Global Portfolio Strategy 2020 Q4 - A Collision of Sentiment & Value
It was the triumph of hope over despair. Equities reigned supreme in the year of the Pandemic. The vaccine arrival delivers relief for the despondent economy, in particular the leisure and hospitality sectors. In contrast, unemployment is at levels not seen in generations, and investors salivate as equity valuations reach multi-decade highs. At the same time, government debt and deficits achieve levels unseen for seventy years. The confluence of Millennial investors focusing on familiar companies with unprecedented monetary stimulus drives the divergence between equities and the economy. Valuation levels suggest the continued primacy of equities is doubtful, particularly for US technology. The quandary is that valuation gaps can endure for years. With dividend yields above government bond yields, cash flow investors face a parallel dilemma. The primacy of sentiment makes it a year of tactical investing. Timing is everything.