The last few months have turned the world upside down with Covid-19 leading to lockdowns unprecedented even in wartime. The social and financial costs are still unknown, but the impact has been staggering. Financial markets fell precipitously in March, only to recover some or all of their losses, buoyed by huge stimulus packages and an end to lockdowns.
Yet it would be a mistake to conclude that life will be back to normal for some time. And some things will never go back to how they were - there really will be a ‘new normal', even when social distancing, facemasks and other measures are a distant memory. The pandemic will catalyse changes that were already happening, having a considerable impact on financial markets.
Sustainable investing had already experienced a remarkable surge into the mainstream in recent years. This had taken a bit of getting used to. I've spent much of my career on the margins of investment management, often unable to persuade investors of the merits of considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. The value of investments and the income from them is not guaranteed and may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested. The views expressed are the author's own and do not constitute investment advice.