Crispin Murray says one trend he is observing is the shift in corporate attitudes to meet the demands of a more cautious investor. Murray says investors are reluctantly being forced into equities because returns on cash are low and credit is less attractive than in the past. The result has been a skew to invest in defensive companies focused on shareholder returns. Companies are reducing the amount they are allocating to growth initiatives and increasing their allocation to improve ROE. The chart attached illustrates the change in how companies have been allocating their capital. In 2008 the amount being allocated for growth (capex & acquisitions) was nearly double that allocated for dividends and buy backs. Look forward to 2013 and the allocations are nearly on par with significant reductions in allocations to growth. The trend exemplifies corporate behavior reacting to yield hungry investors. (VIEW LINK)
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