What do banks and asset managers bring to clients?

Grafik für Anlageperformance
Top wealth managers can get more for clients. (Image: Zwei Wealth)

Already for the eighth time the company Zwei Wealth presents the comparison of the achieved annual returns of banks and asset managers. The wheat is indeed being separated from the chaff.

The investment year 2022 will go down in the annals of asset management as an ‘annus horribilis’.

Of the more than 500 investment portfolios of different risk classes examined, not a single one achieved a positive return for the year as a whole, the independent asset manager Zwei Wealth announced on Thursday.

Diversification useless

Characterized by very fast and very strongly rising inflation rates, almost all asset classes had lost significantly in value, it said further to the analysis of annual returns, which is presented for the eighth time.

It is particularly striking that the diversification of portfolios and conservative investments such as bonds offered little protection against the upheavals. At the same time, the performance comparison showed, especially in bad investment years, which portfolios were really robustly positioned and which were more geared to fair weather.

Small differences

The analysis brings four main points to light. First, no asset manager of diversified investment portfolios was able to escape the downward trend on the financial markets, the study showed.

None of the investment portfolios in Swiss francs and only a few portfolios in euros and U.S. dollars showed an absolutely positive return.

Unterschiede bei Anlagerenditen
Source: Zwei Wealth

The rather unusual distribution across the risk classes is striking. The difference between a conservative investment portfolio with and one with an aggressive risk profile is sometimes very small.

Wide range

Second, the performance comparison historically shows a spread of nearly 13 percentage points between the best and worst performing investment portfolios in any given year.

For the 2022 investment year, however, this figure is significantly higher at 17.7 percentage points.

Third, the comparison of active and index-based asset management provides insight into how much value asset managers can add relative to the general market.

According to the study, in the 2022 investment year, actively managed investment portfolios achieved significantly better results than index-oriented portfolios, especially for conservatively oriented investment strategies.

Added value possible

Passively managed bond portfolios in particular achieved poor return contributions. In the case of portfolios with a higher share of equities, the active and index-oriented portfolios were about equal on average.

In other words, active management can definitely add value for clients.

The results from fiscal year 2022 once again confirmed that, fourthly, good asset managers can indeed be selected.

Top class stands out

Zwei Wealth selects asset managers with a long track record and a clear investment philosophy for investors and designates them as top managers. Even in the challenging year 2022, these have performed better on average, as the chart above illustrates well.

Taking the portfolio class “Swiss franc/balanced risk profile” as an example, this means an average return of -10.3 percent for the top managers compared to the median of -12.4 percent.

Over the entire period under review since 2010, however, the top managers have achieved a return of +88.2 percent compared with +34.7 percent for the median provider. That’s something to be proud of.

Exclusive insight

For the current year, the investment committee of Zwei Wealth, which met today (Thursday) and which muula.ch had the exclusive opportunity to look into, recommends to consider bond investments again and to act according to the investment horizon for equities.

Longer-term investors may well consider equities as a capital investment. In the short term, however, investors should still be cautious with equities.

And investments in the crypto world only make sense if investors have studied the projects or cryptocurrencies in detail and have found them to be good, according to the financial experts at Zwei Wealth.


What do banks and asset managers bring to clients?

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