Did Japan Deliver Promised Gains in 2015?

After an exciting 2015, does Japan still offer opportunities for growth? Morningstar's chief investment officer Dan Kemp considers the prospects

Dan Kemp 5 January, 2016 | 3:32PM
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This article is part of Morningstar’s Guide to Investing Ideas for 2016, click here to get your financial health in order with some new year’s resolutions for your portfolio. 



Dan Kemp: At the beginning of 2015 there was a somewhat consensus view that Japanese equities were the place to look for returns over the course of the year and people should really be staying away from U.S. equities. That’s a view we supported and while short term returns shouldn’t be relied upon, they are notoriously unpredictable that really paid off for investors.

Although they made a small gain in the U.S. they did much better out of Japanese equities. And that really reflects the ongoing structural reform that’s been led by the government in Japan. Many people have forgotten about this but it's still making changes to the structure of the Japanese economy and the prospects for the future.

It also reflects the correction of a long period of undervaluation as the Japanese equity market has gone through the doldrums and become ignored by investors. We still see opportunities for further gains on revaluation over the course of the next few years, but as with any investment it should be a long term view rather than short term play. 

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Dan Kemp

Dan Kemp  is Chief Investment Officer, Morningstar Investment Management EMEA

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