August 2020

Thoughts on investing amid uncertainty

While we are not out of the woods just yet, I think it is fair to say the pandemic and resulting global recession were both swift and unusual. Investors are more familiar with recessions caused by the unwinding of financial excesses, as seen in recent decades with the tech bubble (2001) and the U.S. housing crisis (2009). But a viral pandemic leading to government-mandated lockdowns around the world is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetime.

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Healthcare vs. Military Spending,
by Country

Keeping citizens both healthy and secure are key priorities for many national governments around the world — but ultimately, decisions must be made on how tax dollars are spent to accomplish these objectives, and funding must fall into one bucket or another.

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The impact of a Biden victory

Back in February, when the U.S. economy was booming, Donald Trump’s re-election prospects looked to be on solid ground. Then along came the pandemic, the massive economic downturn, and the nationwide protests — all of which tilted the presidential race heavily in Joe Biden’s favour. 
Biden is now leading in the national polls by an average of over seven percentage points and is ahead in most key battleground states. The betting markets, which until early June had Trump as the favourite, have now decisively flipped toward Biden.

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