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The global economy and international political order are increasingly under the influence of disruptive forces. It is becoming increasingly important for investors to decipher these factors and take them into account when investing. FERI experts discussed the outlook for the economy and markets in 2024, the role of geopolitics and current trends in asset management with high-profile guests at the 36th FERI Conference in Frankfurt. "Traditional investments often do not take into account the dynamic nature of the financial markets. A consistent multi-asset strategy is the best way to achieve positive absolute returns in any market situation and protect assets at the same time," said Dr. Marcel V. Lähn, CEO and Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of FERI AG.
Overall, global economic growth is expected to be weaker in 2024, with negative growth in some regions. The end of the interest rate hike cycle has been reached, but interest rates will remain high in the coming quarters as inflation will only ease slightly in 2024. Geopolitics could prove to be a spoilsport for the markets, especially as important elections are due in 2024, above all in the USA. "The strategic rivalry between the US and China in particular is leading the world into an era of growing tensions and creating a power vacuum at a global level. As events in the Middle East have shown, this increases the risk of regional conflicts," said Dr. Heinz-Werner Rapp, founder and head of the FERI Cognitive Finance Institute. The ongoing conflict over Taiwan in particular could lead to a direct confrontation between the major powers and put the global economy to the test. This uncertainty is also weighing on the global economic outlook.
"In view of the intensified global situation, economic relations can no longer be viewed separately from security policy issues," emphasized Prof. Dr. Daniela Schwarzer, member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board and former Director of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). In the face of these geopolitical tensions, Europe must demonstrate unity and determination and remain in dialog with countries that pursue other social models.
Another focus of the FERI conference was on the question of how investors can practically implement a multi-asset approach in the current market environment. In this context, discussions included product innovations, artificial intelligence and the growing influence of sustainability aspects in capital investment. "The disruptive effects of AI and sustainability are influencing all asset classes," said Dr. Marcel V. Lähn. In view of these dynamics, the current market situation and the intensified geopolitical developments, institutional investors in particular are advised to adopt a real asset-oriented investment strategy that focuses on resilience and risk management.
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