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Weekend reading: Opinions, like markets, will fluctuate

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What caught my eye this week.

Back in March 2020, I got more than a dozen texts and emails from family and friends worried they were going to lose a lot of money from their investments.

As it happened, their portfolios quickly bounced back.

Many markets are now at all-time highs, and certain individual stocks – not to mention Bitcoin – are flying into the stratosphere…

…and I’m again getting text messages and emails from friends worried they are going to lose a lot of money from their investments.

If this is euphoria then it’s with a peculiarly masochistic kink.

By this time next year, Rodney…

The debate rages. Are we in a bubble or set for a roaring Twenties of high returns?

There surely are portents of market madness out there.

Take this Tweet that did the rounds on Twitter this week:

Jason’s mega-gains from Tesla are one thing – and good for him. It was his follow-up comment that rings alarm bells:

Soon I’ll be able to margin borrow about $3 million at less than 1%, but I will probably only borrow up to 8% of the value of my liquid assets. This way I never have to sell my shares.

Borrowing $3m against $12m in a volatile stock like Tesla isn’t something you see in a bear market, that’s for sure.

Then there’s Bitcoin.

I was discussing whether Bitcoin was over-priced with a friend on Friday morning. Its price was approaching $40,000, after all.

We couldn’t agree on whether it was a classic Ponzi scheme topping-out or the world waking up to the future of money.

By the time our text chat was over the price was nearer $42,000!

Don’t ask me

I don’t have much appetite for debating short-term market moves – and definitely not for giving my friends advice, other than to use index funds.

As blogger Michael Batnick writes:

Nothing good can come from giving casual investing advice. Nothing.

Especially when it comes to the future direction of an individual security.

They won’t remember what you said. They’ll only remember what happens.

There are four possible scenarios to the question, “Should I buy x?”

  • You say buy, and it goes down. You were wrong, and they’ll never forget.
  • You say buy, and it goes up. You were right, but they’ll forget.
  • You say don’t buy, and it goes down. You were right, but they’ll forget.
  • You say don’t buy, and it goes up. You were wrong, and they’ll never forget.

In the words of Adrian Balboa, “You can’t win!”

This is my experience in real-life, and in 99% of Internet discussions.

Calling tops looks easy. Monevator is riddled with thousands of comments from confident-sounding readers wrongly declaring this or that is overvalued, cheap, a bubble, or doomed to go to zero.

I remember a wager made here in 2012 that gold would beat the S&P 500 by 2020. The price promptly crashed and it has barely broken even since.

I recall that US shares were “obviously” doomed to crash (2015–) or that government bonds were “guaranteed” to lose money (2010–).

Oops.

Vanishingly few of these people stand up to be accountable for their comments years later.

So be hyper-wary of any tips or warnings you read on the Internet.

Or anything that you hear in the pub (or on a Zoom call these days).

And be wary of getting caught up in the debates.

It’s infinitely more important that you have a solid financial and investing plan than that you have an opinion.

Meanwhile if you’re paying somebody for advice or stock tips – or even just following them freely on the Internet – then judge them over the long-term.

That means years.

Not the last 12 crazy months, let alone their last Tweet.

One-off statements on Twitter or in a blog comment can be discounted to near-zero.

I say, I say, I say

Of course I’ve got plenty wrong, too, during my time spouting my thoughts.

However sharing your views on the same website for 13 years does make you somewhat more accountable.

If you’re paying attention to yourself, it makes you (slightly) more humble, too.

You eventually come to know that you don’t really know. Nobody does.

I have long believed Tesla is likely to be a $1 trillion company some day.

But after its recent vertiginous gains I’d agree it looks more likely to go back to $500bn before it gets there.

Will it? Who knows!

Bitcoin’s speedy price rise is equally astonishing.

It’s up 30% since New Year’s Day, and more than eight-fold since its coronavirus crash lows.

Bitcoin is weird. To my mind it gets more valuable as the price goes up. This should attract more people to the network, and also increases trust in it as a store of value. Which, in turn, are both supportive of the price.

Obviously this virtuous circle can’t go on forever.

However there’s around $10 trillion of gold out there, compared to Bitcoin’s $700bn pseudo-market cap. If we are seeing the birth of ‘digital gold’ then there could be a way to go.

Might it crash tomorrow, though? Wallow in the doldrums for years?

Absolutely.

As for stock markets generally, most do look superficially expensive – but that’s on the basis of depressed sales and profits.

If we see off Covid, earnings should bounce back. I believe rising bond yields are much more of a worry than high P/E ratios for global stocks.

But shares can do anything they fancy over the short-term. They could slump on Monday and not come back for years.

You see? Having opinions is easy.

You’ll know if you were right

All of this speculation is fun if you’re an active investor. Perhaps it’s even more fun if you’re a passive investor munching popcorn from the sidelines.

But what it isn’t, for me, is an argument.

Indeed I’ve probably debated politics more than this or that share in the Monevator comments over the years.

Investing is a wonderful hobby for me exactly because opinions come and go – as do those voicing them – but the market always keeps your score.

Have a great weekend, wherever you’re locked down.

[continue reading…]

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Should you sell your global tracker fund for UK shares?

Image of a British bulldog to illustrate the UK market strength

What a difference three vaccines, a trade deal, and the imminent eviction of a narcissistic would-be despot can make!

For five years readers have asked us in comments and over email whether they should reduce their exposure to UK assets.

Doing a Brexit will tend to have that effect.

But in the past few weeks we’ve been getting new queries. Readers asking whether – given the stronger UK pound – British investors are taking undue risk by having so much money invested overseas?

Just this week Bob wondered on our Slow & Steady Passive Portfolio update:

I have become increasingly aware recently of the the pound strengthening against the dollar.

Given this portfolio is heavily invested in US equities, would you be concerned about currency risk? (Especially now the immediate impact of Brexit has taken its course…).

Could some of the gains over the past 10 years be attributed to the weakening pound? And would you be concerned about the opposite effect now?

(I haven’t come across any hedged equity funds in my platform, but I believe they do exist elsewhere…)

These are all valid concerns. But should we do anything in response to the answers we come up with?

The short answer: probably not.

Are you George Soros?

Passive investors with a diversified global portfolio signed on for ups and downs on their way to enrichment.

Getting there with the minimum of mishap and hassle means striving not to second guess the market at every turn.

Even active investors should be wary of churning their portfolios on currency speculation. Stock picking skill is rare, and most people who think they have it likely don’t.

And even if you can select outperforming shares, the chances of you also being able to outsmart the highly liquid and capricious currency markets are slim.

With that said, UK shares on their own merits might be worth an extra look if you’re a naughty active sort.

If UK shares were battered by global capital having put UK PLC into the loony bin, then emerging signs of sanity – such our avoiding a no-deal Brexit – could prompt a revaluation.

Then again the trade deal is hardly breaking news. So it may already be in the price.

Why British shares are rallying

Big UK shares have spent years in the doldrums – topped off by London being one of the worst markets in the world for most of 2020.

Our poor performance against the US market was particularly stark:

Source: Nasdaq

Against this backdrop, the recent strength of UK shares is notable.

  • In 2021 alone an ETF that tracks the FTSE 100 total return1 is up 5.2%

  • In contrast a global tracking ETF2 has delivered just 1.6%

This is after barely a week of trading of course, but it comes on the back of a similar trend in recent months.

Brexit resolution is part of the reason for UK shares moving higher. But there are other factors, too.

Made in Britain

It’s important to understand the UK market is dominated by its largest firms.

Many of these are big, international behemoths in established industries like banking, energy, pharmaceuticals, and mining.

This style of company has been out of fashion for years. They’re typically what we call ‘value’ stocks. As a group they’ve offered little prospect of growth in low return world.

Sectors such as High Street banks and oil companies have faced their own particular headwinds, too.

Even the ‘growthier’ large caps the UK does boast – consumer giants such as Diageo and Unilever – have found the going tough in a global pandemic. Consumers have spent far less time in pubs or even in the supermarkets.

Recently though there have been signs of some of these factors abating.

The Covid vaccines should eventually mean a way out of the global pandemic. With it will come a sharp jump in global economic growth.

Such an economic upturn would be good news for UK giants that can profit from a cyclical recovery, such as energy and mining firms.

Meanwhile the Democratic victory in the US presidential race could also be positive for global growth.

A Biden administration is likely to favour more stimulus, even at the (potential) risk of higher inflation.

That’s good for value shares, too.

The very recent news – overshadowed by this week’s lunatic insurgency in Washington – that the Democrats had won control of the US Senate only reinforces this narrative.

These factors have lately seen yields on US government bonds creep higher. All things equal, higher yields should be good for big financial firms like UK banks.3

Last month’s trade deal between the UK and the EU shouldn’t be discounted as a factor too, of course.

In fact it has a double whammy benefit.

First and foremost it means the UK avoided a no-deal crash out of the EU, with all the attendant chaos.

Lorry jams at Dover and the Cava running out at Sainsbury’s wouldn’t have mattered too much for our big multinationals. But it would have dinged more domestically-orientated UK stocks.

Perhaps more importantly, the deal signals that the UK is ‘investible’ again.

Without wanting to turn this into a piece about the rights and wrongs of Brexit, it’s undeniable that global financial managers voted with their feet and ditched UK assets in the wake of the Referendum in 2016:

Source: Schroders

The UK-EU trade deal, skimpy as it is, demonstrates the UK hasn’t completely lost the plot.

Remember, global fund managers buying big UK multinationals aren’t professionally much concerned about whether Brexit is good for factory workers in Sunderland, fisherman in Hull, or even bankers in the City.

They want to know that their investments are safe from the prospect – however remote – of anti-capitalistic populist moves, exchange controls, or a currency crisis on the back of economic chaos.

The trade deal took that off the table in practical terms. It also proved the UK establishment hasn’t fatally succumbed to fantasy.

The UK’s legal framework and shareholder protections have long been admired around the world.

With the orderly resolution of Brexit at last, global investors can again buy into companies like Vodafone, HSBC, and Unilever and sleep soundly at night.

Reasons to do nothing

Of course none of this really addresses the concerns of our reader Bob or other UK passive investors.

Properly diversified passive investors only have a small allocation to UK assets, reflecting the modest size of the UK market as part of the global whole.

Such investors aren’t worried about how well the FTSE 100 will do, but rather how poorly their world index fund could fare if the pound continues to climb.

This is a very valid short-term concern.

Currency risk is the prospect of your overseas assets losing (or gaining) value as a result of changes in foreign exchange rates.

If the pound strengthens against the US dollar, then all else equal the value of your US funds in sterling will fall.

US shares make up more than half of the world index. And that isn’t the end of the story, as the pound could rise against other currencies, too.

Remember it doesn’t matter what currency your fund is denominated in. Your exposure is to the currency of the underlying assets it holds.

Given everything I said above, it might seem a no-brainer to sell your global shares and load up on British stocks.

However nothing is so easy in investing. Let’s count the reasons why most passive investors are best off doing nothing.

Strategic ignorance The whole point of passive investing is you know you don’t know better than the market. Why do you now think you understand the prospects for the UK pound and stock market better than the combined wisdom of the world’s investors? You probably don’t. Stick with the plan.

Easy come, easy go UK passive investors with global trackers enjoyed a big windfall back in 2016 when the pound devalued on the surprise vote to Leave. If some of that now reverses, well, so what? There will always be wins and losses in a diversified portfolio. It’s unrealistic to hope to only grab the gains.

You already have lots of UK exposure A diversified passive portfolio would usually have a big slug of British assets in the shape of UK government bonds. You may well own your own home in Britain, too. Nearly all of us are paid in pounds. Overseas exposure can arguably be a counterweight to all this.

A strong pound can be bad for British shares Suppose you do dump your global tracker and switch it into one that follows London’s FTSE All-share or FTSE 100. Are you aware that at least 70% of the earnings of UK-listed firms are generated overseas? This means that as the pound rallies, those earnings are worth less. That in turn could cause UK share prices to fall. See? Swings and roundabouts.

We don’t know where the pound will go This is important to reiterate. It may seem obvious that the pound go higher from here, especially against the US dollar. When I used to visit the US a lot for work 20 years ago, I always felt rich. That topped out with the the pound buying more than $2 in 2007! But there’s no law that says we have to revisit those exchange rates. A UK pound bought $5 in the early 1900s. It’s been weakening for more than a century. Even in the short-term, rising yields in the US could support the dollar over a more moribund UK outlook for rates.

The time to switch might have passed The market looks into the future, to the confusion of many. For example rapidly rising share prices after the crash in early 2020 seemed preposterous to some. But the clever market had weighed the evidence and decided Covid wouldn’t cause a depression, especially not with all the money being thrown at it. Similarly the picture for UK assets began to brighten months ago, as the market foresaw a trade deal and liked the look of the vaccines. By the time most investors think about something, it’s already happened.

As always it comes down to this: what do you know better than the market?

Pay your pound of flesh

With all that said, I happen to believe markets are not totally efficient.

There is strong evidence for momentum in share prices, and some evidence that investors are slow to discount all the changes from news events.

The pound could have further to go even on the back of what we already know – and UK shares could continue to do better, too.

One option for passive investors who do decide to meddle would be to hedge out a portion of their overseas exposure using hedged ETF tracker funds. There are various options out there.

You should be doing this already with any overseas fixed income you own. (If you’re not then take a look at this roundup of cheap index trackers, which includes some hedged bond ETFs).

Alternatively, if you really, really must you could increase your allocation to UK shares. But don’t go all-in! Switch say 25% of your global fund into a UK tracker, not 100%. (And do remember that you’ve now given yourself the problem of having to decide when to switch back…)

As a naughty active investor I’ll admit to speculating on the back of Brexit, exchange rates, and much else besides. But I was doing this five years ago, too, and I expect to be doing it in another five years’ time.

Do you honestly want to sign up to that? Are you prepared to pay for being wrong?

Most passive investors should just keep on keeping on.

Be glad we’ve avoided the worst that Brexit might have thrown at us, and focus on the long-term big picture, even if UK assets do get their moment in the sun.

  1. LSE: CUKX []
  2. LSE: SWDA []
  3. Strictly speaking it’s a steeper slope on the yield curve that’s most important for banks. But I believe at these near-zero interest rate levels, any broad uptick in yields is supportive to their business model. []
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The Slow and Steady passive portfolio update: Q4 2020

The Slow and Steady passive portfolio update: Q4 2020 post image

Well so long 2020. You have been the weirdest year of my life, and 2021 is really going have to work hard to top you.

Perhaps the weirdest of the weird is that you didn’t leave our investment portfolios looking like smoking craters.

Monevator’s own Slow & Steady passive portfolio ended the year up over 14%. Not something I’d have predicted during the teeth of the coronavirus crash.

At that point global equities were down 26%. The Slow and Steady passive portfolio got a 3% bonus by rebalancing out of bonds and into battered equities just after the market bottomed out towards the end of March.

However we mostly owe our good fortune to an economy intubated by the central banks. I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking that the ultimate reckoning is only postponed.

Then again, some people have been warning asset prices were defying gravity for the entire decade we’ve been reporting the Slow & Steady portfolio’s progress.

10 years of Slow & Steady

We launched our model passive investing portfolio in January 2011 as a proof of concept. We wanted to demonstrate how a DIY passive investing strategy might unfold – the thought processes and techniques that underpin it – and to document the twists and turns along the way.

You can read the origin story and catch up on all the previous passive portfolio posts that are tucked away in the Monevator vaults.

I don’t think The Investor or I would have guessed that we’d be blowing out the candles on the portfolio’s tenth birthday cake all these years later.1

But what are the actual scores on the doors?

Here’s the latest numbers in Denarian Spreadsheet-o-vision:

The key number is the annualised return of 9.75% down in the bottom-right. A real return of over 7% annualised, once you knock off inflation of about 2.5% per year.

That’s a tremendous performance – especially for a portfolio that’s been heavily invested in government bonds along the way.

What has the last 10 years taught us?

Probably not as much as you’d hope. Certainly not how to write concise blog posts.

The biggest lesson is that, contrary to what James Bond thinks, the World is enough.

We’d have done better by simply investing our equity allocation in a Total World tracker.

The ten year time-weighted returns for the portfolio’s main holdings are:

  • Developed World ex-UK: 11.9%
  • Global Small Cap: 10.8%
  • Global Property: 7%
  • UK Government Bonds: 5.6%
  • UK FTSE All-Share: 5.5%
  • Emerging Markets: 5%

All our faffing with separate weightings was shown up by the global (ex-UK) index fund.

This wasn’t preordained. There’s an alternative universe where we were better rewarded for choosing diversifiers like global property and small caps, and overweighting in emerging markets. But that hasn’t been our universe for the last decade.

Many readers have asked us whether they needed all the bells and whistles. Can you get away with a one-stop-fund like Vanguard LifeStrategy? Or perhaps a Global ETF plus a Government bond ETF?

Absolutely you can. And you most definitely should if you don’t want to spend time fiddling with your portfolio.

My personal reward for sinking countless hours into researching arcana like factor investing was to be taught a few valuable life lessons:

  • Nothing is guaranteed.
  • Simplicity works.
  • Good is good enough.
  • Fees are certain, returns are not.

A pertinent question: would I be drawing these lessons if our diversifying funds had instead smashed the world tracker?

Probably not.

I’d likely be having a sly showboat about how wise an investor I’d been.

Lesson two

The second most valuable lesson I’ve learned is not to waste time beating yourself up for having less than perfect foresight.

If I could just pop back 10 years in my Tardis then I’d go 100% big tech or whatever stock has had the most amazing run up according to this week’s stats.

I have a stock-picking friend who spends his spare time torturing himself about the shares he sold that have since made someone else rich. You might as well flagellate yourself for not guessing this week’s winning lottery numbers.

There was good reason to think the tech sector was overpriced 10 years ago. It didn’t turn out that way but perhaps it will in the next decade. Or perhaps not.

Life’s easy in hindsight. That is why there’s always something to regret.

Don’t play that game. Don’t forget the good decisions you did make, and remember what role the different elements of your portfolio play.

Lesson three

My risk tolerance diminished rapidly as I closed in on my goal. So I’ve watched with interest as – despite many people being queasy about bonds because of negative yields – our model portfolio’s bonds have always cushioned the blow when equities took a hit.

Bonds are not guaranteed to protect your portfolio. They did not ride to the rescue during the UK’s worst ever stock market crash.

But I wouldn’t be without them, having witnessed the panic unleashed when equities caved in.

The trade-off is bonds will likely act as a brake on returns for the next decade. Better that than risk breaking yourself when all hell breaks loose.

Lesson four

It’s hard to be curious about investing and the world and remain completely passive.

I have never cared for ideological purity and am much more interested in the insights and rationale that underpin strategy.

I can cope with sub-par results if I know that the underlying process is sound. Fantastic outcomes built on poor process are otherwise known as flukes.

So I’m happy to alter the strategy if that’s where the evidence leads.

Change ahoy!

Which brings me to the strategic shift that I think is forced upon us by recent events.

Every year, we derisk the Slow & Steady portfolio by moving 2% of its equity allocation into government bonds.

This rule of thumb (known as lifestyling) helps account for our reduced capacity to recover from major losses as we age.

The portfolio was 80% in equities in 2011, and will be 60% equities in 2021 with 10 years left on our (notional) time horizon.

But the capacity of bonds to provide a real return has been diminished by repeated rounds of quantitative easing.

Continuing to move into bonds at 2% per year, as originally planned, would land us with a 50:50 equity:bond asset allocation in 2026 and 40:60 in 2031.

That plan no longer makes sense to me given bonds after-inflation return is likely to be negative over the next decade.

So I’ll make one final 2% move to take the portfolio’s bond holdings to 40% and then lifestyle no more.

Why hold bonds at all? Because we still want conventional government bonds to help limit losses during a crash. There isn’t a good alternative asset that can play that role as reliably.

So my compromise is to limit bonds to 40% of the portfolio, lean more heavily on equities for growth, and accept that a riskier portfolio is a necessary evil under the circumstances.

Asset allocation changes for 2021 are:

  • Emerging Markets -1%
  • Global Small Cap: -1%
  • Global Inflation-Linked bonds: +2%

I’ve reduced Emerging Markets because we try to keep our equity allocations in line with global market allocations. Star Capital helps us do that with its regular updates on the weights of world stock markets.

Inflation adjustments

RPI inflation was only 0.9% this year according to the Office for National Statistics. In 2011 we invested £750 every quarter; we need to invest £985 in 2021 money to maintain our purchasing power.

New transactions

Every quarter we commit £985 to the bedlam of the markets. Our hopes and fears are split between seven funds according to our predetermined asset allocation.

We automatically rebalance every year, and so these are our trades:

UK equity

Vanguard FTSE UK All-Share Index Trust – OCF 0.06%

Fund identifier: GB00B3X7QG63

No trade

Target allocation: 5%

Developed world ex-UK equities

Vanguard FTSE Developed World ex-UK Equity Index Fund – OCF 0.14%

Fund identifier: GB00B59G4Q73

Rebalancing sale: £2108.55

Sell 4.702 units @ £448.44

Target allocation: 37%

Global small cap equities

Vanguard Global Small-Cap Index Fund – OCF 0.29%

Fund identifier: IE00B3X1NT05

Rebalancing sale: £1591

Sell 4.553 units @ £349.41

Target allocation: 5%

Emerging market equities

iShares Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund D – OCF 0.18%

Fund identifier: GB00B84DY642

Rebalancing sale: £1175.61

Sell 612.299 units @ £1.92

Target allocation: 8%

Global property

iShares Global Property Securities Equity Index Fund D – OCF 0.17%

Fund identifier: GB00B5BFJG71

New purchase: £58.07

Buy 28.355 units @ £2.05

Target allocation: 5%

UK gilts

Vanguard UK Government Bond Index – OCF 0.12%

Fund identifier: IE00B1S75374

New purchase: £3809.60

Buy 19.81 units @ £192.31

Target allocation: 31%

Global inflation-linked bonds

Royal London Short Duration Global Index-Linked Fund – OCF 0.27%

Fund identifier: GB00BD050F05

New purchase: £1992.49

Buy 1811.354 units @ £1.1

Target allocation: 9%

New investment = £985

Trading cost = £0

Platform fee = 0.35% per annum.

This model portfolio is notionally held with Fidelity. Take a look at our online broker table for cheaper platform options if you use a different mix of funds. Consider a flat-fee broker if your ISA portfolio is worth substantially more than £25,000.

Average portfolio OCF = 0.15%

If all this seems too much like hard work then you can buy a diversified portfolio using an all-in-one fund such as Vanguard’s LifeStrategy series.

Interested in tracking your own portfolio or using the Slow & Steady investment tracking spreadsheet? This piece on portfolio tracking shows you how.

Take it steady,

The Accumulator

  1. Note: The birthday cake and the portfolio are both notional. The numbers are real and meticulously tracked, but this is a model portfolio rather than the one either of us invest in. []
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Weekend reading: We’re here

Weekend reading logo

What caught my eye this week.

Happy Near Year! I hope you spent your New Year’s Eve in a Covid-proof bunker with Jools Holland – unlike those living near me or on my dating app who seemed to think the end of 2020 was a reason to get together for a party.

Most of us can’t think of a better celebration than seeing the back of that dreadful year, but we’re not out of the woods yet.

It’s been clear since October (and I’ve eaten my own humble pie on this) that hopes for a ‘one and done’ wave of Covid were misplaced. Its ongoing persistence has now been made even worse by mutation, with the new strain saying “Hold my beer” to good old SARS-CoV-2.

The result of this cocktail of misplaced optimism, mixing, and mutation is that this wave is already looking close to out-of-control in the South East, and it’s spreading fast.

There may yet be a tale to tell about Covid’s all-in impact on mortality. But it’s undeniable people are dying horrible deaths from it right now – even as others protest the virus is ‘a hoax’ outside their hospital doors. (So much for the change of calendar year… plus ça change, right?)

Peak pandemic

Now the interesting thing from our perspective as an investing website is how the stock market must hold these two contradictory facts in mind.

The pandemic is as bad as it’s been in Britain. Yet at the same time the vaccines are here. And while I believe our singularly inept Brexit-enabling government is even bungling the vaccine rollout they so longed-for, it is happening. [Update: I take back ‘bungling’. The UK is moving faster than I appreciated at the time of writing, by comparison with other countries.]

More convincingly, look at how how Israel is getting the job done:

In a fortnight or so, most people at risk of dying from Covid in Israel will have been vaccinated. At that point we can expect the death rate to collapse towards zero, even if the virus continues to spread.

It should eventually, belatedly, be the same story in Britain.

This is what the stock market latched on to a couple of months ago. Silly pundits railing against ‘irrational’ markets climbing even as Covid case counts rose forgot the stock market is a discounting machine – the world’s best guess at the future.

And – absent more mutative bad luck – in mere months that future should see deaths reaching a ghastly crescendo before suddenly falling away, at least in the West, even as the virus continues to rage.

How do you discount that forecast? How do you price that into the share prices of retailers on the edge of bankruptcy or holiday firms with enough cash to make it to May, but not to July?

How indeed.

We continue to think that in 2021 the vast majority of people will be best off putting money into index funds, month in, month out – and in 2022 and beyond, too.

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that speculation can be dangerous for your wallet, and much else besides.

[continue reading…]

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