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Get ready for the new normal

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated trends that were emerging slowly before the outbreak and the UK has begun a new relationship with Europe. We’re positioning our clients’ investments for a recovery, but anyone expecting a simplistic ‘back to normal’ in 2021 could be caught flatfooted.

 

Investments | 15 January 2021

 

Get ready for the new normal

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated trends that were emerging slowly before the outbreak and the UK has begun a new relationship with Europe. We’re positioning our clients’ investments for a recovery, but anyone expecting a simplistic ‘back to normal’ in 2021 could be caught flatfooted.

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  • Asset Allocation update

    Asset Allocation Update

    Portfolio positions as at 1 January 2021

     

    equity

     

     

    Economic recovery in 2021 will be positive for equities. We expect corporate earnings to rebound significantly and become the fundamental driver of asset prices.

     

    government bonds

     

     

    While there will always be a place for low-risk bonds in portfolios, ultra-low interest rates and a positive outlook mean we are sticking to a low allocation for the time being.

     

    corporate bonds

     

     

    Central bank and government stimulus through the economic recovery provide a positive backdrop compared with government bonds.

     

    gold

     

     

    Gold currently provides an alternative to bonds as a diversifier, particularly as low real yields are likely to persist for government bonds.

     

    cash

     

     

    We have put excess cash to work in portfolios while maintaining a reserve to facilitate any buying opportunities that come around as markets adjust.

     

    Preparing for recovery

    In the second half of 2020 we reduced government bonds and added to equities, focusing on economically sensitive sectors and regions that we believe are likely to benefit from an economic recovery. Emerging market equities were a stand-out performer in 2020.

     

    Click green icons for more information

    Portfolio themes

    emerging markets

     

     

    A weak US dollar in 2021 is positive for emerging markets, and the global economic recovery bodes well for manufacturing and export-orientated economies that are typical in the sector. Asian countries – which make up around 66% of emerging market equity indices – have also weathered the COVID-19 storm well through swift containment measures.

     

    japan

     

     

    Japanese companies typically have strong balance sheets and have benefitted from very strong government stimulus from the Bank of Japan during the COVID-19 crisis. The greatest source of new exports for Japan has been emerging markets and China in particular – as these economies benefit from global growth and a weaker dollar, we expect prospects for Japanese exporters to improve.

     

    us banks

     

     

    Historically, banks have outperformed the wider market during the recovery phase of the business cycle. Monetary stimulus should reduce the possibility of corporate defaults, protecting banks’ balance sheets, while fiscal stimulus could lead to higher growth and inflation, both of which are typically very positive for the banking sector.

    corporate debt over government bonds

    Government bonds offer low yields and little potential for gains in the coming months. Corporate debt meanwhile has higher yields and default risk has been substantially reduced by the scale of support from government and central banks.

     

    gold

     

    Provides portfolio diversification and ballast in the event of big market drawdowns and offers protection against the potential for big currency moves due to the build-up of government debt during the pandemic.

     

    responsible investing

     

    Stronger balance sheets, good employment policies and better risk management of highly ESG-rated companies all help to preserve shareholder value during times of economic disruption. Low-carbon tracker funds have reduced exposure to the energy sector, which has suffered from low demand during the lockdown period, and increased exposure to technology, which has benefitted.

     

    Risks in the months ahead

    brexit

    Many questions remain unanswered about the future trade relations between the UK and EU. Even with a 'thin' deal agreed, there are questions for many economic sectors in the UK, including finance and services. Negotiations are likely to continue for some time and there remain many uncertainties.

     

    coronavirus recovery

    With vaccines now approved for use in many countries, a gradual return of ‘business as usual’ seems guaranteed. But the economic recovery won’t be smooth and could be slower than anticipated. Extended lockdowns have left deep economic scarring that will take years to heal, while the longer-term impact of changes in the way we work and live could see consumer sectors radically transformed for good.

    over-optimistic markets

    Much of the positive news was priced-in during November’s rapid market recovery. This brings two potential risks: on the one hand, markets may not have much further to go on the upside, while even mild setbacks could see short-term market falls. However, the long-term case for equities remains positive and we would see falls as potential buying opportunities.

     

    china vs us

    A change in president is unlikely to see any major rapprochement in the rivalry between the US, defender of the title for world’s biggest economy, and China, the up-and-coming contender. The mood music will change, and relations are likely to be more congenial on the surface at least, but most of the sore points that existed in 2016 – trade imbalances, intellectual property rights – remain unresolved. Markets have ignored the potential fallout as the COVID-19 pandemic has drowned out everything else, but as the disease is brought to heel investors could look again at the risks that a trade war could bring.

     

  • Introduction

    A fresh start in 2021

     

    A fresh start in 2021

    As the mathematically minded among you will know, the 2020s don’t actually start until 2021. So, while we may have been looking forward to a new decade this time last year, many will argue that it didn’t begin until this January.

    I bring this up because, as I reflect on 2020, I think where we stand today marks a hopeful beginning for a new decade.

    • Although the UK has entered another period of lockdown to reduce infection levels, the rapid distribution of the vaccine signals a turning point in our battle against COVID-19
    • Social trends that looked gradual a year ago have been accelerated as many jobs have shifted from the office to home
    • In the UK, we have begun a new relationship with Europe that brings both opportunities and challenges

     

    An investment process that’s come through its greatest test

    I am very pleased to be able to say that despite some staggering market moves in 2020, our funds and portfolios have all delivered a positive return.

    It would have seemed incredible to think during the depths of the market falls last March that we could be sitting here looking at a net gain over the year. But our risk framework – developed systematically over many years – managed to defend our funds and portfolios against the worst of market losses, while our ongoing market analysis guided us to invest in areas that have benefited as economies and markets have recovered.

     

    Maintaining our focus on climate change

    While the extraordinary circumstances of coronavirus dominated the headlines, I have made sure that we did not lose sight of climate change, which remains one of the greatest challenges facing the world today.

    In 2020 we set targets to reduce the carbon footprint of our funds and portfolios, in line with the Paris Agreement. In the first half of the year we achieved a 29% average reduction in carbon emissions. This means effectively that your investments became greener and more climate-resilient, without losing sight of financial performance.

    In 2021, we will be a principal partner and sponsor of the UN’s 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26), one of the most anticipated climate change events to date. Being close to this event means we’ll be in a unique position to observe how countries are accelerating action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, and we will share our insights with you.  

     

    Preparing for a new era

    At Coutts, we have been making changes, too. As many of you will know, we’ve agreed a new investment relationship with the world's largest asset manager, BlackRock, to allow us to invest more quickly, more efficiently and at a lower cost than we've been able to before.

    More importantly, they share our desire to invest more sustainably. They’ll help us to engage in a dialogue with the companies we invest in on your behalf to do better when it comes to making their operations more sustainable for the planet and its people.

     

    Our appetite for innovation

    Of course, we cannot rest on our laurels. Past performance is not a guide to future returns, as I am sure you realise.

    We will continue to seek new ways to help you preserve and grow your wealth in the year – and years – ahead, to help us prepare for whatever comes next.

    We are also making extensive improvements to the way we collect environmental, social and governance (ESG) data to provide new information at every stage of our investment process. This means we’ll also be able to give you better updates on our responsible investing activity and the impact your investments are having

     

    I wish you a safe and prosperous 2021

    If you would like to learn more about our plans for 2021, we’ll be publishing regular updates here on coutts.com describing our take on trends and what we’re doing to address them. And please feel free to contact your private banker at any point who will be more than happy to put you in touch with someone on our investment team who can answer any questions you may have.

     

    Mohammad Kamal Syed

    Head of Asset Management

  • 2021: The Year of the vaccine

    2021: The year of the vaccine

    Sven Balzer, Coutts Head of Investment Strategy, looks ahead at the markets for 2021 and sees recovery and transformation in the months ahead.

     

    2020 was an exceptional year by any historic measure. Consider this list:

    • The COVID-19 global pandemic, and attendant health care crisis and tragic loss of life
    • A 20% dip in UK GDP during the second quarter of the year
    • Trillions of dollars in government and central bank monetary support for companies and individuals
    • Oil prices trading at -$37
    • Historically huge market falls followed within weeks by similarly exceptional recoveries

    Any single one of these would be considered extraordinary; a year that brought them all is unprecedented in the working life of nearly any investor that logged on to their work laptop (probably from home, in the latter part of the year at least) each morning as events unfolded.

     

    No going back to how things were

    2021 will see a gradual return to more normal conditions, but it’s not going to be a simple matter of everyone getting back on the train, heading back into the office and going back to how it was before.

    Firstly, the recovery will see the occasional crisis of confidence – we shouldn’t assume a straight one-way trajectory of either the retreat of COVID-19 or business and consumer confidence. The re-imposition of lockdown conditions in the UK in the early weeks of 2021, for example, demonstrates that the pandemic still has a sting in its tail. Secondly, many aspects of how we live, work and generally interact have changed for good.

    Simplistic ‘back to normal’ expectations are a recipe for disappointment. The previous decade has seen disruption to many established markets and ways of living, and all this has been accelerated, rather than halted, by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    We are entering an era of profound structural change driven by technological disruption, COVID-19, innovations in health care, climate change, growing awareness of responsible investing imperatives and the investment implications of rising geopolitical tensions.

     

    A brighter world on the horizon

    All that said, there can be no doubt that 2021 will be a better year for economies than 2020. While, the pandemic isn’t over, the new year should see economic growth continue to recover, the impact of the virus become more manageable and uncertainty decline.

    Countries and economies will reopen after a period of shelter from the pandemic and the trend will be one of improvement. Asset prices will reflect this trend.

    The strategic outlook for the next 12 to 18 months, therefore, remains positive, even if markets look stretched from a tactical standpoint in the near term. Our economic models suggest solid longer-term recovery trends. New lockdowns will delay some of the recovery into the latter parts of the year or 2022 but won’t change the overall direction of travel. Technical and macro indicators remain positive for equities and other risk assets such as credit, and the level of conviction rises as the year progresses.

    There are tactical challenges to consider. Markets have priced-in a lot of the good news since November, and over the winter investors will need to work through uncertainty regarding how COVID-19 vaccinations will play out.

    The positive investor sentiment that established itself in the last two months looks a bit too consensual from the contrarian standpoint that we like to take. For example, our positions in US banks and UK equity which were very contrarian for most of 2020, are now becoming consensus. It’s very likely that markets will test investors’ positive sentiment and we shouldn’t be surprised by tactical setbacks during 2021. But we think these will be corrections in a bull market.

    In the US, the political landscape has altered once more with the Democratic party taking control of both houses of Congress following run-off polls in Georgia. This could see greater government spending and more fiscal support aimed at consumers, increasing inflationary pressures in the US.

    Spending on infrastructure and technology to promote the move away from fossil fuels is also likely to be back on the legislative agenda, and we could see an impact on both the energy sector and companies focused in green technologies.

    Overall, this outcome confirms our long-term thesis of reflation and a weaker dollar, although this is also rapidly becoming consensus and therefore vulnerable to a test during 2021.

    In 2021 we expect corporate earnings to rebound significantly and become the fundamental driver of asset prices. This trend should start to become visible in the data during the first half of the year.

     

    A positive view backed by data

    Our Coutts in-house indicators are based on a combination of leading indicators and asset scores that bring together fundamental, technical and macro data. They suggest a positive outlook for equities and credit over the next 12 to 18 months.

     

     

    With this in mind, we’re beginning 2021 positioned for recovery. Our portfolios are tilted towards global equities and credit over government bonds, and within equities we have added to economically sensitive areas that should benefit from economic expansion.

    While we recognise the diversification benefits and downside protection that bonds provide during periods of market weakness, we have a strategically negative outlook. The economic recovery across developed economies will put pressure on bond yields, although it’s unlikely that central banks will allow a disorderly rise.

    The outlook for moderately higher gilt yields depends on a number of factors, including:

    • How the UK/EU trade deal works out in practice
    • The success of the vaccination campaign and management of the current lockdown
    • Bank of England policies – in particular, potential negative interest rates and further quantitative easing, which would lead to higher yields
    • A Scottish election result that could see the question of independence back on the agenda

    We expect 2021 to be a recovery year for economies. Financial markets should remain within the long-term bull market trend that started in 2009. The strong asset price rallies of last year, together with the bullish investor consensus, indicate some volatility and tactical challenges ahead, although these should be seen in the context of the long-term positive trend.

    Of course, one of the key lessons of 2020 has been that we never know what’s coming around the corner. For investors, it’s a matter of being prepared with a diversified portfolio, being ready to make changes when necessary and sticking with your convictions when they’re backed by the data.

  • Brexit: The winners and the losers

    brexit: the winners and the losers

    With a deal agreed, Coutts Head of Asset Allocation Lilian Chovin takes a step back to consider what this might mean for the UK economy and investors.

     

    Leaving it literally to the last minute, the UK and the EU announced an agreement for Brexit on Christmas Eve 2020. While this did mean one less worry to disrupt digestion after Christmas dinner, in fact there is much to consider as we return to work.

     

    NOT SUCH A SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT

     

    Our view had always been that a deal was more likely than not. There have always been compelling reasons for both parties to maintain a close trade relationship. While investor confidence wavered slightly in December, market expectations for a deal in the closing months of 2020 was evident in the value of sterling, which rose by 4% versus the dollar between the start of October and the day of the announcement.

    Our portfolios were positioned with this in mind, although we’ve been cautious on the UK as we felt that even with a deal, there would be a lot of detail that could take time to resolve. And this has proven to be the case.

     

    WHAT NEXT? MORE NEGOTIATIONS

     

    While the deal brings a welcome degree of certainty for many businesses, there’s still a lot left to do.

    • The status of service industries – which make up 80% of the UK economy – remains to be resolved. This includes recognition of professional qualifications – UK-qualified accountants, architects, engineers and doctors now won’t be automatically allowed to practise in the EU.
    • The UK and EU did not reach an 'equivalence' agreement for UK financial services companies. Financial services make up around 7% of the UK economy and around 18% of the FTSE 100 on their own. The chancellor has announced further negotiations in 2021 as a matter of urgency.
    • The impact of non-tariff barriers – such as border checks, filing customs declarations or ‘source of origin’ statements – is yet to be fully understood. Further barriers may be revealed as businesses come to grips with the new rules.

    In the meantime, UK companies have been getting ready for the next stage of our relationship with the EU. In August, 60% of businesses that trade with the EU reported that they are fully prepared or as ready as they can be for Brexit, according to the Bank of England Decision Maker Panel Survey (Q3 2020). This is an encouraging sign that UK plc has accelerated preparations during the year.

    It’s also worth bearing in mind that the relationship between the UK and the EU is unlikely to remain static. Changing circumstances may see the parties grow closer once again, providing opportunities to forge closer relations on the individual country or sector level.

     

    REOPENING THE INVESTMENT CASE FOR UK ASSETS?

     

    We wrote in detail about the outlook for UK equity in December. After an extended period of underperformance when international investors shunned UK assets, the removal of no-deal risk could lead to a reassessment of the investment case for UK companies.

    Global investors have been relatively light in UK assets for several years, driving valuations down. On a cyclically adjusted price/earnings basis (CAPE) UK shares look like better value than other developed markets. (CAPE represents the ratio of an asset’s earnings relative to its share price, smoothed out over a 10-year period to allow for different economic conditions. A lower ratio means an investor pays relatively less for earnings than for an asset with a higher ratio.)

     

    UK equity valuations are attractive relative to other regions

    Cyclically adjusted price earnings ratio, calculated on local currency basis. Past performance is not a guide to future returns. Source: Reuters Eikon/Datastream, Coutts & Co, January 2021

    Another potential positive for UK assets is an improved outlook for sterling. The pound declined to historically low levels after the EU referendum result, making UK companies less appealing for international investors – a weaker currency reduces the total return as assets lose value relative to the investor’s native currency. With a Brexit deal in place, we are likely to see a rise in the value of sterling, enhancing returns from UK assets for international investors and making them more attractive.

     

    The pound is currently undervalued and any recovery would be positive for sterling-based assets

    Real effective exchange rate, rebased at 100 at 1 January 2000. Past performance is not a guide to future returns. Source: Reuters Eikon/Datastream, Coutts & Co, January 2021

    In the meantime, the start of coronavirus vaccinations has improved the global economic outlook. As one of the hardest hit countries, the catch-up potential for UK economic growth in 2021 could boost domestic assets.

    We have already shifted our emphasis towards economically sensitive parts of global markets within our portfolios. In the UK, we’ve redeployed some money from steady-as-she-goes quality companies to undervalued assets that could benefit as the outlook improves. We’ll be looking for other opportunities as market sentiment continues to evolve.

     

    HOW TO MAINTAIN BRITAIN'S ECONOMIC STATUS

     

    As we discussed in a feature in September, the UK remains an attractive destination for businesses despite leaving the EU. Many of the UK’s strengths – a strong rule of law, a business-friendly regulatory environment and world-class education institutions – are not contingent on membership of the EU and will continue to attract international companies.

    Maintaining – and even enhancing – these advantages will be vital. Foreign investment in the UK has been declining since Brexit and reversing this trend will be instrumental to an improving UK economy.

    In the longer term, the key question is what growth-enhancing policies will the UK deploy to counter the negative Brexit impacts? The outlook for the Bank of England base rate remains stuck at zero for the time being, and the spectre of negative rates continues to be raised in the media although we believe the policy makers will still see this as a step too far.

     

    LEANING-IN TO THE GREEN AGENDA

     

    Given the high-level of spending in the last 12 months, the government will be looking for investments that are likely to open up new economic opportunities rather than just support existing industries. In November, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, outlined plans for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ that he hopes will create up to 250,000 jobs. The plans, which include £12 billion of government investment, will focus on a wide range of industries including clean energy, electric vehicles, green technologies such as carbon capture, and green finance.

    As well as helping the UK achieve its 2050 target for net zero greenhouse gas emissions, the investment in green industries could also address the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. At the last election the government pledged to boost the economic prosperity of regions outside London and the South East. Focusing on car manufacturers in the Midlands transitioning to electric vehicles, or the clean energy sector in the North East, could facilitate the creation of jobs in the UK’s ‘left behind’ regions and reduce regional inequality.

    Finally, if the UK is able to successfully become a world leader in green technology or renewable energy, or make London a global hub of green finance, this could define the post-Brexit global role of the UK.

     

  • breaking bad investment habits

    Breaking Bad Investment Habits

    Coutts Chief Investment Officer Alan Higgins explores how behavioural finance could help you overcome your inner irrationality to make better investment decisions.

     

    For many years, financial services companies, governments and regulators have assumed that a sufficiently informed individual will make ‘rational’ decisions about their financial future. Communications around investing have focused on explaining benefits – and potential pitfalls – as clearly as possible in the belief that, once the choices are clear, consumers will make the ‘right’ decision.

    But even armed with clear and compelling information, actual humans have continued to make decisions that don’t make rational sense.

    And this probably includes you.

     

    why people make bad decisions

     

    ‘Behavioural finance’ is a field of study that’s emerged to try and explain why people make financial decisions that go against their own best interests.

    It seeks to answer the question of why investors – and by extension markets – are not always rational. Close study of how people make investment decisions has revealed the behavioural traps that many investors, no matter how experienced they are, can fall into.

    For example, there is ‘anchoring’, where an investor focuses on just one price of an asset or a valuation of an overall portfolio. They’ll decide something like, “I’m not selling until I get back to this specific level” – usually the price they paid – so they don’t have to realise a loss.

    The downside, of course, is that the asset may take a long time to get back to the breakeven stage, during which time the cash tied up could be making more money elsewhere in their portfolio.  And it may not ever get back to that level, and even continue to fall.

    This kind of behaviour is driven by loss aversion, which puts a higher premium on avoiding losses than on making gains. In these situations, ‘sell discipline’ is vital to limit the potential for greater losses.

     

    the dangerous allure of steady returns

     

    Another expression of loss aversion is the aversion to volatility. The way most people expect long-term investments to grow was revealed by the UK pension provider NEST in an in-depth study into consumer attitudes to investing in a pension carried out when the scheme was established.

     

    Investors expect smooth and steady growth from their investments

    Source: NEST Corporation, 2014

    Put simply, far too many people hope and expect their savings to grow substantially, but with virtually no volatility.

    When I read this research, it reminded me of another high-profile investment fund that was popular with many sophisticated and wealthy investors prior to the financial crisis of 2008/2009.

    The graph below shows the performance of two investments:

    • One is an investment fund with very steady month by month appreciation, similar to what our pension savers expected in the NEST study
    • The other is simply the main US equity index, the S&P 500, showing a typical degree of equity volatility, even based on monthly data that ignores intra-month falls

    Interestingly both assets delivered the same return – circa 9.0% compound – over the overall period.

     

    investors were attracted by this 'steady' fund's reliable return - but was it too good to be true?

     

    The kicker is that the mysteriously smooth performance of the first investment turned out to be a fraud. It was, of course, the Ponzi scheme set up by Bernie Madoff.

    These returns were never real.  Madoff simply paid for redemptions from money paid in by new investors. This was made possible by the wild popularity of the fund – at one stage it had an estimated US $65 billion in assets from around 37,000 clients in 136 countries. Many of these investors lost all their money when the scheme collapsed as falling markets saw redemptions overtake new investment.

    Why did this scheme attract so many investors? It wasn’t the return. In fact, interviews with several Madoff victims after the scheme unravelled revealed that they stated they were not being greedy. After all, this hedge fund was making ‘only’ the same 9% return as the stock market, while other large, high-profile hedge funds – names like Citadel and Renaissance, for example – were compounding at around 30% a year prior to the financial crisis.

    But these investors were greedy in one respect: the behavioural bias of seeking to avoid volatility while simultaneously having an attractive overall stock market return.

     

    looking past the illusion of short-term volatility

     

    We can even observe this behaviour at an institutional level at times. For example, private equity can be a very attractive high-return asset class, but also shows low volatility relative to mainstream equities. This has made it increasingly attractive to pension funds looking to maximise returns but with a regulatory responsibility to limit volatility.

     

    Private equity returns have seemingly been steadier than general equity for the last 20 years

    Returns quoted in US dollars, including income. Past performance is not a guide to future returns. Source: Cambridge Associates, Reuters Eikon/Datastream, Coutts & Co, January 2021

    But, how can volatility on private equity be so low? Private equity firms invest in small companies, often using debt and one would expect these companies to be far less steady than the large well-established companies that make up the S&P 500. And yet, this data suggests that, over this period, private equity has never even had an annual loss!

    The answer is that the less regular, non-market valuations smooth out the volatility. Private equity assets are typically valued only every quarter or even every year as opposed to regular market-quoted equities, which issue daily prices. Valuations are also generally assessments of value, rather than based on actual transactions as in mainstream equity markets. They may well be entirely fair and rational, but they’re not the same as market prices based on what investors are actually willing to pay.

     

    Private equity performance reporting smooths out volatility compared to assets with daily pricing

     

    Taken together, this means that price fluctuations are obscured, leading to a perception of reduced volatility. So, even professional investors (albeit driven, to a certain extent, by regulation) are affected by this behavioural avoidance of market volatility.

     

     learning to deny our animal instincts

     

    Is there a way to mitigate the impact these irrational fears could have on our longer-term financial goals?

    An example of how we can all do it lies in the story of Ronald James Read.

    Over a long working life, Mr Read helped with cars at a gas station for 25 years and swept the floors at JC Penny for 17 years. However, when he died in 2014, aged 92, in his will he donated US $6 million to charity and left $2 million to relatives.

    Where did the money come from? On his death, his heirs discovered he had a portfolio of about 100 shares, which he had held for a long time, topping up his portfolio with small amounts of monthly savings and, crucially, re-investing his dividends.  His investments were not in high-flying technology stocks – he even had a worthless Lehman Brothers stock certificate (which went bankrupt) – and his return was similar to the overall index over the period he held his shares.

    Ronald Read is an inspiration to all of us. He completely overpowered the behavioural biases of loss and volatility aversion, even when coping with the downside he would have experienced during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, when his portfolio would have fallen by 50% after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.

    The key to his success was two-fold:

    • saving small amounts regularly from an early age
    • taking a long-term view to invest in equities

    We don’t all have the behavioural super strength of Mr Read, but we can learn. Ronald embraced the downside by taking a longer-term perspective, even when individual stocks lost everything, and you can do it, too.

     

  • Long-term performance

      31 December 2015 to 31 December 2016 31 December 2016 to 31 December 2017 31 December 2017 to 31 December 2018 31 December 2018 to 31 December 2019 31 December 2019 to 31 December 2020
    MSCI AC World 7.9% 24.0% -9.4% 26.6% 16.3%
    MSCI UK 19.2% 11.7% -8.8% 16.4% -13.2%
    MSCI Emerging Markets 11.2% 37.3% -14.6% 18.4% 18.3%
    S&P 500 11.2% 21.1% -4.9% 30.7% 17.8%
    MSCI USA 10.9% 21.2% -5.0% 30.9% 20.7%
    MSCI Europe (ex UK) 2.3% 13.6% -11.3% 26.4% 1.4%
    MSCI Japan -0.7% 19.7% -15.1% 18.5% 8.8%
    US dollar real effective exchange rate 4.7% -6.5% 4.3% -0.6% -3.1%
    UK sterling real effective exchange rate -14.1% 0.4% -1.3% 3.9% -2.8%
    Euro real effective exchange rate 0.3% 4.9% 0.1% -3.5% 4.9%
    Japanese yen real effective exchange rate 6.6% -3.6% 2.9% 1.5% -0.5%
    Cambridge Associates US Private Equity Index 13.2% 17.9% 10.3% 14.0% n/a

    Returns calculated in local currency, including income. Past performance is not a guide to future returns. Source: Reuters/Eikon Datastream, Coutts & Co, Cambridge Associates,  January 2021.

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