An Essay on Man – AND did we tell you that we moved office?
by Financial Keys
An Essay on Man is a poem published by Alexander Pope in 1732. It was dedicated to Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke, hence the opening line of the poem…."Awake, St John..."
The poem focuses on four epistles. The first surveys relations between humans and the universe; the second discusses humans as individuals, the third addresses the relationship between the individual and society and the fourth questions the potential of the individual for happiness.
Considering the year 2021 that was and with specific reference to the global pandemic, a particular phrase stands out which many would have heard of but wouldn’t know its origins.
Hope springs eternal.
People always hope for the best, even in the face of adversity! People will keep on hoping, no matter what the odds.
An example that I might use upon myself is that even though I know the odds…...I keep buying my weekly Lotto ticket.
Hope springs eternal.
For many of us, 2021 was a year we hoped would be a return to normalcy but instead it continued to challenge on many fronts.
Stop start lockdowns, unable to travel to see loved ones, unable to visit your favourite coffee shop or restaurant to catch-up with friends, COVID kilos built up as we couldn’t visit the local gym AND the ripple effect of all the above.
We all felt one or more of the above.
BUT …..and not wanting to sound overly materialistic, it’s important to not lose sight of the fact that due to the actions of Governments and Central Banks, their combination of fiscal boosts, highly accommodative monetary policies, and negative real interest rates AND a solid recovery in average company profits and dividends (after they collapsed in mid-2020), global investments markets gave us A LOT to be positive about during 2021.
A quick glance over global indexes since January 2021 provides very encouraging reading;
- ASX 200 started the year @6,684, up 9.44% to the time of writing
- S&P 500 up 23.44%
- Nasdaq up just shy of 18%
- Dow Jones up 15.58%
- Nikkei struggled a little, BUT is still in positive territory @ 2.5% (it did hit 13% in Sept)
- Shanghai (SSE) up 2.6% after a high of 6.15%
- DAX (Deutscher Aktienindex) up 11%
- FTSE just under 10%
- CAC 40 (Cotation Assistée en Continu) up just shy of 23%
- AREIT (Australian REITS) up 19.91%
- REIT (Global REITS) up 23%
- The iron ore price has rebounded recently
- Global vaccination rates are materially higher and many are lining up for their third ‘jab’
What will be the likely ‘risks’ in 2022?
It is very dangerous to try and predict the direction of investments / markets, so we won’t.
No doubt 2022 will offer up similar challenges to those we faced (and dealt with) in 2021.
A few (of the many) that we will continue to watch closely in 2022 include;
- Global inflation, leading to
- Rising interest rates, leading to
- Pressure on the price you pay for ANY investment, leading to
- Government policy responses, which in turn are likely to have a ripple effect back to
- Equity and Bond Markets
- The dynamic duo that is Delta and Omicron continue, but Robin starts to outshine Batman
- Climate change
- Energy prices
- Global supply chains (as discussed in our last Newsletter)
What will be the X factor for 2022?
If we had to call out three things, we would say global inflation, global supply chains not improving and slow Government responses or actions to the virus and whether they lock down again and if they do, how hard and for how long.
Financial Keys run active models which are reviewed every month. Active markets in BOTH directions present BUYING and PROFIT taking opportunities for our active fund managers.
This is a good thing.
Many of us ask ourselves when this will all end. We just want to go back to normal. We think after two years of a pandemic (which feels like an eternity) we have learned a lot.
It is interesting to reflect some 14 years ago, back to the last major global disruption – the GFC.
Yes, 14 years ago!
We have managed to cope with a lot of change;
- Continued digital transformation
- Economic hyper-growth
- A stock market boom
- Extremely low interest rates and in some countries, free capital on tap
- All things cryptocurrency and blockchain
- The birth of 5G telecommunications
- Widespread use of electric vehicles and charging stations, and mobile devices that are more powerful than supercomputers.
Humans are very resilient beings and we obviously adapt to the many changes we face better than we think.
Hope springs eternal.
Reminder of office move
A friendly reminder that Financial Keys has moved office.
For those that missed our last newsletter, our new address is as follows;
14 Martin Place
Our postal address is GPO Box 5320, Sydney NSW 2001
There is a lot to look forward to in 2022. We will remain focused and diversified both in investment and ideas. In ALL market environments, we strongly believe that investors should stay diversified across a variety of asset classes, that portfolios are purposefully diversified (not simply for the sake of it – absolute returns or performance is important) and that your financial plan supports your long-term goals, time horizon and tolerance for risk.
From all the team at Financial Keys, we wish you all the merriest Christmas, a happy New Year and the very best of fortunes in 2022.
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