In this first round-up of 2021 I am going to look back at 2020 (including my review of my fantasy portfolios) and give some thoughts on the year ahead. We'll look at some of the lessons learnt from what was an extraordinary year.
At the start of 2020 there were rumblings of a coronavirus developing in China but few people were predicting a global pandemic of epic proportions. The lockdowns instigated by many governments around the world led to the deepest recessions in living memory. Governments and central banks literally threw the kitchen sink at the problem with huge amounts of money printing and spending.
Without such assistance many businesses would have gone to the wall and millions of workers would have lost their jobs. There is still a risk that many will do so if some kind of normality does not return to daily lives by the spring or early summer.
Many experienced investors would have expected this dire economic backdrop to inflict severe damage on company profits and the stock market in general. March saw stock markets plunge around the world as people braced for a grim outcome. But what has happened since has taken most people by surprise.Download PDF