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23 December, 2020   |   By Douglas Kearney   |   Investment News

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End of 2020 Investment Update

This has been a year like no other any of us have ever experienced. As we head to get rid of 2020, it is amazing that we can look forward with some confidence to 2021 that some normality is on the horizon as several vaccines have been created and approved in record time. That achievement is absolutely monumental. Out of adversity comes opportunity, according to Benjamin Franklin, and that is so very true in the investment world of 2020. The need for remote working has seen Zoom increase its customer base from 10m to 200m users almost overnight. Is Zoom a word you knew this time last year? Probably not, but it was more than likely in your portfolio. Such growth only possible by the cloud computing facilities of the likes of Amazon and Microsoft. Online shopping became the norm with the likes of Shopify there to make purchasing easy. That message to tell you that our delivery was about to happen was most probably enabled by Twilio. Twilio were less busy letting you know which gate your plane was leaving from. Very quickly watching Netflix or Amazon Prime or other such providers became the norm. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, 10 years of ecommerce growth happened in just 90 days. Covid-19 Sped Up Companies Adoption of Digital Communications Strategies by 6 Years.

Will 2020 be looked upon beyond the pandemic as the year of a digital industrial revolution? It has certainly brought about massive and rapid change. Property needs are being challenged. Do we need that office, does the sandwich shop have relevance, do we want to commute? How will we shop? Will cinemas now have to compete with streaming?

It has been a dreadful year with so many deaths caused by this horrendous virus, but out of the adversity has come opportunity which has driven portfolios to levels that seemed impossible in mid-March. It is a fool’s game to forecast but hopefully we can continue to find the fund managers who can uncover such exciting companies that are the future.

What must never be lost sight of is that diversification remains so hugely important and that in a period of stress, whilst the temptation is to follow the flight instinct, it is usually rewarded to let the fund managers fight to find the gems. We never want to experience a year such as this ever again but out of adversity came opportunity