Racing car project team working together

Grabbing the wheel: putting money to work.

We think an active approach to managing portfolios will carry greater rewards in this new regime of greater macro and market volatility. This is a time to grab the investing wheel – and seize the opportunities the new regime has on offer.

Capital at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

Investment themes


Managing macro risk

The macro outlook is more uncertain. Exposures to macro risk can be punished as well as rewarded, so we think investors should be deliberate about which exposures they take.


Steering portfolio outcomes

We believe the new regime rewards an active approach to portfolios. We don’t see one-and-done strategies working as in the past.


Harnessing mega forces

Mega forces are key drivers of the new regime, affecting the long-term growth and inflation outlook and creating shifts in profitability. We see them as a source of return now and far into the future.

This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or financial product or to adopt any investment strategy. The opinions expressed are as of December 2023 and may change as subsequent conditions vary.

Discover our key themes and Outlook for 2024

Karim Chedid: Welcome to Around the World. Spotlight on our 2024 outlook. We see elevated volatility persisting in the new year, leading to higher dispersion of returns.

Yet we see this as a time of opportunity and look to put the cash on the sidelines. Back to work. And I believe selectivity, agility and scale will be key to identifying opportunities and achieving alpha. I'm joined today by Ann-Katrin Petersen, Senior Investment Strategist for the BlackRock Investment Institute, who will discuss our new investment themes for 2024. I'll then look at what these themes mean for investors portfolios.

Ann Katrin Petersen: Thanks, Karim. 

We see a real opportunity to take advantage of greater volatility in the new regime this year. Our first investment theme for 2024 looks at managing macro risks. Growth across major economies has been slower than before the pandemic and interest rates much higher. We believe that markets have started adjusting to this new reality and we seek out mispricing as they do. Our second theme really focuses on the idea that investors need to take a more active approach to their portfolios and be deliberate about any macro exposures. The reality is that dispersion of returns and volatility create space for investment skill to shine, and we see a huge opportunity to make lemonade out of the macro lemons and put more money to work. This involves being both dynamic and selective with index and alpha seeking strategies, and one way to do that is theme free harnessing mega forces. These are big structural forces in the global economy and market structure. Markets are typically slow at pricing those mega forces making for abundant investment opportunities. We see mega force as driving returns now and in the future, and they also serve as important portfolio building blocks on their own.

Karim Chedid: Thanks. Ann-Katrin.

So how can we implement these themes in portfolios? We're managing macro risk through a whole portfolio approach. Looking back to bonds for income and the last we see an opportunity to lock in yields at decade-highs with fixed-maturity bonds. We remain overweight, short dated U.S. treasuries, and we favor duration in Europe. We turn to alternatives and private markets for diversification, and we look to size cash sleeves appropriately for the environment ahead. As we believe the record level of cash on the sidelines is somewhat unwarranted. We follow two approaches to put money back to work, either through attractive valuations or through seeking quality.
For example, we see good value in developed market (DM) sectors like energy and European banks, and we also see opportunity in Japanese equities as resurgent. Inflation and wage growth translate into better pricing power for Japanese companies. Finally, we're harnessing mega forces through exposure to their catalysts and their beneficiaries. We expect that AI will continue to shape markets in 2024. We see the strongest opportunity set today in semiconductors, and we look to Alpha strategies to identify the next generation of AI breakthroughs. With more people set to vote in 2024 than in any year in history. The geopolitical fragmentation. Mega force is also in focus. We see an acceleration in the rewiring of global supply chains through reshoring and new shoring, and we expect sectors like industrials and materials to benefit from this with our views and our implementation ideas across asset classes at the link below. And thank you for joining.

Karim Chedid, Head of EMEA iShares Investment Strategy and Ann-Katrin Petersen, Senior Investment Strategist and Director with the BlackRock Investment Institute (BII), break down our key themes and Outlook for 2024

Discover our key themes for the 2024 Global Outlook

Read the latest views from BII across asset classes, as we take stock of recent events and their potential implications for tactical and strategic allocations.
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How to implement our investment ideas in your portfolio

Download the 2024 EMEA Implementation Guide

Explore our implementation ideas and look at how investors could position, with an outcome-orientated approach to the key investment themes laid out in the BlackRock Investment Institute’s 2024 Global Outlook.
2024 EMEA Implementation Guide

Investor Perspectives

Use our new interactive dashboard to explore perspectives from our most senior investors on the pertinent questions our clients are asking about the macro environment and investment opportunities in the year ahead.
2024 Investor Perspective