As one of the multi-asset sectors, specialist has witnessed the ebbs and flows into the major asset classes.
Equities, especially UK equities, so unloved before the UK General Election, have found buyers in abundance. Safer asset classes proved less popular and this trend continued into 2020, until the spread of the coronavirus.
With no market looking particularly cheap in bonds and large-cap equities, financial markets were vulnerable to earnings misses, inflation surprises or a left-field event; equity markets have had a large dose of the latter.
The virus will continue to dominate headlines, and it will certainly knock growth in China, the world's second largest economy, and elsewhere, at a time when the outlook for global economic growth at the end of a long cycle is below par.
The question for markets is how widespread Covid-19 becomes and how long lockdowns of countries, regions and associated supply chain disruptions last. At the time of writing, that is impossible to predict.
Comparisons with seasonal influenza are not without relevance, but that virus does not disrupt economies.
At present, buying bonds takes a leap of faith given current yields and spreads, in the hope that someone else will buy them off you at a higher price at a future date.
In equities, we are reminded the geographic allocation methodology is flawed and being exposed to themes as drivers of long-term growth helps to iron out some of the bumps in the road.
For numerous reasons, gold remains a popular allocation at a time when other assets are facing their own challenges, whether gold is seen as an alternative currency or a store of value.
For those UK investors who favour the growth/value demarcation amid large-cap investing, consider that 54% of FTSE 100 dividends come from just ten stocks - so keep a watch on dividend cover.
Peter Askew is CEO and fund manager at T. Bailey Asset Management
• Monetary policy will remain accommodative and support prices
• UK fiscal policy will be expansionary
• Gilts may have become a commoditised safe haven but are not a long-term real asset
• Also commoditised are large-cap equities, especially in the US, buoyed by indiscriminate passive buying. Their valuations may be questioned during future earnings seasons