Duncan MacInnes joined Ruffer LLP in 2012. He graduated from Glasgow University School of Law in 2007 and spent four years working at Barclays Wealth and Barclays Capital in Glasgow, London and Singapore. Duncan is a CFA charterholder. He is co–manager of Ruffer Investment Company.
In the world of investment, there are few things everyone can agree on. You’re either a bull or a bear, a dove or a hawk, for or against.
“I have little doubt that with excess savings, new stimulus savings, huge deficit spending, more QE, a new potential infrastructure bill, a successful vaccine and euphoria around the end of the pandemic, the US economy will likely boom,” Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, said in May 2021.
Like many readers, I took advantage of the best snow in years to go sledging with my daughters. As Daddy bombed down the hill like Bowser in Mario Kart my mortality flashed before me and I realised I was simultaneously having fun and in great danger.
The year 2020 will loom large on financial markets for many years to come. As we cautiously make our way out of the crisis, Duncan MacInnes and Fiona Ker review the more startling developments of the last year, share their insights into the ongoing recovery and look ahead to some of key challenges facing investors in 2021.
The unique shape of the Covid-19 crisis and accompanying recession has meant some industries have thrived while others have dived. In caricature, everyone now uses Zoom and Peloton, while offices and gyms were forced to close.
Could a vaccine change market leadership? When will enough doses of FDA-approved Covid-19 vaccine(s) to inoculate 25 million people be distributed in the US? The superforecasters of the Good Judgement Project believe there is a 93% probability we will have an FDA-approved vaccine in a year, and enough of it to inoculate 25 million people in the US. This is up from just 20% in the dark days of April.
Buy good companies. And own them forever. As investment approaches go, it is seductively simple. In a financial world that often looks confused, and in places absurd, buying and holding a portfolio of high-quality companies has evident appeal. Ten years into a bull market, the approach is back in vogue. Owning high-quality equities has worked well over the past 20 years.
However, from today’s starting point – with high valuations, and a cosy consensus around the business fundamentals – these high-quality stocks look unappealing. Are these supposedly ‘safe’ stocks now, counterintuitively, one of the least attractive parts of the market? Duncan MacInnes
Duncan MacInnes, investment director, discusses Covid-19: how it has changed the investment landscape, the impact on the Ruffer portfolio and what could happen next.
Ronald Reagan ran in 1984 with a famous TV commercial which started with the line ‘It’s morning in America’. This was to signify that the best was yet to come. We think there is a chance, just a chance, that the UK could also be at the start of an exciting period.
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