Asset Management Insights

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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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Battle for the White House

The COVID-19 pandemic has rightly occupied headlines and stolen column inches away from key stories such as Brexit, US-China trade relations and the oil price war. Yet the one major story that has remained in focus is the upcoming US presidential election, to be held on November 3rd.

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Who Would Have Thought

Who would have thought as 2019 came to a close that within three months we’d all be consigned to home detention, wondering whether Zoom and COVID are now legitimate words in a game of (virtual) Scrabble, holding debates on when we will see the “flattening of the curve” and discussing the relative merits of a “herd immunity” approach versus enforced “social distancing”.

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Coronavirus Update

In our February insights piece, we wrote about the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 (corona) cases. At that stage we were somewhat surprised by the equity market’s resilience to the impact of the virus but we did not envisage quite how quick and severe the sell-off would be in February. This corona-led correction has been exacerbated by the recent actions of Saudi Arabia and Russia who engaged in an oil price war over the weekend.

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Markets Turn Viral

As at the time of writing, the Coronavirus has claimed over 1,000 lives and infected more than 43,000 people in 28 countries, mostly in China.  Comparisons have been made to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which are in the same family of viruses, although deaths from Coronavirus have now surpassed both.

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