2022 so far has been difficult for investors with inflationary concerns, the latest Covid variants and mooted interest rate rises. To add to this, we now have Vladimir Putin orchestrating an invasion of the Ukraine which gives rise to geopolitical concerns in the West with an uncertain impact on inflation. Putin’s long game is unknown at the time of writing, perhaps even to himself.
The response of the West so far has been to impose a limited number of sanctions and Germany has cancelled a planned pipeline and changed its military approach. More sanctions are likely to be announced and NATO will probably reinforce its eastern flank. The Chinese are mostly sitting on the fence.
Markets have fallen and commodity prices have risen. Markets do not count human cost but look to economic outcomes. Safety is sought with governments bond prices rising. Our view is that inflation was peaking but this may be affected by rising oil and gas prices or alternatively it could well be that uncertainty now stops people spending which would effectively control inflation.
The only guide to the future is the past; during the Crimean takeover of 2014 there was some volatility but equity markets returned their upward trend shortly after. Before that during the Gulf War markets suffered up to the time when allied troops went in and then stabilised and rose.
Geopolitical events have differing outcomes; however, our view is that, quite aside from the human suffering this debacle will cause, we feel that markets will recover once tensions ease and with the lessening of the psychological impact of Covid they should have further impetus.
What We are Doing
We are continuing to diversify client portfolios between equity and fixed interest holdings as well as geographically whilst building in tactical counters to inflation. We are continuing to look for new opportunities but remain focused on our medium to long term strategy with shorter term fluctuations being just that – shorter term.
As always, call if you want a chat.
Steve & Martyn