ESG Gold Mining ETF Monthly Report | November

Gold Mining ETF Macro Outlook | November

During October new geopolitical hotspots flared up in the world when Hamas launched large-scale attacks on Israel. Once again we have a tragic event in our present day with many casualties on both sides. There is also an imminent risk that more countries will get involved and an even larger war will strike the world.

It is always challenging to transition to finance after writing about war and casualties. So far one can note that stock markets have been generally downbeat but not really catastrophic. Gold has been relatively strong as have other investments that are considered a safe haven during times of unrest.

In this monthly letter we want to focus a bit on the extreme concentration of the seven largest stocks in the S&P 500 that are back in the spotlight. Concentration risk is a phenomenon that typically occurs at market tops and it’s a management risk that all investors should be aware of.

The seven companies Apple Microsoft Amazon Google Nvidia Tesla and Meta now called the magnificent seven went over a 10-year period up to 2022 from less than 10% to almost 30% of the entire S&P500. Then came the sharp correction in 2022 where these companies as a group fell about -40% (USD) which should be compared to a drop of 14% for the other 493 companies. After this mini-crash their share was down to about 20% of the S&P 500.

Now in 2023 these seven companies have been everyone’s darlings again and in connection with the AI hype they have also seen significant upward corrections. These seven companies have once again reached the level of being about 30% of the entire S&P500.

Their P/E ratio (valuation) is now twice as high as the other 493 companies. Another issue is that all seven companies come from the same sector big-tech. Never has so much liquidity been drawn into so few stocks and the risk could turn out to be a black hole for capital. This could weigh down returns in many portfolios and increase volatility given their high correlation with each other. To put it another way for every dollar invested in an S&P 500 index today almost 30 cents goes to seven stocks and the remaining 70 cents go to the other 493 stocks.

We have now begun to see some vulnerability in both Nvidia (-10% and over 100 billion USD in market value in just a few days) in the wake of the US trade war with China and also Google’s sharp drop (-9% in one day) after their latest report. Value companies and low-valued sectors may never have looked better from a relative perspective. Especially now with the apparent risks present in the extremely concentrated American indices by big-tech.

Using diversification in one’s portfolio with assets that have low correlation is always important. But especially now when the concentration risk in the market and the geopolitical risk is so high. We conclude with the famous words from the Nobel Prize-winning Harry Markowitz who passed this year (Modern Portfolio Theory 1990) Diversification is the only free lunch.

Gold Mining ETF Performance
As of 31.10.2023

 1M3M6MYTD12M2YSI
AuAg ESG Gold Mining UCITS ETF (ESGO)3.77%-11.78%-18.04%-6.49%17.47%-12.91%-18.69%
Solactive AuAg ESG Gold Mining Index3.86%-11.69%-17.80%-5.83%18.43%-11.78%-17.56%


Please note that all performance figures are showing net data.
Source: Bloomberg / HANetf. Data as of 31/10/2023

Performance before inception is based on back-tested data. Backtesting is the process of evaluating an investment strategy by applying it to historical data to simulate what the performance of such a strategy would have been. Back-tested data does not represent actual performance and should not be interpreted as an indication of actual or future performance. Past performance for the index is in USD. Past performance is not an indicator for future results and should not be the sole factor of consideration when selecting a product. Investors should read the prospectus of the Issuer (“Prospectus”) before investing and should refer to the section of the Prospectus entitled ‘Risk Factors’ for further details of risks associated with an investment in this product. When you invest in ETFs your capital is at risk.

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