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Global Matters Weekly – Safe Hands for Troubled Times

In a world where unprecedented events seem to be happening with regular occurrence, it is more important than ever to find stewards of capital with the talent, temperament and expertise to navigate through such uncertain times. This is no easy task and recent studies have reminded us that past performance in isolation is not a sufficient guide. Here at Momentum, we believe the key lies in thorough due diligence backed by an experienced and independent research team.

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Global Matters Weekly – Spaghetti Western

“Year 1862: amid the chaos of the American Civil War, the three gunslingers Blondie, Angel Eyes and Tuco (a.k.a. the Good, the Bad and the Ugly) are competing to put their hands on a buried cache of gold, but onl– “…wait! I got it wrong. It was something like: “Year 2020: amid the chaos of a global pandemic, some industries thrive (the Good) as others go through a rough patch (the Bad), while countries, economies and societies strive to recover from their wounds (the Ugly)”. This year, the outcomes have been more extreme than most Hollywood creations. Let’s just hope there will be no sequel to this tragic period.

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Global Matters Weekly – How flow can you go?

After a bumper few months for equity markets, a recent report from Calastone, the global funds network, showed June was one of the worst months on record for outflows from UK equity funds. That follows positive UK market performance for each of April, May and June. The selling was broad based with even passive funds showing a rare negative flow print, so why the rush for the door and are investors cashing in their UK equity chips too early?

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Global Matters Weekly – 2020 – a rollercoaster ride

How to sum up 2020 so far? A rollercoaster is probably the best way to describe it; both from an emotional perspective but also in terms of what the markets have been up to. Over the first quarter, market participants went from being blissfully ignorant to a state of panic as the significance of global lockdowns became apparent and investors were left wondering what the crisis would mean for the economy and companies; not to mention the humanitarian cost.

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Global Matters Weekly – Socially (Un)Acceptable

The inexorable growth of environmental, social and governance (ESG) awareness has been impossible to ignore. Social criteria can be difficult to measure and they don’t necessarily lend themselves to quantitative metrics that environmental and governance matters might. Whilst simple screens may highlight certain ESG risks at a company. Critics have said the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic implications might push ESG discussions down the agenda once again with strong balance sheets and profits trumping attractive ESG scores. That certainly doesn’t look to be the case.

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Global Matters Weekly – Lessons from Japan

The summer solstice, or ‘longest day of the year’, took place in the northern hemisphere just over two weeks ago, putting those of us that live here on a path of gradually shortening days towards winter. It’s not all bad news: July and August are typically the warmest months in the UK, but after that temperatures will also steadily decline. It remains to be seen whether, like other airborne viruses, COVID-19 is more infectious in winter, leading to a fresh spike in cases, but in any event we think the world is significantly better prepared for new waves and hence the impact should be smaller. Therefore, while acknowledging this risk to markets, it has not persuaded us to de-risk the portfolios further.

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Global Matters Weekly – TISATAAFL

Not that there aren’t enough acronyms flying around the investment world already, but today I will reference a lesser-known one – only to debunk it. TANSTAAFL: “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. The etymology is uncertain, but the principle is intuitive; there aren’t many things in life that come for free without some form of cost, be it direct or indirect, explicit or implicit. However, there is one (and only one) in finance – diversification. Most famously highlighted by Harry Markowitz, Nobel Laureate and pioneer of investment theory, this has underpinned several decades of progress towards building more sophisticated, more resilient approaches to portfolio management.

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Global Matters Weekly – The Great Disconnect?

There are few certainties in markets and economies and with most countries globally facing what could be the worst economic collapse in the post-war era, it is surprising to see markets and most risk assets continue their remarkable rebound. The shape of the recovery in risky assets certainly looks V-shaped today, as most markets have posted gains of around 30% since bottoming near the end of March. Is this a true reflection of what is going on in the underlying economy or is there a big disconnect?

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Viewpoint – June 2020

The world economy has entered its sharpest and deepest recession since the Great Depression almost 100 years ago, yet equities are in the midst of a raging bull market. By the end of May, global equities, as measured by the MSCI World index, had returned 35% from the market bottom on 23rd March, an exact mirror of the 35% decline between the bull market peak on 19th February and the March 23rd low. The pace of both the decline and subsequent recovery, including a further gain of almost 5% in developed world equity markets in May, is without precedent.

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Global Matters Weekly – Looking Forward

For those of you that don’t know, this Friday is the mid-point of summer and as I have a Swedish partner this means there will be a celebration. Midsummer, or Midsommar in Swedish, is an annual celebration in Sweden which consists of a never-ending lunch party involving flowers in your hair, dancing around a pole and singing songs while drinking unsweetened, flavoured schnapps.

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