Quarterly Investment Update April 2020

On a number of occasions we have been in the position of commenting on how one quarter’s return has differed sharply from the previous quarter, but the events of the first quarter of 2020 have taken this to another level. The word unprecedented is frequently used as a descriptor for what has happened in the last two months and it is probably the most appropriate choice at this point during the current global pandemic. The data changes we have seen in all countries across the globe has been striking in its speed and reach.

From a position of significant recovery in equity markets at the end of 2019, we have seen a rapid deterioration in sentiment and market levels with many main markets down by close to 40% at their peak. The cause of course has been the Coronavirus outbreak which we believe started in the wet markets of China but soon found its way across the rest of the globe. The virus itself does not appear to be as deadly as some we have seen previously, such as swine flu or SARS, but it is very virulent and has the potential to overwhelm most health services if not managed appropriately.

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