"The wise investor recognises that success is a process of continually seeking answers to new questions."
A pertinent observation from my all-time fund management hero, Sir John Templeton.
As lockdown restrictions are gradually being lifted across Europe and economies enter recession, there is much discussion as to whether we will experience a V-shaped, U-shaped or L-shaped recovery.
However, given the unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 crisis, no one knows definitively the degree to which economies will bounce back, how long it will take and the amount of scarring that will be left behind.
What is for sure is the economic landscape will be very different. Governments and central banks have huge roles to play, in terms of stimulus packages.
Many companies will go out of business or be consumed by rivals and surviving firms will need to change the way they operate.
Looking at the recent bounce in equity markets though, it seems some investors think they do already.
Global GDP is forecast to be down as much as 10% this year (versus a 0.5% decline in 2008) alongside a record-breaking contraction in corporate profits (European earnings are likely to fall between 30%-70%).
With this in mind, the rally in equity markets over the past few weeks suggests investors are increasingly pricing in a rebound that is something closer to a V- than U-shaped economic recovery.
This is somewhat at odds with the mixed messages coming from companies.
True, the unlimited liquidity support of central banks and additional monetary easing has served to prevent further dislocation following the March lows which, alongside data points supporting the idea that the outbreak is starting to be contained, has buttressed the rebound in equity markets.
But this is masking the reality of the situation; unlike the Global Financial Crisis we are not facing a liquidity crisis, but a solvency crisis encompassing companies across multiple sectors.
My view is that we have witnessed a bear market rally, the longevity of which is completely unknown. Now is not the time to jump to conclusions.
Instead, it is the time for active managers to prove their worth by engaging with company management and asking how they are adapting and managing through these difficult conditions, and undertaking detailed analysis of balance sheets and business models.
It is also important not to be overly pessimistic about the challenges ahead. As Sir John Templeton also said: "While there are many problems, if one focuses on the bigger picture there are numerous reasons to be thankful for living in a time of remarkable progress and wonderful possibilities for the future."
One example of this when it comes to investment is the fact that stockmarkets around the world are home to some fantastic companies that are leaders in their chosen fields.
Many of them will weather the current headwinds and capitalise on the opportunities created as economies, markets and technology evolve.
Martin Gilbert is chairman of Aberdeen Standard Investments