The year 2020 has been extraordinary in so many ways.
It’s been a year of incredible grief for many yet a year where we have seen the ability of people and business to adapt and rise to the challenge of COVID19.
Locally in Victoria, it’s a year where we have spent a considerable amount of time in lockdown as we saw business shift overnight to working remotely.
Internationally, we have seen difficult trading conditions present with our biggest trading partner, China, whilst in the United States we saw an election like no other and a change in government after one term in office for Donald Trump.
Although we expect headwinds to continue to be present over coming years as the world deals with an unpredictable virus and huge levels of debt, we are optimistic for long term markets.
Most importantly, we remain committed to proven strategies and behaviours that we know work for long term wealth creation.
Although 2020 has been a difficult year, it’s also provided many with the opportunity to reflect on what’s most important to them and for us there is no better example of this than Chris and Louise, who made the decision to spend more time with family moving forward rather than heading back to University to meet study requirements for Chris.
We would like to thank Chris and Louise for their many years of valued service and although they will always be a pillar in our business, wish them the very best in retirement. As a business we strive to help clients achieve their financial goals and objectives and both Chris and Louise have done this with aplomb over many years.
A number of you would now have spoken with our new team members that have joined since our last newsletter. We are pleased to welcome Josh Whelan, Penny Giofkou and Shane Moloney to the team at Vista Financial Group.
In early 2021, we are really excited to be introducing a new online presence and as part of this, we will provide a more detailed introduction to our newest team members!
Investment markets were also no exception for providing surprises in 2020. After significant losses earlier in the year, the Australian Stock Exchange had its best month in over 30 years in November, following similar strong gains from US and global markets.
There are two ways of thinking about this. The first is that this is just part of the catch up and recovery from the market selloff earlier in the year. The second is that this is an explosion of confidence and investors are willing to take on more risk than they normally would, or returns form cash at bank are so low that investors have nowhere else to go?
Maybe both alternatives are correct.
For example, the US share market, which is at all-time highs, is significantly more expensive than most other markets. Australia on the other hand, remains below its February highs, and appears more reasonably valued. There is massive support for share markets, in the form of low or zero interest rates and significant government stimulus. But no-one really knows the true unemployment figure and the economic damage done by the COVID crisis, because it is being masked by JobKeeper, JobSeeker and a raft of other Government support measures.
We remain optimistic for long term returns, but do expect to continue to see volatility in markets as the world learns to live with an unpredictable virus and the challenge of yield in a very low interest rate environment. We have had the conversation hundreds of times this year on the importance of ‘staying the journey’ in markets and this year was an outstanding example of the importance of doing so despite volatility. History has rewarded those that are patient.
I have attached another great summary from Dr Shane Oliver, Head of Investment Strategy and Chief Economist at AMP Capital, to give us his views on what the new year is likely to bring.
From all of us at Vista Financial Group, we hope that you and all of your families have made it through 2020 okay.
If this year has taught us one thing it is that health is always the number one priority.
Let us take a breath over the Christmas period and take time to reflect on the year that has been and look forward to a safer and brighter 2021.
Thank you to you for continuing to be valued clients of Vista Financial Group.
From all of us at Vista Financial Group, we wish you and your loved ones a safe and joyous festive season, and a new year filled with health and happiness.
Our office will be closed from December 23rd through to January 11th.
Should you require urgent assistance during this time please contact us via email on email@example.com or, Tyson via mobile on 0404 830 862.
The team at Vista Financial Group
The advice in this newsletter is general in nature and does not take into account your own financial objectives, circumstances or needs. You should consider your own personal situation and requirements before making any decisions. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us.
A copy of our Financial Services Guide can be found on our website: http://www.vistafinancial.com.au/financial-services-guide/