Last year began with complacency and ended with extraordinary market optimism.
In March we witnessed stockmarket meltdowns. The second quarter saw a huge drop in output and incomes in most of the advanced world as economies were put into lockdown to tackle the pandemic.
As the year moved to a close, there was more share buying on the back of news that vaccines were to be rolled out soon, enabling some return to normality as we live through 2021.
So what do we make of shares for 2021? Some say we should be positive, as there will be recoveries in many economies.
Central banks are likely to keep interest rates very low, and to continue with substantial programmes of money creation, bond buying, assistance to commercial banks and the other measures to keep markets well supplied with cash.
As bonds will yield next to nothing, and keeping money on deposit will produce little or no income, more investors might be tempted to run more risk and hunt out dividends and capital gains from shares.
The shares of the digital and green revolution companies will sweep onwards, extending their market presence and earning good profits.
There will be some recovery in the cashflows and returns on more traditional businesses, as lockdowns are eased and social contact increases.
Others say we should be more cautious. Stockmarkets have rallied strongly from the March lows, and in the case of leading markets in the US and China have surpassed the levels they were at prior to the virus.
The US has gone to new all-time highs, led by the success of its digital revolution giants.
The winter ahead still sees many countries fighting the virus with national or regional lockdowns, and social distancing policies continue to damage large areas of economic life involving travel, tourism, entertainment, leisure and hospitality.
Companies will need to go easy on paying dividends, may need to seek new capital or in some cases will succumb to the pressures and go into administration. It is not just the social contact businesses that are under pressure.
Commercial property, for example, will experience further falls in rents for shops, and may find the bad news starts to spread to offices as well as companies review their working practices.