#FUNdfact: What's a trade war?

Welcome to the #FUNdfact, a monthly series where we dig a little deeper into the funds on Sharesies and the wider economy. This month, we’re starting with the Pathfinder funds!

How did the Pathfinder funds go?

There are currently two socially responsible funds available on Sharesies—Pathfinder Global Responsibility and Pathfinder Global Water. July was a good month for these funds!

Pathfinder Global Responsibility went up 3.3% in July. This was helped by Advanced Micro Devices, a semiconductor company in the fund that went up 22%!

Pathfinder Global Water went up 3.4% in July. Two companies in the fund that contributed to this are Xylem and China Water Affairs Group. Xylem is a water technology and equipment company that went up 13%, and China Water Affairs Group is a water utilities company that went up 25%!

What else happened in July? 

In July, Facebook had its biggest single-day drop as a listed company. Meanwhile, Apple became the world’s first trillion-dollar company! This is good news if you’re invested in Pathfinder Global Responsibility, because Apple is one of the top 10 largest holdings in the fund! Facebook on the other hand is excluded because they don’t meet the fund’s ESG standards.

In general, listed US companies had a pretty awesome July. They announced strong financial results last quarter, which contributed to GDP (gross domestic product) growth of 4.1%! GDP tells you how fast an economy is growing, so it’s great for all the funds you own that include US companies. Another key thing that happened in July was the US and its trade wars.

What’s a trade war? 

A trade war is when one country makes it harder and more costly for another country to trade—by putting in place things like tariffs (a tax on imports and exports) and quotas (a limit on the quantity of imports and exports). The targeted country usually responds by doing the same.

In July, Trump softened his stance on a trade war with Europe. This was a huge relief for European companies, because a trade war would’ve made it a lot harder for them to do business in the US. This is positive news for you too, if you own any funds that include European companies! Throughout August, keep an eye on the ongoing trade war between the US and China—you might see a dip in global growth until an agreement is reached.

What does it all mean?

Each month is going to be different, and it’s normal for share prices to change! No one can say when a market will turn, so be prepared to ride the ups and downs over the long term. 

At Sharesies, we’re firm believers in dollar-cost averaging—investing a certain amount on a particular investment regularly, regardless of what the price is. Investing in funds made up of a group of companies is an easy way to make sure you’re nice and diversified, so you don’t have all your money riding on one company.

While share prices may be down one month, they do tend to recover and go up again in price over time. A few ups and downs are part of the deal of higher returns over time!

Ok, now for the legal bit

Investing involves risk. You aren’t guaranteed a return, and you might lose the money you started with. Before investing, you should read your fund’s product disclosure statement. It contains the investment objectives, risks, fees and other information. You should carefully consider this information in relation to your investment time frames and goals.