment opportunities. In order to identify these opportunities, an appropriate time frame — one that captures both types of drivers — must be defined. The Invesco Perpetual Multi Asset team believes this time frame is reflected in a two- to three-year period, which is an under-researched outlook in the marketplace.

This time frame is a critical component of the team’s investment process. It not only helps shape our view of the markets and the economy in the intermediate term, it helps us identify and vet investment ideas that are ultimately included in the strategy. Generating a comprehensive picture of the investment landscape represents one way in which the team can distinguish its approach to investing.

Read more expert views about alternatives investing.

Important information

There is a risk that the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) and central banks may raise the federal funds and equivalent foreign rates. This risk is heightened due to the potential “tapering” of the FRB’s quantitative easing program and other similar foreign central bank actions, which may expose fixed income investments to heightened volatility and reduced liquidity, particularly those with longer maturities. As a result, the value of the fund’s investments and share price may decline.

Derivatives may be more volatile and less liquid than traditional investments and are subject to market, interest rate, credit, leverage, counterparty and management risks. An investment in a derivative could lose more than the cash amount invested. These risks are greater for the fund than most other funds because its investment strategy is implemented primarily through derivatives rather than direct investments in more traditional securities.

The risks of investing in securities of foreign issuers, including emerging market issuers, can include fluctuations in foreign currencies, political and economic instability, and foreign taxation issues.

The fund is subject to the risks of the underlying funds. Market fluctuations may change the target weightings in the underlying funds, and certain factors may cause the fund to withdraw its investments therein at a disadvantageous time.

Leverage created from borrowing or certain types of transactions or instruments may impair liquidity, cause positions to be liquidated at an unfavorable time, lose more than the amount invested or increase volatility.

The fund is nondiversified and may experience greater volatility than a more diversified investment.

Short sales may cause an investor to repurchase a security at a higher price, causing a loss. As there is no limit on how much the price of the security can increase, exposure to potential loss is unlimited.

The fund may invest in derivatives either directly or, in certain instances, indirectly through Invesco Cayman Commodity Fund VII Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (subsidiary). Because the subsidiary is not registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (1940 Act), the fund, as the sole investor in the subsidiary, will not have the protections offered to investors in US registered investment companies.

Commodities may subject an investor to greater volatility than traditional securities such as stocks and bonds and can fluctuate significantly based on weather, political, tax, and other regulatory and market developments.

Debt securities are affected by changing interest rates and changes in their effective maturities and credit quality.

Underlying investments may appreciate or decrease significantly in value over short periods of time and cause share values to experience significant volatility over short periods of time.

The fund is subject to certain other risks. Please see the current prospectus for more information regarding the risks associated with an investment in the fund.

The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation of the suitability of any investment strategy for a particular investor. Invesco does not provide tax advice. The tax information contained herein is general and is not exhaustive by nature. Federal and state tax laws are complex and constantly changing. Investors should always consult their own legal or tax professional for information concerning their individual situation. The opinions expressed are those of the authors, are based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. These opinions may differ from those of other Invesco investment professionals.

All data provided by Invesco unless otherwise noted.

Invesco Distributors, Inc. is the US distributor for Invesco Ltd.’s retail products and collective trust funds. Invesco Advisers, Inc. and other affiliated investment advisers mentioned provide investment advisory services and do not sell securities. Invesco Unit Investment Trusts are distributed by the sponsor, Invesco Capital Markets, Inc., and broker-dealers, including Invesco Distributors, Inc. PowerShares® is a registered trademark of Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC (Invesco PowerShares). Each entity is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Invesco Ltd.

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