02 Nov

Pink diamonds resilient as markets faceplant

Within the next fortnight, the team at Australian Diamond Portfolio will release updated results for our pink diamond index.

The results will speak to the continued strength being seen in this asset class,  which is more important than ever given the volatility we continue to see in traditional asset classes and the broader investment environment which grows more challenging by the day.

Evidence of this challenge is not hard to find, with the latest inflation data in Australia showing prices were rising at almost 7.5% per annum in the year to the end of September, with the number expected to climb further as Christmas approaches.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has responded to the continued inflation challenge with a 0.25% rate hike (bringing the cash rate to 2.85%) at their meeting held yesterday, on Melbourne Cup day, with markets expecting another 1% of interest rate hikes in the year ahead.

In the United States, we saw markets stage a bounce last week, despite heavy losses that were seen in former share market darlings of the technology space, which we discuss below.

How long the broader bounce lasts also remains uncertain, given that we’re also likely to see another large interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve later this week, with markets expecting them to increase rates by 0.75% to 4%.

Nasty result for tech investors!

While it’s been a horrible year for equity market investors, last week was something of a reprieve for stocks as a whole, with the S&P 500 up by almost 4%.

The Australian stock market also rose, up by nearly 2%, giving investors some hope that maybe the worst of this year’s market correction is behind us.

As we’ve discussed at length previously, we aren’t so sure that’s the case, with the disastrous performance of Amazon and Facebook (or Meta as it’s now formally known as) over the past week a warning sign of how sensitive the market remains.

For those that missed the news, the share prices of Amazon and Meta fell by 14% and 22% respectively last week.

Amazon has now fallen by 39% across 2022 as a whole, while Meta has fallen by a staggering 71% over the past year, as the chart below shows.

Market Summary

That’s worse than Bitcoin, with the decision to rebrand from Facebook to Meta (which took place in October last year), almost perfectly coinciding with the peak in the market.

Up until one year ago, companies like Facebook/Meta, Amazon, and the like were the leaders of the pack, strongly outperforming the broader stock market.

Indeed, these market darlings and three others became so popular that the acronym FAANG was developed, which was short-hand for five of the most popular technology companies in the United States – Facebook (as it was known before it rebranded), Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (now known as Alphabet).

The huge rally in these companies led investors to allocate large portions of their portfolios to these stocks. Now that most have crashed as hard as they have, many of the investors in these stocks will now be sitting on large losses or have given up a big portion of their prior unrealised gains, especially with inflation soaring the way that it has in 2022.

The sell-off in these stocks also speaks to the underlying fragility that remains in the share market today, and why investors are likely best served looking to diversify some of their portfolios away from the stock market, and into assets that can have a history of prospering during a period of heightened volatility, rising inflation, and continued economic uncertainty.

Pink diamond resilience continue

Over the last month, there have been multiple news stories that attest to the strength of the pink diamond market.

These include news of records set at a Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction for the Williamson Pink Star Diamond), the first significant pink diamond product released by Argyle mine operator Rio Tinto since the mine’s closure, a hand-crafted ring that could be worth as much as $6 million dollars.

There is no doubt that demand for pink diamonds is as strong as ever, as high inflation, and volatile financial markets are driving investors toward scarce, stable assets that deliver over the long term. We have seen pink diamonds as a beneficiary of this trend due to their extreme scarcity, and beauty.

At Australian Diamond Portfolio, we can attest to the strong demand, and the key factors driving it, with record numbers of new clients wanting to access this market for the first time, while there is also significant demand from buyers who first bought pink diamonds years ago, and are looking to add to their holdings.

Within the next fortnight, we will be able to provide more clarity (pun intended) on the latest performance results across the pink diamond sector, as myself and the team is currently putting the finishing touches on the Australian Diamond Portfolio Pink Diamond Index (ADPPDI) update for the third quarter of 2022.

And while we don’t want to ruin the surprise, suffice it to say that the index, which has shown growth of over 50% for the primary categories of pink diamonds over the last two financial years, is showing continued stability, further evidence of the resilience that this asset class is offering buyers.

As always, we hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s edition of “In the Loupe” and we look forward to any questions or comments you may have.


Share this