PUTNAM GLOBAL RISK APPETITE INDEX | July 2021

The Putnam Global Risk Appetite (RA) Index is a proprietary quantitative model that aims to measure investors’ willingness to invest in risky assets, including equities, commodities, high-yield bonds, and other spread sectors. With a composite view of risk-appetite signals across a broad mix of asset types, Putnam’s RA Index provides a framework for discussing investor preferences and can signal trend changes in broad market sentiment.


Risk appetite holds in positive territory

SHORT-TERM TREND

Investor sentiment stays upbeat as the Fed signals policy tightening

Risk

  • U.S. equities rallied, led by technology and growth stocks.
  • International equities underperformed as the U.S. dollar appreciated.
  • The U.S. Treasury curve flattened and real rates rose following the Fed's June meeting.
  • The dollar rallied against emerging-market and major currencies.
  • Fixed-income assets had positive returns as the back end of the Treasury curve rallied.
  • Gold declined and oil prices rallied.

LONG-TERM CYCLE

This 10-year illustration captures the cyclicality of investors' appetite for risk.

risk key

Sept–Nov '11

Eruption and subsequent clearing of concerns over EU sovereign debt crisis, U.S. debt ceiling, and fear of China hard landing drive major risk sell-off and rally.

March '16–Jan '18

Risk assets rally amid improving commodity prices, perceived stability in China's macro data, and expectations for gradualist Fed policy.

March '20–present

The coronavirus pandemic has created large swings in global risk appetite.

Source: Putnam. Data as June 30, 2021. To create the Global Risk Appetite Index, we weigh the monthly relative returns of 30 different asset classes over 3-month T-bills relative to the trailing 2-year volatility of each asset class. The higher the relative return and the lower the volatility, the greater the risk appetite; conversely, the lower the relative return and the higher the volatility, the stronger the risk aversion.