We are experiencing the worst economic data since the Great Depression. Perhaps the most striking fact is that there are now 33 million Americans unemployed, which translates into an unemployment rate of 20.6%.
Despite the terrible headlines, stock markets rallied in April, but began to fall again on the last few days of the month. Where they go from here really depends on medical matters: how effective the containment policy is, whether antibody testing works, the occurrence of a second wave of infections, and when a vaccine will become available.
Global policymakers have done well to prevent a worldwide health and economic emergency from becoming an immediate financial crisis. They have stimulated the economy by more than they did in the financial crisis of 2007-09, but will it be enough?
On the positive side, there are currently around 70 different contenders in the testing phase for a vaccine and limitless resources will be applied to the problem until one is found that works. The world’s best scientists have been working on solving this problem and as news that a drug called Remdesivir was showing good results in treatment of the disease, stock markets moved higher.
Our portfolios remain relatively defensively managed but have invested in some of the companies that are at the forefront in the fight against Covid-19. This was due to the fact that the technology and healthcare sectors have moved above trend.
The performance of the portfolios over the last month, 6 months and 1 year is shown below (please note that the portfolios were launched on 1st November 2019 and the 6 month and 1 year performance is from our back tested strategy which gives you an indication of what the performance could have been like) :
|Retirement Investment Solution 1||1.03||-2.06||1.62|
|Retirement Investment Solution 2||1.75||-2.36||1.62|
|Retirement Investment Solution 3||2.49||-2.66||1.51|
|Retirement Investment Solution 4||3.24||-2.97||1.38|
|Retirement Investment Solution 5||4.01||-3.28||1.24|
Asset Class Review
This section will give you an insight into our current thinking and we have included some charts that we believe look interesting. With stock markets experiencing some of their steepest ever falls, we look at how some of the most important markets have begun to recover.
S&P 500 – recovering somewhat
The blue line is the main US stock market (S&P 500) and the red line is its trend line. As you can see, it has recovered significantly towards the red trend line. However, just as it approached the trend line, the market started to fall. This is a very typical reaction whereby investors begin to start buying a market because they believe it has fallen too much, but the recovery stops at a major trend line and investors begin to sell, thus taking a quick profit. History shows that the market is likely to fall a bit further before a second attempt at moving above the trend line takes place. The US continues to outperform most other stock markets.