31 octubre 2017

Natixis advierte de un enfriamiento de EEUU

Los franceses son muy buenos estudiando la economía y sus tendencias:
As US GDP growth rises at 3% or more for the second quarter in a row, French investment bank Natixis urges investors to prepare for the U.S. economy to "slow down substantially" as early as 2018.
Patrick Artus, chief economist at Natixis, warned that the current level of corporate investment is "abnormally high" and suggested a downward correction.
"The US economy will in all likelihood slow down substantially: there is a limit to the rise in the participation rate and the employment rate; real wages are slowing down,"
Artus concluded:
"investors should therefore prepare for the consequences... If US growth slows down markedly ... equity valuation and share prices will start falling."
For now he is almost alone in the wilderness as Wall Street analysts are falling over themselves to extrapolate trends, call the death of the bond bull market, and declare escape velocity is finally here (but carefully noting that this has nothing to do with Trump at all...)
As Alhambra Investment Partners' Jeffrey Snider notes, there's even less inside the Q3 GDP report... especially where it counts.
Inside the advance third quarter GDP report, the details in most of the important categories suggested slowing after two quarters consistent with “reflation” at least in its third try. If the economy swings between shallow downturns and often shallower upturns, these subcategories give us some insight as to why. Overall, growth remains at a level that is not growth, whether consumers or business investment.
Real Final Sales to Domestic Purchasers, a measure of US demand regardless of where the goods/services originated, increased by just 1.80% (Q/Q SAAR) in Q3. That was the lowest rate of expansion since Q1 2016 and the near-recession trough. It doesn’t bode well for future growth both as a reflection of incomes and the labor market but also the slight uptick in inventory detected by GDP also in the third quarter. That’s a potential problem for domestic producers as well as those overseas (China).
In terms of consumers alone, Real PCE growth remains stuck around and less than 2.5%. That’s substantially less than consumer spending growth that propelled actual economic advancement in the latter 20th century (with the eurodollar-fueled debt of the 2000’s serving as the initial transition to what we have now). In the media this is classified as “strong” and “resilient” when in fact it shows just how much trouble American workers have as compared to prior periods.
Most concerning of all is business investment. Real Private Non-residential Fixed Investment (PNFI) is a measure of capex, perhaps the broadest for the overall US economy. Quarter-over-quarter, PNFI rose by just 3.9% (SAAR) in Q3, a notable slowing from Q1 and Q2. Neither of those prior two quarters was all that solid to being with.
It is here where the so-called supply side or economic potential originates, and it is here where these upturn/downturn cycles are most evident – and therefore disquieting.
After massive cuts to capex due to liquidity constraints first during the worst of the Great “Recession” and its immediate aftermath, capital project spending didn’t really recover by a rate or level commensurate with that contraction. That was in all likelihood due to liquidity concerns especially at the corporate level.
Worse, after both subsequent monetary events (2011-12, 2014-16) aggregate capex becomes weaker for each one. Given what we know of corporate usage in the bond market (heavy), it seems out of character to tie it to liquidity preferences except in view of how those proceeds are actually being used (more and more financial “investment” rather than productive expansion).
From the perspective inside the boardroom, an economy that isn’t actually growing (confirmed by these downturns) is a greater risk than stock prices that appear invulnerable. Risk perceptions matter a great deal where economic opportunity is so limited. In other words, the worse the economy performs the more shares corporates will repurchase considering that to be the least risky use of scarce funds (in light of revenue and profit growth, or the related lack thereof).
If the supply side isn’t rebounding all that much in this third reflation upturn, it would explain in part the following (setting aside for now the oversized Establishment Survey jump in 2014):
What saved the day, so to speak, for the GDP headline was nothing more than inventory. Without it, Real GDP grew by 2.21% in Q3, down from 2.89% in Q2 and more like the deceleration we find internally.
Unless something happens during the current quarter to turn this around, businesses may find that inventory more of a hindrance and therefore an economic drag rather than a boost. Perhaps the effects of Harvey and Irma will provide some reprieve, but that shouldn’t last long with insurance premiums (among other things) already being re-evaluated for billing early next year.
It’s another really clear demonstration of this ratchet effect, where the intermittent monetary or liquidity (“dollars”) interruptions leave the US economy worse off for every one. We still haven’t recovered from 2008, let alone 2015-16, but each time it gets harder to overcome the downturn immediately before while still at the same time trying to grow our way out of what is now a complete lost decade. Unless something radically changes, Q4 2017 kicks off a second one no matter how many times over the next three months you see 3% celebrated (and it will be) as if it means something.
PD1: Ahora que se acerca Halloween, que mejor que mostremos una realista imagen de Europa, según un periódico británico:
Y a mí lo que más me preocupa es Italia, mucho más que España, por dos factores:
No quieren saber nada de Europa:
Y están endeudados hasta las orejas:
Los bancos italianos deben una burrada, cada vez más, a los bancos acreedores alemanes:
Pobres alemanes… Otro tanto están de endeudados los bancos españoles.
Y las deudas del estado italiano:
Sin ser capaces de reducirla en épocas de bonanza… Siempre gastando más de lo que tienen…
Salvo que decidan hacer su default y empezar de nuevo, como ya lo han hecho antes…
Y mientras, el Banco Central Europeo haciendo de las suyas… A comprar todo lo que se pueda. No lo entiendo. Cada vez entiendo menos…
Al mínimo del año:
PD2: Dijo San Juan Pablo II: “Dios se deja conquistar por el humilde y rechaza la arrogancia del orgulloso”. Cuánta razón tenía. Vivimos en un mundo de soberbios presuntuosos, que andan fardando todo el día de lo que dicen que tienen o son… Humildad. Siempre, mucha humildad.

30 octubre 2017

la metamorfosis de los mercados emergentes

Muchos cambios producidos en los mercados emergentes en los últimos años. Un amplio resumen:

The Metamorphosis of Emerging Markets

The relative performance of emerging markets has been unremarkable over the past decade, however meaningful changes have taken place in the fundamental and financial construct of the asset class that are relevant for asset allocators. Most notably, the composition of the index has seen dramatic shifts in sector, country, and stock constituents, reflecting an underappreciated transition in the fundamental forces increasingly driving developing market economies. Rising consumerism and growing everyday use of technology within the developing world represent meaningful fundamental changes in economic behavior and such thematics are accessible through a growing number of listed corporates and globally competitive companies.
Additionally, prudent macroeconomic policy implementation and selective structural reforms have laid the foundation for more stable and sustainable long-term economic growth, while companies are being managed in a more efficient and shareholder-friendly manner. With longer-term valuation metrics remaining attractive for many developing equities on a comparative basis, the significant changes to the emerging markets asset class are increasingly important to consider. Because we feel that some of these shifts in the emerging markets story may be underappreciated or misunderstood, in this piece we present views from various team members pertaining to the changing face of emerging markets.
The Opportunity Set is Improving
Over much of the past thirty years, the emerging markets asset class has frequently been regarded as something to “rent” as opposed to own for most investors. Known for commodity-reliant economies and cheap sources of manufacturing labor, developing nations’ financial markets historically gyrated around the ebbs and flows of global economic activity. While this phenomenon has not entirely vanished, the composition and macro sensitivity of emerging market equities have nonetheless been shifting. Part of this transition can be explained by the fading omnipotence of globalized trade as well as a somewhat related policy-driven emphasis on spawning more domestically-oriented economies. Developing countries’ demographics position them well to pivot in this direction and unsurprisingly, the evolution of the asset class has reflected this reality (Figure 1), with consumer-related equities now composing a greater percentage of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index than cyclicals.
While the steady ascent in developing market consumerism has been materializing for nearly a decade, the more recent quantum leap in technological innovation and adoption in emerging markets has been surprisingly abrupt. China illustrates a prime example of this development, with industries such as shopping centers completely marginalized by e-commerce behemoths Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com. These platforms are revolutionizing consumer, merchant, and advertiser behavior through digital ecosystems and are increasingly proving to be globally competitive (yes, even against the likes of Google and Facebook) in areas such as artificial intelligence, e-payments, and logistics. China has similar long-term aspirations in other areas including healthcare.
Alongside the changing fundamental landscape of the developing world, the financial framework is evolving as well. Brazil, for example, has introduced the Novo Mercado market index that sets out more stringent listing rules defined as:
“Good corporate governance practices, more stringent than those present in the Brazilian legislation. These rules, consolidated in the Listing Rules of the Novo Mercado, expand shareholder rights, improve the quality of information usually provided by companies and widespread ownership, and determine the resolution of corporate conflicts by a Board of Arbitration that offer investors the security of an alternative more responsive and specialized.” (Source: BM&F Bovespa)
In another example, China has recently enacted steps to increase access between mainland China (known as A-Shares) and Hong Kong (which provides a platform for global investment money) financial markets. The program, known as “Stock Connect” aims to improve mutual market access as part of a strategic plan targeted at deepening and broadening the accessibility of Chinese equities, and ultimately bonds as well. The launch of the connect program involved various operational and legal issues including T+0 trade settlement, payment, delivery, and the creation of trade accounting structures. Thus far, the connect program has proven successful and represents an incremental step toward greater integration into the global financial system for China.
India represents a third example of financial market progress with its encouragement of a domestic investment culture. Through a series of reform-oriented measures, Indian household equity holdings as a percentage of savings have risen from 2.2% in 2014 to approximately 4.0% today and net monthly domestic inflows continue to trend higher (Figure 3). Establishing a stronger domestic equity base is important for the development of developing financial markets and a number of emerging countries are already targeting similar measures.
Developing nations represent approximately 40% of global GDP and accounted for 80% of global GDP growth in the latest twelve months, yet they represent only 10% of global equity market capitalization (Figure 4). As these economies increasingly generate growth via areas like technology, education, healthcare, and consumer services, the configuration and behavior of the underlying asset class will similarly shift. Returns on capital should gradually converge towards developed market levels, capital expenditure (CAPEX) and asset intensity should reduce, return dispersion within the index should expand, and earnings volatility relative to history should diminish.
An example of this metamorphosis can be seen in the Chinese education space - an industry poised to grow 8% annually to $140 billion by 2020 (source: Frost & Sullivan) - where leading companies such as a large education company should deliver a 40% earnings per share compound annual growth rate between 2017-2020 while achieving return on equity (ROE) of nearly 40% with consistently positive free cash flow. These realities reinforce the notion that relative to history, heavyweights in the emerging markets will increasingly be companies that investors can “own” rather than “rent” while providing valuable portfolio diversification at the same time.
Slowly buy Surely
In recent years, several emerging market countries have undertaken structural reforms to better position for long-term sustainability. While reform can be a slow process and involve hurdles along the way, we see meaningful progress in a number of areas.
Between 2000 and 2008, China built overcapacity across a number of industries that supported the country’s urbanization phase, including steel, cement, aluminum, shipbuilding, and coal. Once a net importer of steel, China currently maintains more steel production capacity than the rest of the world combined. This debt-financed capacity overbuilding created risks for the industrial sector and the banking system in a cyclical downturn. Over the past two years, China has shut down over 10% of its steel capacity, and has begun similar supply side reforms in other areas previously plagued by overcapacity, supporting the profitability of these industries, while also reducing the associated financial sector risk.
Amid much fanfare, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi came into power in 2014 within a government that had previously been plagued by policy paralysis. Three years later, Modi has largely delivered on his promises, undertaking targeted stimulus, deregulation, and tax reforms that promote a formalization of the economy, while clamping down on corruption. These measures have been well received, resulting in a surge in both portfolio investment flows as well as foreign direct investment. The reforms undertaken by Modi place India on a clearer path to realizing its demographic dividend.
Brazil has taken bold action in an attempt to shore up its fiscal deficit. The country’s debt to GDP ratio rose from 55% in 2004 to around 74% today, which creates a heavy burden in a high interest rate environment. Labor reform was recently passed by Brazil’s Congress, with an aim to increase the flexibility of Brazil’s labor market, improve productivity, and create jobs. The coming months will bring about a push for pension reform, which could have a meaningful impact on the deficit, considering Brazil currently spends over 10% of GDP on pension benefits.
These three examples are just a snapshot of the reforms taking place in emerging markets, which also include energy reform, environmental protection, privatizations, and state-owned enterprise reform, among others. Alongside such macro-oriented measures, we observe emerging market corporate management teams undertaking similar initiatives to improve their efficiency and streamline their operating structures.
First, companies are showing increasing discipline and shareholder alignment with respect to their capital allocation decisions. Many companies have adapted to an environment of slower global growth by opting not to pursue top line growth at all costs, but rather to operate in a more efficient manner, cutting operating expenses and rationalizing CAPEX. Not only is the declining CAPEX intensity we have witnessed over the past several years a likely precursor to rising profit margins, but it has also resulted in increasing dividend payouts.
Additionally, several Brazilian companies have recently entered into new shareholder agreements that simplify the corporate structure, promoting better alignment with minority shareholders. This should enable these companies to migrate to the previously mentioned Novo Mercado, a segment of the Brazilian equity market for companies with strong corporate governance practices and transparency.
These shareholder friendly measures undertaken by EM corporates, along with structural reform at the macro level, point to the potential for ongoing reduction of the risk premium associated with emerging markets, as investors are likely to pay a higher multiple for the resulting visibility in the long-term growth profile.
Instability Breeding Stability
While the long-term potential of emerging markets relative to developed markets has continually remained attractive, the high levels of macro instability since 2013 led many investors to remain tactically underweight the asset class due to heightened perceived risks. Those very same risks, namely bloated external deficits, high levels of inflation, wider fiscal deficits, and steady FX depreciation have forced internal adjustments on many countries. While we acknowledge that short-term bouts of volatility remain a risk, the adjustment undertaken by numerous economies since 2013 renders the current emerging markets landscape much more stable than it has been in the past.
The cornerstone of this improved stability is smaller external deficits. There has been a substantial improvement in external positions, with the countries once referred to as “fragile” having exhibited marked narrowing of trade deficits over the past two years (Figure 5). Most of this external deficit reduction has come from weakness in domestic demand and thus, in imports. Exports have also been a positive contributor in recent years, helped along by pickups in manufacturing, technology, and commodities. While the export side of the equation may prove to be somewhat cyclical over time, the structurally improved ability to withstand shifts in the cycle via policy and corporate governance should ultimately enable emerging markets to chart a stronger course in the future.
There are a few things that have been very reliable in emerging markets over the past decades. First, with much higher potential growth rates, higher real rates, and higher returns on capital, money tends to flow to emerging markets when risks decline. We have seen that very clearly this year, with flows returning to all emerging market asset classes as macro risks and the threat of FX losses have waned. Second, when financial conditions ease in emerging markets, growth actually responds. Since the global financial crisis, developed market monetary conditions have been as easy as possible, yet there has been very little growth recovery. We do not expect this to be the case in emerging markets, and rather see the economies in the very early stages of a typical cycle, where growth improves as financial conditions loosen and credit begins to grow again. (Figures 6 and 7)
Given the improvement in external positions across emerging markets, we are not surprised to see currencies appreciating. However, this has not always been the case. In the past, due to consistent currency intervention by EM central banks (selling domestic currencies versus reserve currencies), investors were often left guessing whether improving current accounts would in fact lead to currency appreciation. Today, with widespread global trade growth and shared rhetoric against currency manipulation, the logical relationship between external balances and currencies is intact. Thailand provides a good illustration of this dynamic.
Thailand’s exports have been extremely strong (Figure 8). Simultaneously, lower oil prices are compressing imports, supporting the current account. As the current account surplus balloons, FX reserve accumulation is accelerating (Figure 9). On a real effective basis, the Thai Baht is as strong as it has been in the past fifteen years. Widening current account surpluses and appreciating currencies are consistent trends across most of the exporting nations in the Asia Pacific region. As the current account balloons and the Baht appreciates, it creates a positive feedback loop by putting further downward pressure on inflation. This is common across many of the high yielding emerging market countries, which fuels the positive carry trade.
Emerging market inflation has fallen rapidly since the middle of 2016 (Figure 10). In fact, the current level is even lower than the financial crisis trough when domestic demand was under immense pressure. With inflation falling and central banks maintaining a cautious approach, real yields have increased. In fact, emerging market real yields are at all time highs (Figure 11) which is attracting captial at record levels (Figure 12) and breeding stability across all emerging market asset classes. This stability will eventually facilitate policy rate reductions by central banks, which should support domestic demand growth and an extended positive cycle for emerging market economic growth and asset class performance.
Improving Growth and Profitability at a Reasonable Price
The past seven years have been challenging for emerging markets, both in absolute and relative terms. During this time, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has been roughly flat in US dollar terms while the MSCI World Index has risen more than 60%. Factors such as slowing Chinese GDP growth and a global commodity down cycle weighed on emerging market earnings growth, return ratios, and valuations, while developed markets sailed through this period relatively unscathed. We see the tide now turning as emerging market fundamentals have reached a positive inflection and asset class underperformance in recent years has created strong potential for outperformance versus developed markets over the coming years.
While superior growth potential has historically been a key reason to allocate to emerging markets over developed, the former has not delivered in recent years. In fact, 2016 was the first time in five years when emerging market earnings per share grew faster than developed market earnings per share. Emerging economies have better long-term growth prospects, based on demographics and productivity improvement. With prior cyclical headwinds such as currency weakness and economic slowdown now easing, emerging markets should once again grow earnings at a faster rate than their developed market counterparts (Figure 13).
Following five consecutive years of contraction, emerging market return on equity (ROE) expanded last year. DuPont analysis reveals the key drivers of ROE compression in recent years were falling margins and asset turnover (Figure 14). Looking ahead, ROE should expand as margins and asset turnover recover, bolstered by stronger earnings growth and improving corporate management. It is worth noting that emerging market ROE is increasing relative to developed market for similar reasons. Rising emerging market ROE is even more impressive when considering that leverage is falling from peak level. While part of the uplift is being driven by recovery of the commodity cycle from a depressed level, another driver is growing representation of the high margin, information technology sector within the index. This compositional shift should ensure a structurally healthier ROE profile for the asset class.
While near-term earnings multiples have rerated significantly over the past year and a half, emerging markets remain attractively valued on longer-term measures and relative to developed markets. On a cyclically-adjusted price to earnings (PE) ratio, which measures valuation on a multiple of ten-year trailing earnings, developing markets are trading near historical trough (Figure 15). Conversely, the US cyclically-adjusted PE is near the high end of its historical range, excluding the tech bubble (Figure 16). On a relative multiples basis, the discount of emerging versus developed is one standard deviation stretched versus history. Relative valuation has historically tracked relative economic growth rates for the two groups. After five years of convergence, the growth spread of emerging over developed has begun to expand once again, which should favor relative rerating of the former.
Despite strong relative performance of emerging markets since the trough in early 2016 (emerging has outperformed developed by more than 20% over this time period), investors remain under allocated to the asset class. Fund allocation data shows global fund managers with historically extreme underweights to emerging markets (Figure 17). We see strong potential for funds to flow from developed to emerging as asset allocators embrace the improving absolute and relative case.
Investors who have grown accustomed to the conventional view of emerging markets may be surprised to learn of the changes that have taken place over the past decade. Challenges for emerging markets during this volatile period have laid the foundation for a steadier and more sustainable fundamental future. The representation of highly cyclical industries within the index has fallen, replaced by more sustainable and compelling growth companies in areas such as technology and consumption. Progress is being made with historically elusive structural reform, while companies are being managed better. Earnings growth and returns of the asset class are improving in absolute and relative terms, while valuation looks attractive on longer-term measures and relative to developed markets. While the asset class will no doubt remain susceptible to shorter-term periods of volatility, we are excited about the multi-year outlook and believe emerging markets’ attractiveness within a global asset allocation continues to rise.
PD1: Muy buenos consejos, mejor que el yoga!!!

30 útiles consejos para evitar el estrés

Sentimos que el tiempo no alcanza para nada.

Te dejamos estos sencillos consejos para ayudarte:
1. Disfruta cada día.
2. Levántate a tiempo para empezar el día sin apuros.
3. Deja un poco de tiempo extra para hacer las cosas o llegar a algún lugar.
4. Aprende a decir que no a proyectos que no pueden introducirse en tu horario de trabajo o que comprometerían tu salud mental.
5. Delega tareas a personas capaces.
6. Simplifica tu vida.
7. Recuerda que menos es más.
8. Ordena tu tiempo. Dale más tiempo a grandes cambios o proyectos difíciles.
9. Organízate de tal manera que cada cosa tenga su espacio.
10. Escribe las cosas.
11. Todos los días encuentra un momento para estar a solas contigo mismo/a y otro para estar a solas con Dios.
12. Haz suficiente ejercicio.
13. Aliméntate bien, con una dieta saludable y balanceado/a.
14. Bebe agua. Tu cuerpo se deshidrata cuando estás bajo estrés, tensión ó ansiedad. Beber agua contribuye a la relajación.
15. Haz oración.
16. Descansa lo suficiente.
17. Toma un baño relajante.
18. Camina, ponte ropa cómoda y camina un rato. Una caminata al aire libre, de 10 a 30 minutos diarios, te ayuda a relajarte.
19. Lleva contigo algo para leer mientras esperas en colas.
20. Cultiva un hobbie o afición.
21. Sonríe.
22. ¡Ríe más fuerte!
23. Desarrolla una actitud tolerante; la mayoría de las personas tratan de hacer las cosas de la mejor manera posible.
24. Habla menos, escucha más.
25. Sé amable con las personas que no lo son; tal vez ellos lo necesitan más.
26. Rodéate de recuerdos lindos, enmarca tus fotos favoritas y colócalas en un sitio visible, pon frases positivas en lugares visibles.
27. Reduce el ritmo, aprende a disfrutar cada momento de tu vida.
28. Empieza a buscar amistad con gente feliz y no estresado/a.
29. Ve a dormir en el momento preciso. Duerme mínimo 7 horas
30. Todas las noches, antes de dormir, haz un examen de conciencia y un recuento de todas las cosas buenas que tuviste en ese día. Agradece a Dios, pide perdón por tus faltas y pídele que te dé un descanso reparador

27 octubre 2017

Así somos los españoles en cuanto a los ahorros

Poca cultura financiera, demasiado ladrillo, demasiada vinculación con el banco de siempre que nos engaña… No tenemos remedio!!!

Por qué el español invierte poco y obtiene tan poca rentabilidad

Una familia media tiene un patrimonio con un valor de 119.000 euros. De esa cantidad, tan solo el 7% está compuesto por depósitos, fondos o planes de pensiones

¿Ha hablado alguna vez con sus amigos sobre cuánto dinero tiene ahorrado? ¿Sabe si sus padres tienen algún seguro de vida ahorro? ¿Ha comentado con algún compañero de trabajo cuáles son los mejores fondos en los que invertir? Si usted ha respondido a estas tres preguntas con un no es que es un español al uso, con gran pudor a la hora de hablar de dinero y reticencias para adquirir un producto financiero que no sea un depósito.
“Tal vez sea exagerado hablar de que existe un tabú a la hora de tratar sobre inversiones, pero es verdad que es un tipo de conversación muy poco frecuente en círculos familiares o de amistad”, explica el consejero delegado de una gestora de fondos, con 30 años de experiencia en esta industria.
“Cualquiera comenta qué coche o qué móvil se va a comprar, o incluso dónde está mirando para adquirir una vivienda, pero raramente se habla de inversiones. Está mal visto”, añade.
Alejandro Meraviglia Ahorros de los hogares
De acuerdo con la última Encuesta financiera de las familias –elaborada por el Banco de España y dada a conocer esta semana–, una familia media tiene un patrimonio de 119.400 euros, que se concentra fundamentalmente en el valor de su vivienda habitual. Este es un dato mediano, así que la mitad de los hogares españoles tiene un patrimonio superior y la mitad tiene menos.
 Activos financieros: solo 9.000 euros ahorrados
En contraste con esta cifra, el dinero que una familia media acumula en productos financieros es tan solo de 9.000 euros (de nuevo, en valor mediano, si se tomara la media sería mucho mayor por la distorsión de los activos de los más ricos). Esta cifra representa tan solo el 7,1% de la riqueza neta de los hogares (que descuenta las deudas pendientes).
Los datos de la encuesta mencionada se refieren al cierre de 2014, pero los indicadores macroeconómicos apuntan a que la composición de la riqueza y el ahorro de las familias no ha cambiado mucho desde entonces. Aunque ha crecido el volumen de inversión en fondos, el dinero acumulado en depósitos y cuentas corrientes sigue estando en máximos.
La querencia por la vivienda en propiedad ha dado mucho poder a los bancos, que controlan la gestión de patrimonios
“Existe la creencia de que los españoles no ahorran, pero no es cierto. Lo que ha ocurrido es que aquí se ha priorizado destinar los ahorros a la compra de una segunda vivienda, o de un local, antes que comprar un producto de inversión”, explica Ángel Martínez-Aldama, presidente de la asociación española de gestoras de fondos (Inverco).
Los datos al respecto son elocuentes. Según Eurostat, España es el segundo país europeo donde hay mayor proporción de familias con vivienda en propiedad, el 78% del total (solo por detrás de Noruega), frente a países como Alemania (52,6%) o Francia (64%). La encuesta del Banco de España da una cifra aún más alta: un 82,6% de familias con vivienda en propiedad. Además, según esta muestra, el 40% de hogares tiene alguna otra propiedad inmobiliaria (casas de veraneo, solares, locales…).
Además de concentrar la mayor parte de la riqueza en casas, los activos que predominan cuando salimos del ladrillo son los más conservadores: depósitos y cuentas corrientes.
Según datos de la OCDE (de 2014), el peso del efectivo y los depósitos sobre el total de los activos financieros era en España del 43%, frente al 24% de Estados Unidos o al 31% de Italia. De hecho, el dinero “ahorrado” en ladrillo (al margen de la vivienda habitual) tiene más peso en la riqueza media de las familias que los activos financieros.
La Encuesta financiera de las familias revela que el grado de penetración de las cuentas corrientes es enorme, llegando al 93% de hogares, pero el arraigo de otros productos financieros es mínimo. Solo el 6% de los hogares cuenta con un fondo de inversión, y menos de un 1% tiene bonos. Los productos que tienen algo más de tirada son los planes de pensiones y seguros de vida ahorro (26% de las familias tiene uno), pero el dinero acumulado es poco teniendo en cuenta que son productos pensados para completar la pensión de jubilación (10.000 euros es el ahorro más frecuente por esta vía).
 Poca inversión: ¿cuál es la causa principal?
La crisis económica es uno de los factores que explica la imposibilidad de muchas personas para ahorrar: tasas de paro galopantes, trabajos cada vez más precarios, salarios a la baja… Pero no es la única variable que permite comprender el desinterés hacia la inversión financiera.
Cuando se analiza la composición del patrimonio para los tramos más ricos de población se comprueba que la penetración de productos financieros es muy inferior a la de otros países. Así, por ejemplo, del 25% de familias que acumula mayor riqueza, tan solo una pequeña parte (el 18%) tiene un fondo de inversión.
“Creo que la propensión hacia la ­vivienda en propiedad y la inversión ­inmobiliaria es el principal factor para explicar esta situación, aunque tampoco se pueden descartar otros factores culturales”, apunta el profesor de Ética y Economía del IESE Antonio ­Argandoña.
“Aquí se venía de una época de escasez de vivienda y el alquiler tenía una regulación absurda, que hacía que nunca fuera interesante para el propietario. Esto provocó que casi todo el mundo se comprara su propia casa. Esa adquisición ha llevado aparejada una relación muy estrecha con el banco que concedía la hipoteca y que, una vez que el deudor tenía algo más de liquidez, le ofrecía otros productos financieros”, reflexiona Argandoña.
En pocos países del mundo la banca comercial ha alcanzado una expansión tan potente como en España, con la red de sucursales más tupida del planeta. Esto ha hecho que el ciudadano medio haya canalizado su ahorro desde hace décadas a través de su oficina bancaria.
“La estructura del mercado ha marcado por completo la distribución de productos financieros. Cuando a los bancos les ha interesado vender depósitos para lograr financiación, los han colocado de forma masiva. Cuando necesitaron capital, colocaron preferentes... Ahora, con los fondos de inversión ocurre parecido. Les resulta mucho más fácil vender los productos más conservadores, que no aportan ningún valor añadido, y que no les conllevarán quejas de sus clientes”, explica Martín Huete, quien trabajó durante años como director de la gestora de Caja España y ahora ha fundado una compañía de gestión automatizada, Finizens.
Más allá de la peculiar estructura del mercado español, otros factores también han entrado en juego. Uno es el de la idiosincrasia española. La tradición católica hace que la riqueza pueda llegar a ser considerada un estigma y hablar de inversiones, un rasgo de mal gusto. Además, se suma un componente ideológico: los ciudadanos con una mentalidad de izquierdas tienden a equiparar la inversión con especulación. “Hay mucho cliché creado en torno a la inversión financiera, como si tener una participación en un fondo de inversión te convirtiera en un tiburón de Wall Street que arruina a familias y empresas”, explicaba hace unos meses Lola Solana, gestora de fondo de inversión Santander Small Caps.
 Fondos: analfabetismo financiero
Todas estas circunstancias han contribuido a que los españoles tengan una cultura financiera muy pobre. De acuerdo con un informe realizado por la agencia de calificación crediticia S&P, España se situaba, junto con Portugal, como el país europeo con peores resultados en cuanto a analfabetismo financiero. Una de las preguntas que se hizo a los encuestados fue: “¿Es más seguro poner su dinero en una sola inversión o en varias?”. Solo el 43% de los españoles contestó correctamente.
Otra encuesta reveladora es la realizada por el Observatorio Inverco. Este organismo preguntó a los propietarios de fondos quién creía que realizaba las inversiones. Solo un tercio respondió correctamente (un equipo de gestores profesionales). El 28% pensaba que se encargaba un directivo del banco y el 19% creía que el gestor era el comercial que le había vendido el producto en la oficina.
Depósitos y cuentas: niveles récord pese a no rentar nada
Sea por idiosincrasia, por ideología o por la estructura del mercado, lo cierto es que esa querencia a destinar poco dinero a inversiones se mantiene. Incluso ahora que los tipos de interés rozan el 0% y las cuentas y depósitos no rentan nada en absoluto. Una buena forma de verlo es con los últimos datos del Banco de España.
De acuerdo con los últimos datos disponibles, correspondientes a noviembre de 2016, las cuentas corrientes ofrecen un tipo de interés medio del 0,07%. En los depósitos a plazo la rentabilidad se eleva a un magro 0,11% (a un año). Aun así, las cuentas a la vista acumulan 497.490 millones de euros, y los depósitos, 264.986 millones de euros. En total, cerca de 800.000 millones de euros en productos con nula rentabilidad (esto, teniendo en cuenta que los precios han vuelto a crecer en 2016 y la tasa interanual al cierre de diciembre fue del 1,5%).
A pesar de este crudo panorama, el profesor Antonio Argandoña se muestra optimista. “Al final más que una cuestión de cultura o mentalidad es un tema de incentivos. Si se va favoreciendo que la gente mejore su cultura financiera y se añaden ventajas para algunos productos, con el tiempo la gente irá dejando los depósitos y las cuentas para comprar productos que le aporten mayor valor”.


Las poderosas redes de distribución de las entidades financieras españolas señalan el camino que deben seguir sus clientes. Ahora son los fondos de inversión, que dejan notables comisiones a las gestoras y a sus propietarios, en su mayoría bancos, que se llevan en torno al 65% del dinero. Solo en el primer semestre de 2016 fueron 1.096 millones de euros de ingresos totales.
Los productos más conservadores, y con rentabilidades por los suelos, acumulan un patrimonio de más de 125.000 millones de euros, el 53% del total. Solo 5.500 millones están en renta variable nacional, mientras que los ahorros destinados a la Bolsa internacional ascienden a 76.000 millones. El porcentaje en el resto del mundo es diametralmente opuesto. Los fondos de renta variable representan el 41% del patrimonio total; los de renta fija, el 22%; los mixtos, el 14%, y los monetarios, poco más del 13%. En países como Japón, Estados Unidos y Reino Unido, los productos puros de Bolsa llegan a suponer el 88%, el 55% y el 48% del patrimonio, según el último informe anual de Inverco sobre este tema.
Las carteras de más riesgo cobran más por la gestión. Un 1,8% los de Bolsa de países del euro, frente al 0,65% de los de renta fija, según los datos de Inverco. Pero los fondos garantizados también ofrecen ganancias interesantes a las gestoras, con un 0,8% para los de rendimiento fijo y más de un 1% en los ligados a índices. La estructura, creada al inicio de la vida de los productos, no requiere una gestión activa. Y con ellos mantienen vinculado al cliente durante amplísimos periodos de tiempo. En los productos con objetivo de rentabilidad lanzados el año pasado, garantizados o no, los vencimientos llegaron a los ocho años, con unas rentabilidades ínfimas: suelen oscilar entre el 0,1% y el 0,5% anual. La CNMV ha decidido tomar cartas en el asunto, después de que este tipo de fondos captaran unos 10.000 millones de euros en 2016, y obliga a avisar de los riesgos de reembolsos anticipados.
La querencia por la vivienda en propiedad ha dado mucho poder a los bancos, que controlan la gestión de patrimonios
PD1: Lo que opina, en inglés del bueno, sobre España. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=&v=F75CibembZk Ojalá aprendieran inglés del bueno nuestros gobernantes de una puñetera vez. Quizás sería la forma de empezar a comunicarnos bien con nuestros socios comunitarios y estadounidenses, con los países emergentes que tanto negocio vamos a tener en el futuro…
PD2: Para mejorar el diálogo en la familia lo más importante es que haya diálogo. Al final del día, después de una jornada maratoniana y agotadora… ¿a quién le apetece hablar? O somos capaces de incluir en nuestras agendas "momentos de diálogo" con nuestra pareja, o con nuestros hijos, aunque sean pocos, pero intensos, sin distracciones, sin móviles… o iremos perdiendo esa costumbre y nos convertiremos en meros "compañeros de piso". El mejor regalo que se puede hacer a una familia es una mesa camilla alrededor de la cual sentarse a hablar, sin el móvil, por supuesto.
Pero lo que más mata a la familia y sus tertulias, donde uno cuenta lo que ha pasado durante el día, lo que le pasa a los familiares y amigos, los chascarrillos, donde se comenta los devenires de la economía, los trabajos y estudios, y últimamente la política, es la televisión. Siempre encendida, incluso mientras se cena, ¡qué desastre! Apágala. O mucho mejor, tírala por la ventana, aunque sea nueva… Pero fíjate que no pase nadie por la calle primero.