The last few years have seen strong returns from equity markets with sentiment towards shares well supported by low interest rates, economic growth and strong company profit results. This period of strong performance has also been associated with low volatility, which is unusual for share markets. Towards the end of 2018 some of the factors supporting recent share market returns start to change; equities fell, and we saw a return to more normal levels of market volatility. Increased market volatility provides opportunities for active investors to take advantage of changing share prices, acquiring holdings in good quality companies at more attractive valuations.
Below, we take a look at several companies that despite changing market conditions exhibit defensive and stable cashflows and are reporting rising demand for their products and services. You may hold shares in these companies through your investment in the funds managed by BT Funds Management (NZ) Limited, the investment arm of Westpac in New Zealand, including the Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme, Westpac Active Series and the Westpac Premium Investment Funds.