Trying to get a handle on the economic numbers during this global pandemic is like trying to keep your focus on 20 different grains of sand whilst running along a beach. It all seems rather blurry, both the tiny details and the huge scale of it all are overwhelming, and never mind all that - you have enough to worry about just keeping going.
When asked what we do as Financial Advisers, I occasionally explain that it is an ugly business - we deal with tax, death, disease and deferred gratification (we save tax, arrange life cover, disability cover and long-term investments).
There is a theory that stock markets react predictably to progress in elections. Usually, newly elected parties tackle the more painful issues early in their term in power, perhaps making cuts to spending and laying the ground for longer-term policies.
Monthly Market Commentary
It might be appropriate to start January 2021 by looking back at last year. At the start of January 2020, we were fairly sure what we would be writing about, which included the run-up to Brexit on the 31st and a gradual thawing of US/China relations with a long-awaited trade deal due to be signed.
2020 has been a year like no other, and yet – as we will see below – the majority of world stock markets have enjoyed a good year. It was also a good year for Joe Biden, who defeated Donald Trump in November’s Presidential election, and for supporters of Brexit.
Is the end of November a time to celebrate? All the stock markets we cover in the Bulletin made significant gains in the month; the UK’s second national lockdown ends this week and, as we write, Christmas is a little over three weeks away.