Henry Maxey joined Ruffer in 1998 after graduating from Oxford University with a first class honours degree in economics and management. He became a CFA charterholder in 2003. He managed the LF Ruffer Total Return Fund and LF Ruffer Equity & General Fund between 2001 and 2006. He joined the executive committee in 2006 and became chief investment officer in 2010. Between 2012 and 2017 he combined this role with that of chief executive. Following the company’s growth, he relinquished the chief executive role in April 2017 to focus on leading Ruffer’s investment strategy.
The death of inflation has been greatly exaggerated. Its return will first scare, then maim, then ruin the traditional balanced portfolios have that served investors well for a generation. Investors need to prepare for a world of greater inflation volatility. And with it a monumental risk—bonds and equities falling in tandem.
Seeking to escape the inflation of the 1970s, policymakers have inadvertently engineered an equally powerful deflation machine. Over the past 30 years, this has been mightily reinforced by the transformation of China’s economy and the impact of technology.
The epicentre of risk in the financial system has moved. In 2008, it was leverage in the banks. Today, the equivalent risk is in the asset management industry, where a series of interlocking factors have come together to make markets increasingly ‘avalanche prone’. There is an illusion of stability. Low volatility has lulled many to sleep. We believe this will end badly—and are positioning portfolios to protect our clients from the avalanche.
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