Asset Management Insights

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Suga Rush

Despite a negative month for most equity markets, the Japanese Nikkei 225 managed to increase 4.85% in September. Whilst the US S&P 500 index posted its worst monthly return since March 2020, Japanese equities romped on to their best month since August of last year. This strong performance was largely observed in the first half of the month and was precipitated by the surprise announcement that the Prime Minister of Japan at the time, Yoshihide Suga, was not going to run in the upcoming leadership contest in late September.

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Supply-Side Shortages

As the stamp duty holiday draws to a close, a shortage of removal people, bubble wrap and packing boxes has made life difficult for those moving house. Whilst the stamp duty tax break has stimulated demand, the dramatic rise in UK house prices has also been driven by a lack of supply. In this month’s overview we look at the industries that are suffering from supply shortages linked, at least in part, to COVID. We assess whether these dynamics are likely to be a temporary concern or if more deep-rooted structural constraints that will continue to stoke inflation.

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Crypto Currencies

With the world hopefully looking toward the latter stages of the pandemic, the new ‘C’ word is shifting from COVID to Crypto.   Viable medium of exchange or flash in the pan Ponzi scheme?  With answers from reputable investors ranging from “Bitcoin fixes everything” to “disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilisation”, and everything in between – it is fair to say that opinions on crypto currencies and their poster-child Bitcoin, are mixed.  From blockchain to Dogecoin, “to the moon” and back, this month we are exploring the world of crypto and how it will impact the financial and wider world in the future.

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No Time Like The Present

We are at a unique stage in our history. Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet, and never before have we had the power to do something about that. Surely, we all have a responsibility to care for our Planet. The future of humanity and indeed, all life on earth, now depends on us.” David Attenborough’s words will resonate with any viewer of his spectacular tv programs, but these words are beginning to be heeded by global leaders as we strive for a healthier planet and more importantly, a sustainable one.

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What a ride it has been!

Equities worldwide fell over 30% in eight weeks from 20th January to 23rd March, yet by the end of 2020 markets had recovered all this fall and, in some cases, finished the year higher than they started. Our overview this month explores the catalysts that made 2020 such an extraordinary year for investors, whilst we also consider the risks and opportunities that may influence returns in 2021.

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Biden trumps Trump

With a record number of votes cast and extremely close margins dragging the final results out into the weekend, Biden has become President-elect in the eyes of all but Trump’s inner circle (interestingly China and Russia are also yet to acknowledge the result). 

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