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Isaac Poole, Oreana Financial Services
Global stock markets have, of course, taken a pummelling since the last week of February. Investors’ optimism for healthy returns at the start of the year was encouraged by a thaw in US-China trade tensions, supportive central banks and forecasts of steady worldwide economic growth. That confidence was suddenly obliterated by the coronavirus pandemic and its likely dire economic consequences.
The MSCI World index has plunged 23.05% in US dollar terms so far this year (to 2 April), after rising 28.4% in 2019, according to FE Fudninfo data.
Many equity markets enjoyed strong returns last year, despite concerns that valuations were too expensive.
“We were underweight global equities throughout 2019,” Isaac Poole, chief investment officer at Oreana Financial Services, told FSA.
“However, we are now shifting to a neutral position after sharp falls in stock prices throughout the world in the last few weeks have substantially lowered valuations,” he said.
Other fund managers have said that they see opportunities too, without committing themselves to an outright bullish, bargain-hunting position.
So, following the sharp “corrections” in markets and amid continued whipsaw volatility, FSA asked Poole to compare two global equity funds, discuss their strategies, performance, management teams, costs and prospects.
He selected a couple of funds that he bought when he liked equities: the Aberdeen Standard Sicav I World Equity Fund and the BNY Mellon Long Term Global Equity Fund.