There are two phrases which were overused this yr with, sadly, good purpose – ‘unprecedented’ and ‘uncertainty’.
We have been all pressured to return to grips with a lifestyle by no means confronted earlier than; one thing that made us cease in our tracks and put all the pieces on maintain. The worldwide pandemic introduced on by Covid-19 has most of us nonetheless feeling confused and unsettled. Whereas the occasions that unfolded this yr have been actually nothing anybody might ever have anticipated, the seismic influence skilled in capital markets was not an unnatural phenomenon.
All generations of traders have been by means of a extreme market downturn sooner or later alongside their funding journey. For some traders, 2020 introduced them with their first monetary market squeeze. You will need to keep in mind that this yr’s market shock was not the primary rodeo for traders. We’ve been right here earlier than. It’s only a completely different bull we’re confronted with this time round.
On the level of influence, it’s arduous for traders to rationalise what’s going to occur to their hard-earned financial savings. Nonetheless, it’s within the aftermath second of reflection ensues. The calm after the storm gives some respiration house to formulate an outlined and considerate response to future uncertainties. To paraphrase Howard Marks, we can not predict what’s going to occur, however we will put together.
This yr’s downturn was no completely different to every other downturn traders have skilled previously. In truth, we’ve seen quite a few monetary crises unfold during the last 40 years and, earlier than that, an extended record nonetheless. Those that took the time to mirror and heed the teachings from previous experiences know that peace of thoughts in a world of uncertainty comes from preparation.
The standstill – to which the world was (and continues to be in different international locations) subjected to – had forcefully ring-fenced respiration house for therefore many individuals. The lockdowns have decelerated so many points of our lives. All noise and litter appeared to dissolve away and, within the calmness, many people seen and appreciated the issues taken without any consideration throughout occasions of normalcy. Whereas the influence of Covid-19 and its foreseeable knock-on results should not misplaced on us, it did floor a stark reminder of the deserves of multi-management.
Investing has no ensures, diversification – investing in several types of investments akin to equities, property and money, throughout completely different sectors, currencies and areas – might help cut back the general funding danger of a portfolio and assist clean short-term market volatility. Because the adage goes, diversification is an investor’s solely free lunch.
Multi-management is an funding strategy premised round diversification, purposefully combining a number of complementary asset managers, throughout completely different markets, funding sorts, funding philosophies and kinds of cash administration to boost diversification and optimise funding returns. Apart from the unattainable defend of excellent hindsight, the worth of diversification embedded within the multi-management strategy turns into significantly apparent in markets akin to these. It’s an insistent lesson from most market downturns in our historical past.
Adaptation is the rule of existence, not the exception
We’ve needed to dig deep into ourselves to endure this yr and to get this far in it. We’ve wanted to seek out the resiliency to beat the challenges sprung upon us and the adaptability to pivot across the unanticipated shifts in our lives and environments.
In a lot the identical means, funding portfolios have needed to navigate very turbulent and shifting markets. Resiliency and adaptableness would have been good levers to have on the facet of your financial savings and investments. Funding portfolios possessing comparable qualities are higher positioned to reply strongly sufficient to take part in market alternatives or defend throughout excessive circumstances. These traits are basic to multi-management portfolios and so they play an important half in decreasing the influence of such environments.
As soon as once more, within the calm following a storm, I’m reminded of the worth of a multi-management funding strategy. It’s an insistent lesson I’ve actually come to understand and keep in mind relating to tackling market turbulence and preserving long-term guarantees to traders, now and into the long run.
Riccardo Fontanella, Head of Technical Advertising and marketing, Alexander Forbes Investments