Just over a year ago the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. Few would have predicted the returns experienced in global equity markets over the following 12 months. With widespread economic disruption, any company demonstrating growth — regardless of profitability — became a rare commodity, and investors bid prices higher.Continue reading . . .
At Saturna, we entered 2020 with cautious optimism. Geopolitical uncertainties, rich corporate valuations, and stretched monetary policies kept us vigilant, while generally strong business and economic fundamentals supported optimism. What we didn’t foresee was the looming pandemic, widespread economic shutdowns, and rapid government intervention.Continue reading . . .
Just when one thinks 2020 has run out of tricks, it throws another tantrum in the form of exploding conflagrations across the West Coast while simultaneously inundating the Gulf Coast with multiple tropical storms and hurricanes. Absent serious and immediate steps toward revolutionizing our modus operandi, we will render the Earth uninhabitable across vast swaths.Continue reading . . .
Despite the economic carnage afflicting the global economy since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, by the end of the first quarter, the stock market had already plumbed its greatest depths, with March 23 marking a nadir. Over the course of the second quarter, while not recovering all the lost ground from the February peak, the market roared back...Continue reading . . .
Looking at the 18.54% total return for the S&P 500 through the first half of the year, the 14.49% return for the MSCI EAFE Index (non-US developed world), or the 10.58% gain for the MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, one could be forgiven for believing world economies have entered a Golden Era of buoyant confidence, linear expansion, and wisely benign governance. If only we were so lucky.Continue reading . . .