Global Matters Weekly – 18 January 2021

An industry in constant evolution

by Robert White, CFA
It is generally accepted that 2020 saw changes in the way we use technology that are likely to persist even after the pandemic ends. Many changes to society and markets already appear self-evident today, and developing a full understanding of the implications will be important for active managers over the years to come. The Christmas break provided us with a chance to ponder more introspectively over the impact these changes may have on the investment management industry itself, and how best to serve our clients over long term. Much has been written on how society will change following the pandemic and there are several examples of interesting shifts in consumer trends. My favourite example – albeit admittedly very niche – has been the explosion of interest in the 1,500-year-old game of chess since the pandemic. Despite the success of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, who would have thought the game would become one of the fastest growing spectator sports on video streaming services such as Twitch.

Market Snapshot

  • Global equities fell -1.4% last week
  • President Trump became the first US President to be impeached for a second time
  • Brent crude fell -1.6% ending the week at $55.1 a barrel
  • Gold fell -1.1% to end the week at $1828.5 an ounce