May 2021 – Investment Insights

I hope you’re keeping well during this Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures.

WHAT’S HAPPENING GLOBALLY?

  • More than 1 billion vaccine doses have been administered across 170 countries all around the world. Enough doses have been administered to cover about 7% of the world’s population. However, the distribution remains lopsided. High-income countries are vaccinating 25 times faster than the lowest ones.
  • The recent outbreaks in India, Japan, and the Philippines have now been confirmed that it’s a new variant. However, the severity and deadliness of this new variant, compared to the original COVID-19 strain, is still yet to be determined.
  • Chinese authorities announced a GDP target above 6% in 2021. They have made a commitment to keep China’s recovery on a sustainable trajectory. GDP growth for 1Q 2021 was relatively disappointing, partly reflecting China’s cautious credit policy.

MARKET PERFORMANCE

The post-pandemic market rally has been one of the best in history. It closely matches the post-GFC recovery in 2010- 2011.

1Q 2021 earnings season started out strong. More than 75% of companies reported beating consensus estimates compared to only 22% of those below estimates.
We believe equities should continue to outperform bonds in the following quarter. However, it appears the performance gap has narrowed over the last few months.

In the meantime, please take care and stay safe.

HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND?

With a mixture of good and bad news. It’s normal to feel worried about the current market situation. However, ups and downs is normal and they are part of the investing journey. You don’t need to worry when you have a long-term mindset and continue to stay invested.

Based on history, the markets tend to outpace inflation. So if you’re worried about rising inflation. Investing is a good defence.

– Ben

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