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juin 30, 2022

The Search for Income: Income the Right Way

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juin 30, 2022

The Search for Income: Income the Right Way

Insight Article

The Search for Income: Income the Right Way

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juin 30, 2022


Portfolio managers from the International Equity Team discuss dividends in the current environment and Morgan Stanley Investment Funds (MS INVF) Global Brands Equity Income Fund.


Can you provide a brief overview of the Fund?

RICHARD PERROTT (RP): The MS INVF Global Brands Equity Income Fund invests in a portfolio of stocks in line with that of the MS INVF Global Brands Fund, as well as employing a conservative option strategy. It seeks to provide investors with attractive and sustainable income alongside long-term compounding of capital and relative downside protection.

What differentiates the fund?

BRUNO PAULSON (BP): Many traditional products that focus on income do so at the expense of poor compounding of capital. With the MS INVF Global Brands Equity Income Fund, we seek to offer our clients access to our established Global Franchise investment process and strategy—with its 26 year1 track record of successful investing in high-quality companies—while at the same time generating an enhanced income component.

The Fund seeks to provide an attractive yield while still offering potential capital appreciation and a measure of downside protection. It generates income from a combination of dividends from high-quality stocks and call option premiums. We would argue ours is “income, the right way”, as it offers sustainable dividends in addition to compounding of capital; the focus of our stock selection is investing in long-term compounders.

The overall Fund is managed by the highly experienced and well-resourced International Equity Team, while the systematic call option overwrite is run by our Solutions & Multi Asset Team, specialists in the implementation of option strategies.

1The Global Franchise strategy has a 24-year track record, starting at inception 31 March 1996. The MS INVF Global Brands Fund has a 20-year track record, with an inception date of 30 October 2000.

How are traditional income and high dividend funds faring in this tougher economic environment?

BP: It’s being described as a dividend drought or an income squeeze, as companies fail to - or choose not to - pay their dividends for political, moral, logistical or financial reasons.

We believe our portfolio’s high-quality bias offers a far more robust approach to income generation than funds that historically provided higher yields but generated poor returns relative to the benchmark. We focus on the underlying company fundamentals and free cash flows, which in turn means dividends are more likely to be sustainable and growing. The companies in the Global Brands Equity Income Fund make a high return on capital and are capital light, this means they can afford to pay out, and keep paying out, dividends to shareholders. This is high quality income. The overwrite enhances this yield.

Can you expand on the income generation component?

BP: We use a systematic options overwrite strategy developed by Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s Solutions & Multi Asset Team to generate income which, in addition to the dividends generated on the underlying equity portfolio enables us to achieve a current target total yield of 4% p.a.2, subject to market conditions.

We decided to sell call options on indices to maintain the individual stock level exposure of the portfolio; this also removes the possibility of any conflicts of interest between the stocks and the options. In addition, we view the trading of individual stock options as potentially costly, as they are less liquid than index options. The conservative design of the overwrite is in keeping with the capital protection characteristics for which the team’s funds are known; we do not sell equity index puts, which may compound losses when markets fall.

We have sought to minimize the cash drag that option strategies often create. A typical income investment strategy requires holding a high level of cash to back the options they sell, typically up to 20% of a portfolio. As a result, equity income products typically underperform on the capital growth side, as a result of cash drag. Because the options overwrite is uncollateralized, when our clients invest in this Fund, their capital is invested in the underlying equity portfolio and not posted to counterparties. In the event of counterparty risk, the only funds at risk are option premiums potentially owed by the counterparty. Note that in the underlying equity we typically maintain a cash allocation of 2-3% irrespective of the overwrite.3

How do you manage risk? Are there specific controls in place to limit loss?

RP: We think about risk management in exactly the same way as we do for the MS INVF Global Brands Fund. We consider absolute risk—the chance of losing money—integral to our stock selection process. 

With regard to our use of call options, there are a number of risk controls we have in place. We focus on short duration, “out of the money” options, the use of which allows us to limit call-away risk. We sell short-dated options to ensure that the embedded value of the options is modest.

We believe that in most normal market scenarios, the Fund is likely to deliver positive absolute returns. When markets fall, we continue to receive income from the options strategy, so the overwrite is in keeping with the asymmetric return profile that Global Brands has historically delivered. While the Fund may give up some upside during rising markets, it may provide some cushioning during market downturns. We only sell index call options, hence the Fund may experience call away on options when the market has gone up significantly; in that situation the Fund is likely to post an overall gain, although it may underperform the market.

We execute our overwriting process on a daily, rather than monthly, basis. Monthly options are more susceptible to adverse market movements as there is no flexibility to adjust the strike price in response to changes in market volatility. And the overwrite is global— the geographical diversification offered by the index options sold means the Fund may benefit from the fact that individual equity markets can behave differently to one another.

DISPLAY 1: MS INVF Global Brands Equity Income Fund – USD (%)

Source: Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Returns may increase or decrease as a result of currency fluctuations. All performance data is calculated NAV to NAV, net of fees, and does not take account of commissions and costs incurred on the issue and redemption of units. The value of the investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and an investor may not get back the amount invested. There are additional risks involved with this type of investment. Performance returns reflect the average annual rates of return. Periods less than 1 year are not annualised. Performance returns are compared to the MSCI World Net Index and are considered to be a relevant comparison to the portfolio. Comparisons of performance assume the reinvestment of all dividends and income. The inception date of the MS INVF Global Brands Equity Income Fund ZR Class is 29 April 2016.


What type of investor may find this Fund attractive?

RP: The Fund is a good fit for investors looking for a steady, reliable source of income, or who require a higher level of income than that supplied by core equity funds, while seeking a good balance between income and potential for capital growth. Distributions are made quarterly4. It may also appeal to investors seeking a potential cushion during down markets, or who are prepared to forego an element of upside potential in rising markets in order to receive a defined income. It may be attractive to those who seek diversification away from traditional yield-maximizing income strategies which are tilted towards financials, utilities, materials, energy and telecommunications. And, of course, it’s a natural fit for investors who are familiar with the high-quality characteristics of the Global Brands Fund and seek a source of sustainable income built on robust fundamentals.


1 The Global Franchise strategy has a 26-year track record, starting at inception 31 March 1996. The MS INVF Global Brands Fund has a 21-year track record, with an inception date of 30 October 2000.

2 Target provided is indicative only and is not guaranteed in any way.

This is an indicative range provided for information only and subject to change from time to time.

4 Applicable to distributing share classes. An R suffix in the name of a share class denotes a distributing share class. The Company intends to declare dividends which will be set at the discretion of the Directors. Such share class may pay distributions from capital or may charge all or part of the Fund’s fees and expenses to the capital of the Fund. Dividends paid out of capital may result in an immediate decrease of the Net Asset Value per Share. For further details, please refer to the offering document of the Fund.


The value of the investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and an investor may not get back the amount invested.

Risk Considerations

There is no assurance that a portfolio will achieve its investment objective. Portfolios are subject to market risk, which is the possibility that the market value of securities owned by the portfolio will decline. Market values can change daily due to economic and other events (e.g. natural disasters, health crises, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) that affect markets, countries, companies or governments. It is difficult to predict the timing, duration, and potential adverse effects (e.g. portfolio liquidity) of events. Accordingly, you can lose money investing in this strategy. Please be aware that this strategy may be subject to certain additional risks. Changes in the worldwide economy, consumer spending, competition, demographics and consumer preferences, government regulation and economic conditions may adversely affect global franchise companies and may negatively impact the strategy to a greater extent than if the strategy’s assets were invested in a wider variety of companies. In general, equity securities values also fluctuate in response to activities specific to a company. Investments in foreign markets entail special risks such as currency, political, economic, and market risks. Stocks of small-capitalization companies carry special risks, such as limited product lines, markets and financial resources, and greater market volatility than securities of larger, more established companies. The risks of investing in emerging market countries are greater than risks associated with investments in foreign developed markets. Non-diversified portfolios often invest in a more limited number of issuers. As such, changes in the financial condition or market value of a single issuer may cause greater volatility. Option writing strategy. Writing call options involves the risk that the Portfolio may be required to sell the underlying security or instrument (or settle in cash an amount of equal value) at a disadvantageous price or below the market price of such underlying security or instrument, at the time the option is exercised. As the writer of a call option, the Portfolio forgoes, during the option’s life, the opportunity to profit from increases in the market value of the underlying security or instrument covering the option above the sum of the premium and the exercise price, but retains the risk of loss should the price of the underlying security or instrument decline. Additionally, the Portfolio’s call option writing strategy may not fully protect it against declines in the value of the market. There are special risks associated with uncovered option writing which expose the Portfolio to potentially significant loss. ESG strategies that incorporate impact investing and/or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors could result in relative investment performance deviating from other strategies or broad market benchmarks, depending on whether such sectors or investments are in or out of favor in the market. As a result, there is no assurance ESG strategies could result in more favorable investment performance.

Managing Director
International Equity Team
Executive Director
International Equity Team
Featured Fund


The MSCI World Net Index is a free float adjusted market capitalization weighted index that is designed to measure the global equity market performance of developed markets. The term “free float” represents the portion of shares outstanding that are deemed to be available for purchase in the public equity markets by investors. The performance of the Index is listed in U.S. dollars and assumes reinvestment of net dividends. The index is unmanaged and does not include any expenses, fees or sales charges. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.


Free cash flow is cash flows (net income plus amortization and depreciation) minus capital expenditures and dividends.


This material is only intended for and will be only distributed to persons resident in jurisdictions where such distribution or availability would not be contrary to local laws or regulations. It is the responsibility of any person in possession of this material and any persons wishing to make an application for Shares in pursuant to the Prospectus to inform themselves and observe all applicable laws and regulations of any relevant jurisdictions.

Ireland: MSIM Fund Management (Ireland) Limited ("FMIL"). Registered Office: The Observatory, 7-11 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2, D02 VC42, Ireland. Registered in Ireland as a private company limited by shares under company number 616661. MSIM FMIL is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. United Kingdom: Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited (MSIM Ltd) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Registered No. 1981121. Registered Office: 25 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QA, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Dubai: Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited (Representative Office, Unit Precinct 3-7th Floor-Unit 701 and 702, Level 7, Gate Precinct Building 3, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai, 506501, United Arab Emirates. Telephone: +97 (0)14 709 7158). Germany: MSIM FMIL Frankfurt Branch, Grosse Gallusstrasse 18, 60312 Frankfurt am Main, Germany (Gattung: Zweigniederlassung (FDI) gem. § 53b KWG). Italy: MSIM FMIL, Milan Branch (Sede Secondaria di Milano) is a branch of MSIM FMIL, a company registered in Ireland, regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and whose registered office is at The Observatory, 7-11 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2, D02 VC42, Ireland. MSIM FMIL Milan Branch (Sede Secondaria di Milano) with seat in Palazzo Serbelloni Corso Venezia, 16 20121 Milano, Italy, is registered in Italy with company number and VAT number 11488280964. The Netherlands: MSIM FMIL, Rembrandt Tower, 11th Floor Amstelplein 1 1096HA, Netherlands. Telephone: 31 2-0462-1300. Morgan Stanley Investment Management is a branch office of MSIM FMIL. MSIM FMIL is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. France: MSIM FMIL, Paris Branch is a branch of MSIM FMIL, a company registered in Ireland,regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and whose registered office is at The Observatory, 7-11 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2, D02 VC42, Ireland. MSIM FMIL Paris Branch with seat at 61 rue de Monceau 75008 Paris, France, is registered in France with company number 890 071 863 RCS. Spain: MSIM FMIL, Sucursal en España is a branch of MSIM FMIL, a company registered in Ireland, regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and whose registered office is at The Observatory, 7-11 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2, D02 VC42, Ireland. MSIM FMIL, Sucursal en España with seat in Calle Serrano 55, 28006, Madrid, Spain, is registered in Spain with tax identification number W0058820B. Switzerland: Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc, London, Zurich Branch Authorised and regulated by the Eidgenössische Finanzmarktaufsicht ("FINMA"). Registered with the Register of Commerce Zurich CHE-115.415.770. Registered Office: Beethovenstrasse 33, 8002 Zurich, Switzerland, Telephone +41 (0) 44 588 1000. Facsimile Fax: +41(0) 44 588 1074.

Australia: This publication is disseminated in Australia by Morgan Stanley Investment Management (Australia) Pty Limited ACN: 122040037, AFSL No. 314182, which accept responsibility for its contents. This publication, and any access to it, is intended only for “wholesale clients” within the meaning of the Australian Corporations Act. Hong Kong: This document has been issued by Morgan Stanley Asia Limited for use in Hong Kong and shall only be made available to “professional investors” as defined under the Securities and Futures Ordinance of Hong Kong (Cap 571). The contents of this document have not been reviewed nor approved by any regulatory authority including the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong. Accordingly, save where an exemption is available under the relevant law, this document shall not be issued, circulated, distributed, directed at, or made available to, the public in Hong Kong. Singapore: This publication should not be considered to be the subject of an invitation for subscription or purchase, whether directly or indirectly, to the public or  any member of the public in Singapore other than (i) to an institutional investor under section 304 of the Securities and Futures Act, Chapter 289 of Singapore ("SFA"), (ii) to a "relevant  person" (which includes an accredited investor) pursuant to section 305 of the SFA, and such distribution is in accordance with the conditions specified in section 305 of the SFA; or (iii)  otherwise pursuant to, and in accordance with the conditions of, any other applicable provision of the SFA. In particular, for investment funds that are not authorized or recognized by  the MAS, units in such funds are not allowed to be offered to the retail public; any written material issued to persons as aforementioned in connection with an offer is not a prospectus  as defined in the SFA and, accordingly, statutory liability under the SFA in relation to the content of prospectuses does not apply, and investors should consider carefully whether the  investment is suitable for them. This publication has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

BRAZIL. This document does not constitute a public offering of securities for the purposes of the applicable Brazilian regulations and has therefore not been and will not be registered with the Brazilian Securities Commission (Comissão de Valores Mobiliários) or any other government authority in Brazil. All information contained herein is confidential and is for the exclusive use and review of the intended addressee of this document, and may not be passed on to any third party.

CHILE. Neither the Fund nor the interests in the Fund are registered in the Registry of Offshore Securities (el Registro de Valores Extranjeros) or subject to the supervision of the Commission for the Financial Market (la Comisión para el Mercado Financiero). This document and other offering materials relating to the offer of the interests in the Fund do not  constitute a public offer of, or an invitation to subscribe for or purchase, the Fund interests in the Republic of Chile, other than to individually identified purchasers pursuant to a private  offering within the meaning of Article 4 of the Chilean Securities Act (la Ley del Mercado de Valores) (an offer that is not “addressed to the public at large or to a certain sector or  specific group of the public”).

COLOMBIA. This document does not constitute an invitation to invest or a public offer in the Republic of Colombia and is not governed by Colombian law. The interests in the Fund have not been and will not be registered with the National Register of Securities and Issuers (el Registro Nacional de Valores y Emisores) maintained by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Colombia (la Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia) and will not be listed on the Colombian Stock Exchange (la Bolsa de Valores de Colombia). The interests in the Fund are being offered under circumstances which do not constitute a public offering of securities under applicable Colombian securities laws and regulations. The offer of the interests in the Fund is addressed to fewer than one hundred specifically identified investors. Accordingly, the interests in the Fund may not be marketed, offered, sold or negotiated in Colombia, except under circumstances which do not constitute a public offering of securities under applicable Colombian securities laws and regulations. This document is provided at the request of the addressee for information purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation. The interests in the Fund may not be promoted or marketed in Colombia or to Colombian residents unless such promotion and marketing is carried out in compliance with Decree 2555 of 2010 and other applicable rules and regulations related to the promotion of foreign financial and securities related products or services in Colombia.

Colombian eligible investors acknowledge that the interests in the Fund (i) are not financial products, (ii) are transferable only in accordance with the terms of the Fund's constitutional  documents and (iii) do not offer any principal protection.

Colombian eligible investors acknowledge Colombian laws and regulations (in particular, foreign exchange, securities and tax regulations) applicable to any transaction or investment  consummated in connection with an investment in the Fund, and represent that they are the sole liable party for full compliance with any such laws and regulations. In addition,  Colombian investors acknowledge and agree that the Fund will not have any responsibility, liability or obligation in connection with any consent, approval, filing, proceeding,  authorization or permission required by the investor or any actions taken or to be taken by the investor in connection with the offer, sale or delivery of the interests in the Fund under  Colombian law.

MEXICO. Any prospective purchaser of the interests in the Fund must be either an institutional investor (inversionista institucional) or a qualified investor (inversionista calificado) within the meaning of the Mexican Securities Market Law (Ley del Mercado de Valores) (the “Securities Market Law”) and other applicable Mexican laws in effect.

The interests in the Fund have not and will not be registered in the National Registry of Securities (Registro Nacional de Valores) maintained by the Mexican Banking and Securities Commission (Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores). The interests in the Fund may not be offered or sold in the United Mexican States by any means except in circumstances which constitute a private offering pursuant to Article 8 of the Securities Market Law and its regulations. No Mexican regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the interests in the Fund or passed on the solvency of the Fund. All applicable provisions of the Securities Market Law must be complied with in respect of any sale, offer or distribution of, or intermediation in respect of, the Fund interests in, from or otherwise involving Mexico, and any resale of the interests in the Fund within Mexican territory must be made in a manner that will constitute a private offering pursuant to Article 8 of the Securities Market Law and its regulations.

PERU. The interests in the Fund have not been and will not be registered in Peru under Decreto Legislativo 862: Ley de Fondos de Inversión y sus Sociedades Administradoras or under Decreto Legislativo 861: Ley del Mercado de Valores (the “Securities Market Law”), and are being offered to institutional investors only (as defined in article 8 of the Securities Market Law) pursuant to a private placement, according to article 5 of the Securities Market Law. The interests in the Fund have not been registered in the securities market public registry  (Registro Público del Mercado de Valores) maintained by, and the offering of the Fund interests in Peru is not subject to the supervision of, the Superintendencia del Mercado de  Valores. Any transfers of the Fund interests shall be subject to the limitations contained in the Securities Market Law and the regulations issued thereunder.

URUGUAY. The offering of the Interests qualifies as a private placement pursuant to section 2 of Uruguayan law 18,627. The Interests will not be offered or sold to the public (Individuals or Companies) in Uruguay, except in circumstances which do not constitute a public offering or distribution through a recognized Exchange under Uruguayan laws and regulations. Neither the Fund nor the Interests are or will be registered with la Superintendencia de Servicios Financieros del Banco Central del Uruguay. The Fund corresponds to an investment fund that is not an investment fund regulated by Uruguayan law 16,774 dated September 27, 1996, as amended.


EMEA: This marketing communication has been issued by MSIM Fund Management (Ireland) Limited ("FMIL"). MSIM FMIL is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and is incorporated in Ireland as a private company limited by shares with company registration number 616661 and has its registered address at The Observatory, 7-11 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2, D02 VC42, Ireland.

This material contains information relating to the sub-funds of Morgan Stanley Investment Funds, a Luxembourg domiciled Société d’Investissement à Capital Variable. Morgan Stanley Investment Funds (the “Company”) is registered in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as an undertaking for collective investment pursuant to Part 1 of the Law of 17th December 2010, as amended. The Company is an Undertaking for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (“UCITS”).

Applications for shares in the Fund should not be made without first consulting the current Prospectus, Key Investor Information Document (“KIID”), Annual Report and Semi-Annual Report (“Offering Documents”), or other documents available in your local jurisdiction which is available free of charge from the Registered Office: European Bank and Business Centre, 6B route de Trèves, L-2633 Senningerberg, R.C.S. Luxemburg B 29 192. In addition, all Italian investors should refer to the ‘Extended Application Form’, and all Hong Kong investors should refer to the ‘Additional Information for Hong Kong Investors’ section, outlined within the Prospectus. Copies of the Prospectus, KIID, the Articles of Incorporation and the annual  and semiannual reports, in German, and further information can be obtained free of charge from the representative in Switzerland. The representative in Switzerland is Carnegie Fund Services S.A., 11, rue du Général-Dufour, 1204 Geneva. The paying agent in Switzerland is Banque Cantonale de Genève, 17, quai de l’Ile, 1204 Geneva. The document has been prepared solely for informational purposes and does not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell any particular security or to adopt any specific investment strategy.

Any index referred to herein is the intellectual property (including registered trademarks) of the applicable licensor. Any product based on an index is in no way sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the applicable licensor and it shall not have any liability with respect thereto. The Fund is actively managed, and the management of the fund is not constrained by the composition of the Benchmark.

All investments involve risks, including the possible loss of principal. The material contained herein has not been based on a consideration of any individual client circumstances and is not investment advice, nor should it be construed in any way as tax, accounting, legal or regulatory advice. To that end, investors should seek independent legal and financial advice, including advice as to tax consequences, before making any investment decision.

The use of leverage increases risks, such that a relatively small movement in the value of an investment may result in a disproportionately large movement, unfavourable as well as favourable, in the value of that investment and, in turn, the value of the Fund.

Investment in the Fund concerns the acquisition of units or shares in a fund, and not in a given underlying asset such as building or shares of a company, as these are only the underlying assets owned. .

The information contained in this communication is not a research recommendation or ‘investment research’ and is classified as a ‘Marketing Communication’ in accordance with the applicable European or Swiss regulation. This means that this marketing communication (a) has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research (b) is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

MSIM has not authorised financial intermediaries to use and to distribute this document, unless such use and distribution is made in accordance with applicable law and regulation.  MSIM shall not be liable for, and accepts no liability for, the use or misuse of this document by any such financial intermediary. If you are a distributor of the Morgan Stanley Investment Funds, some or all of the funds or shares in individual funds may be available for distribution. Please refer to your sub-distribution agreement for these details before forwarding fund information to your clients.

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This material may be translated into other languages. Where such a translation is made this English version remains definitive. If there are any discrepancies between the English version and any version of this material in another language, the English version shall prevail.


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