Nevertheless, it is important to retain perspective as there are few moments in history when all sorts of troubling “stuff” isn’t happening. If we ignore all of this and look purely at market valuations, there is little to induce excitement. Fixed interest provides next to nothing, whilst equities continue to look expensive – relative to history and our expectations for forward-looking growth.
Sometimes this investment management lark is a tough gig. We are expected to entice with all sorts of exciting propositions but about all we can offer at this time is more advice about staying defensive.
We have noted, nevertheless, a revival in the price of bitcoin and general increased interest in blockchain technology. Even Facebook is planning to introduce its own digital currency. We have admired blockchain technology from the start but separated that admiration from any particular digital currency offering. We see no reason to alter that stance. Blockchain is clever and it is here to stay, and it must furrow the brows of central bankers around the world, but there will be plenty to choose from in this field. Perhaps in 20 or fewer years it will dominate the global payments system and reduce the influence of the US dollar. But these are early days – be careful.