Thematic, innovative and bespoke investment solutions and thinking
Before you use our website we need you to know this. Click on each section for the full information.
We do not offer investment advice to private investors

Absolute Return Partners does not offer investment advice to private investors (Retail Clients as defined by the UK Financial Conduct Authority). All such investors are advised to contact Quartet Investment Managers on +44 20 8939 2920 or visit

Our website does not give investment advice

The information contained on the website you are about to access (Website) is for information purposes only and does not constitute and should not be construed as advice on which reliance should be placed, nor is it an offer by Absolute Return Partners LLP (ARP) to enter into any contract or investment agreement or a solicitation to buy or sell any investment in any jurisdiction or in any circumstances. Any information provided in relation to a specific fund is not intended to provide a sufficient basis on which to make any investment decision as any such decision requires careful study of the offering memorandum of the relevant fund.

Information about Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes is not intended for the general public

No information on the Website is intended to amount to the financial promotion of Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes which are not authorized or recognised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and cannot be promoted to the general public. Any such information is intended solely for certain classes of investors permitted to receive it under relevant legislation and regulations, including investors falling within the qualifying categories set out the Conduct of Business Rules contained in the FCA Handbook or in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Promotion of Collective Investment Schemes) (Exemptions) Order 2005, in each case as amended or replaced from time to time. This is because such investors are sufficiently experienced and sophisticated to understand the risks associated with such investments, including the possibility of a substantial loss or complete loss of their investment.

Our website stores information on your device

Our website uses technologies, such as cookies, to distinguish you from other users of our website, which helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site. We do not use these technologies for third-party related advertising or for storing/collecting personal information. For more information please see our Privacy Policy.

You accept our Terms and Privacy Policy when using our website

Before accessing the Website you should carefully read the terms set out in our Terms of Website Use and our Privacy Policy as these will apply to the entire contents of the Website and to any correspondence between us and you.

By accessing any part of the Website you are indicating that you accept these terms and that you agree to abide by them. If you do not accept these terms, do not use the Website.
Agree and close

ARP Observations

In this section, we provide some thoughts on events and developments that are shaping the world and informing our investment advice and strategies.

Chart of the Moment –
An A to Z of impact investments
Investors far too often consider impact investing and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investing as being synonymous. There are similarities between the two investment styles, but they should not be conflated. Read to find out the differences between impact and ESG and the characteristics of impact investing.
Chart of the Moment –
A new era of globalisation
Is the emergence of a new megatrend coming? The Covid-19 pandemic as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other factors are both playing their part in accelerating a shift towards a new era of globalisation.
Chart of the Moment –
India becoming the next China
Why India could be a good investment opportunity now and for years to come, and possibly take China’s place in the “too big to avoid” conversations.
Chart of the Moment –
Egg on Your Face?
Precisely one year ago – on the 20th May 2019 to be more precise – the S&P 500 closed at 2,840.23. Those were happy days.
Chart of the Moment –
Share of top 5 companies in the S&P 500
Is this a warning sign?
Chart of the Moment –
Secular Stagnation spreading to EM
For long, we have expected GDP growth to slow quite dramatically within the OECD and, at least so far, we have been spot on. Anecdotal evidence is growing that the disease is spreading to emerging markets.
Chart of the Moment –
The reliance on multiples in equity performance.
Multiple expansion, namely rising price-to-earnings ratios, have been the principal contributor to global equity performance in 2019.
Chart of the Moment –
Extraordinary Times
Just as we thought the situation here in the UK around Brexit couldn’t get any messier, look what happened yesterday (3rd September).
Chart of the Moment –
More on the Productivity Conundrum
Our CIO, Niels Jensen, was recently invited to an investment seminar in Copenhagen to discuss the so-called productivity conundrum, i.e. why productivity growth is so pedestrian in the midst of the digital revolution. The interview with Swedish financial media highlights some of the issues brought up by Niels.
Chart of the Moment –
Not The Absolute Return Letter
New and stricter rules (known as MiFID II) do not allow financial services firms to provide research free of charge any longer, and the new rules are limiting our ability to write about specific investment opportunities without charging a fee for it. Consequently, we have decided to change our business model a little bit.
Chart of the Moment –
Why the Baby Boomers could make it difficult for equity investors
Experience from the U.S. has taught us that, as people age, they gradually switch from equities to income-generating investment vehicles (in the past, mostly bonds). Eventually, as they age further, they become net sellers of both equities and bonds. Given the substantial amount of capital controlled by baby boomers (see below) that could put further pressure on equities (and, eventually, also on bonds) in the years to come.
Chart of the Moment –
Brexit - What Now?
Having just been defeated in Parliament, Theresa May has only a few days now to sketch out plan B, which she must present to Parliament by Monday the 21st January. The big question is therefore: What will happen next?
Chart of the Moment –
Debt "Hotspots"
The world is now $62 trillion more indebted than at the time of the Lehman collapse, and many of the new debt “hotspots” are in Europe.
Chart of the Moment –
Brexit at 23:58
With the vote in Parliament coming up and the exit date now less than four months away, the stakes are getting higher and higher. See here why a hard Brexit - i.e. no agreement - is the worst of all possible outcomes.
Chart of the Moment –
UK Longevity in Decline
With UK longevity in decline since 2011, one can no longer argue it is just a blip on the curve, but what is really going on? Is it a function of lifestyle, or is it a function of the UK government having cut back on NHS – at least in real terms? We are looking into this, as the ramifications are widespread.
Chart of the Moment –
Media Coverage of The End of Indexing
Niels Jensen’s book on the six structural mega-trends that will dramatically change the world we live in has been out since late March 2018, and has been very well received by various media.
Chart of the Moment –
Our CIO in South Africa
Our CIO, Niels Jensen, was recently invited to share his views with clients of GraySwan – a leading provider of investment solutions to pension funds as well as private investors in South Africa.
Chart of the Moment –
The End of Indexing
A new book authored by Niels Jensen, CIO of Absolute Return Partners
Chart of the Moment –
BofAML’s Bull & Bear Indicator
Following the sudden spike in volatility in late January and early February, many investors expected the change in fortunes to be longer lasting, but markets have been remarkably calm since. In fact, so calm that investor sentiment is now extremely bullish – a classic warning signal that investors should be wary.
Chart of the Moment –
The Mother of All Bubbles?
Over the centuries, many bubbles have played havoc with people’s lives, but rarely – if ever – have we seen a bubble as big as Bitcoin. Having dropped almost 50% from its peak, one wonders whether the meltdown has already commenced? Alternatively, could it possibly be a blip on the curve, only for Bitcoin to go much higher? For what it is the worth, I think Bitcoin will ultimately go to zero, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t appreciate further in the short term.
Chart of the Moment –
Brexit, our latest view
The latest language in the current round of Brexit negotiations is becoming increasingly emotional, fuelled by nationalist press on both sides. This has made deciphering fact from fiction for the general populous almost impossible. The import/export debate is a case in point. In this latest Observation we highlight some facts worth remembering!
Chart of the Moment –
Bond yields vs. the global economic cycle
Bond yields diverging from the economic cycle is a post-crisis phenomenon, and now it is happening again. Will bond yields pick up or is the economy finally slowing?
Chart of the Moment –
Protectionism on the Rise
The EU and US combined have hugely increased the number of protectionist policies in place in recent years. This is not conducive to global growth; in fact it is outright obstructive to it . . .
Chart of the Moment –
Labour’s demographic problem
Demographics will make it increasingly difficult for Labour to gain power in the UK.
Chart of the Moment –
GDP needs (reasonably) cheap energy
Economically, nothing is more important than energy. Industry would die virtually overnight.
Chart of the Moment –
US debt levels are in (relatively) good shape
Despite all the negativism towards the US economy and its supposedly vast amounts of debt, the reality is very different. The absolute numbers look big, but that is because the economy is so big. On a relative basis (as % of GDP) the debt problem in the US is small compared to many other economies.
Chart of the Moment –
Market apathy?
Are equity markets reflecting today’s systemic risks? Proceed with caution . . .
Chart of the Moment –
Confidence Trick
US consumers are feeling rosy right now. Could this be the peak though?
Chart of the Moment –
The Untied Kingdom
Should Scotland's First Minister seek a second referendum, as she now has authority to do, can Scotland afford it?
Chart of the Moment –
Mind the Gap
US Economic Growth - the gap between hope and reality widens
Chart of the Moment –
Year of the Alpha
At Absolute Return Partners we distinguish between four types of risk – beta, alpha, gamma and credit risk. Alpha risk is the contentious one. There is more than one way to think of alpha risk.
Chart of the Moment –
Trump Pie
Trump’s promise to the American populace that he can deliver 3.5-4.5% annual GDP growth consistently is a pie in the sky.
Chart of the Moment –
All change at the next nation
With 2017 well underway, one concerning factor stands out above everything else, and that is what is usually classified as growing nationalism. I am not convinced that the true driver is just growing nationalism.
Chart of the Moment –
Change is coming
Fund managers are going to struggle to perform sudden miracles and deliver outsized returns in the prevailing low return environment. So, it is fees that make a significant difference to the bottom line.
Chart of the Moment –
The Empire Strikes Back(wards) – Now what?
Democracy has been served. Brussels and London (or at least the elite in those cities) have received a slap in the face.