Posted Jan 25, 2023, 7:08 AM
How to thwart the pitfalls of behavioral finance which, as we know, consists of investing in the stock market to the sound of the bugle and selling to the sound of the cannon, when it is the opposite that should be done? “By taking a step back and keeping in mind that, subject to offering relevant diversified supports, life insurance remains the envelope best suited to graduating risk-taking while controlling taxation”, advises Thibaut Cossenet, director of the Savings and Patrimonial offer of the Le Conservateur group.
Starting from this base, several possibilities emerge in the turbulent context of the moment, among which four paths seem more particularly topical.
UC bonds, a field to explore
From a complex approach, the bond sector, which experienced a crash last year (the sudden rise in interest rates had the mechanical effect of greatly devaluing the securities already in the portfolio), is undeniably regaining its attractiveness. “You can inject 10% to 15% bond units (UA) into your contract with a view to keeping them in the long term and obtaining a return of 3 or 4% over five years,” says Stefan of Quelen, managing director of Meilleurtaux Placement.
This observation is particularly valid for private loans, subject, as Karl Toussaint du Wast, co-founder of Netinvestment, underlines, “to identify them carefully and sort them according to the risk of default they present, knowing that the bonds ‘investment grade’ will offer in return for their more protective nature a lower income, unlike ‘high yield’, which is more profitable and more risky”.
To optimize this bond pocket, Edouard Michot, founder of Assurancevie.com, therefore recommends positioning “as a priority on diversified funds such as Dorval Global Convictions Patrimoine RC or even on dated funds”.
Many professionals agree on the relevance of this last category of support, which, on the basis of an investment period known in advance (generally between four and six years), makes it possible to “draw taken advantage of the rise in rates within a clear framework, with a stated target return objective and a moderate level of risk due to significant portfolio diversification,” summarizes Yves Conan, CEO of Linxea.
Fund name: Edmond de Rothschild 2028 Objective
Fund-specific management fee: 0.90%
Performance target: 4.1% annualized return (net of fund management fees) by 2028
Example of contract proposing it: RES Multisupport (until March 13, 2023)
Distributor: Macsf Network
Insurer: Macsf Retirement Savings
Charges on payments: 0% (commercial offer, 1% otherwise)
Management fee: 0.5%
Monetary UC, a profitable downturn
Low in volatility and very liquid, money market funds, which have seen their benchmark yield drop in a few months from -0.5% to 2%, could “gain another 100 basis points during the year”, estimates Jean -Patrice Prudhomme, director of the allocations and management division at Milleis Banque. Fully resuming their role as treasury instruments, money-market unit-linked units are nevertheless struggling to convince asset management professionals of their relevance in the context of life insurance.
“This type of support is only valid from the perspective of a redeployment of its capital in the short or medium term”, judges Yves Conan. “The rates served must at least cover the management fees of the fund and those of the contract”, adds Stefan de Quelen, who nevertheless declares himself attentive “to the evolution of the money markets in the coming months”.
Fund name: AXA Court Terme A
Management fee: 0.07%
Performance objective: to outperform, after deduction of actual management fees, the capitalized €RSTR (euro short term rate) index over a minimum recommended investment horizon of one month while taking into account a socially responsible investment approach
Example of contract referencing it: Meilleurtaux LibertéVie
Payment fees: 0%
Management fee: 0.5%
Structured products, opportunities
Designed to generate performance while ultimately protecting the capital initially invested, structured funds are on the rise. Marketed for a limited period (from a few weeks to several months), these offers which skilfully combine the purchase of interest rate products (capital protection) with the taking of options (performance booster) benefit both from the rise in rates, for their secure part, and stock market volatility, for their optional component.
Result: there are currently promises of annual returns of 3% to 6% (or even more) depending on the more or less protective nature of the offer. And as Stefan de Quelen points out: “Products with 100% guaranteed capital are making a comeback after having disappeared in recent years. »
As attractive as they are, however, structured funds call for reservations. Their complex management methods, costly in management fees that are difficult to read, remain potentially synonymous with capital losses in the event of premature redemption. It is therefore essential to clearly identify before subscription the structure of the proposed offer, in particular by identifying its duration, the underlying of the arrangement (often an EMTN – Euro Medium Term Note -, a debt security similar to a bond), the referent of the promise of gain (simple or reworked stock market index, single security or basket of values, etc.) and, when they exist (this is the case of autocall funds), the conditions for opening redemption windows anticipated.
Fund name: Primo Sérénité (subscription until February 10)
Fund-specific management fees: NC
Performance objective: product indexed to the iTraxx® Europe Series 38 Version 1 index, which targets an annual conditional coupon of 3.35%
Capital 100% guaranteed at maturity (seven years)
Example of contract proposing it: Target +
Insurer: Oradea Vie (Société Générale Assurances)
Fees on payments: 4% maximum (minimum payment 10,000 euros)
Management fee: 0.98%
Private equity, the selection is essential
Risky by essence, the non-listed, which has continued to become more popular in recent years in the context of life insurance, offers in the long term (eight to ten years of minimum mobilization recommended) a great potential of performance decorrelated from the upheavals of the stock market (+14.5% annual average return over ten years for French private equity at the end of 2021 and +12.2% over fifteen years, according to data from France Invest). “The objective of real assets is to provide protection against inflation alongside more volatile financial investments”, confirms Jean-Patrice Prudhomme.
However, the rise in interest rates calls for greater caution in the selection of funds offered, as certain underlyings are likely to suffer from the new financial configuration. “We favor growth capital strategies that target slightly more mature companies, in a growth acceleration phase and that fall within one of the following three themes: digital, smart health and environmental innovation” , says Jean-David Haas, CEO of NextStage AM, whose NextStage Croissance offer, created seven years ago, “should benefit from performances supported by disposals in the next twenty-four to thirty-six months”.
Generally transiting through UCs placed in units of FCPR (risky mutual funds containing at least 50% of unlisted assets) or, more rarely, professional funds (FPS, FPCI, FPVG with an entry ticket minimum of 100,000 euros), the private equity offers promoted within the framework of multi-media therefore require more than ever to be apprehended in their reality: that of long-term diversification alternatives reserved for an informed public, covering several forms of capital -investment (innovation, development, transmission, etc.), highly varied sectoral equity investments, the share of which must not represent more than 10% of the dynamic part of a contract.
Fund name: FCPR Eiffel Infrastructures Vertes
Fund-specific management fee: 2.75%
Performance objective: between 4% and 5% net over a recommended period of at least five years
Example of contract proposing it: Linxea Avenir 2
Payment fees: 0%
Management fee: 0.6%
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