2021 – Good riddance!
For the first time in my life I am looking forward to seeing Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham on telly on Hogmanay. Not because I enjoy listening to their music, far from it in fact, but it means that 2021 is coming to an end!
I regard myself as a positive person but even I have struggled to keep a cheery demeanour at times given what we have had to endure over the last twenty months, and just as it looked like we were getting out of the woods we can now look forward to Greek lettered variants of the Covid virus popping up like a Whack-A-Mole game.
To better describe how we are all feeling I think scientists should start using the Scots language to denote these variants. Let’s be honest there is no better language in the world when it comes to descriptive words, especially negative. I mean even when things are good we say ‘nae bad’. Why use one positive word when two negatives will do!
I have no doubt that a future headline such as “fears grow as the ‘Truly Scunnered’ variant takes hold” or “the ‘Gie’s a Break’ variant is now dominant” would be more apt than ‘Sigma’ or ‘Omega’ which are probably lurking over the horizon.
One bright spot over the period has been the markets which have been ‘nae bad’. We will see how they react if the Omicron variant results in a longer term slowdown of the economy but right now I suspect they anticipate this having a shorter term impact than the variants we have seen before.
We are living in an uncertain time, but at least we know that. From an investment point of view, it is often when there is a consensus as to how economies will perform that unforeseen events have the biggest impact on markets. Given it is impossible to confidently predict how the next week, let alone the next twelve months, will pan out only a ‘bampot’ would be willing to predict how markets will perform over that period.
I will however make one prediction for 2022 and that is we will probably hear a lot more about the Metaverse.
This is a virtual world that some people predict we will all eventually live separate lives in. Already some uber-wealthy (or ‘glaikit’) people are flexing their muscles and earlier this month someone paid the equivalent of $908,000 to buy a yacht for them to use in this parallel universe.
For the uninitiated this yacht is not a real physical thing but a cartoon yacht that its new owner can invite his cartoon friends to board. It also looks like something a five year old could rustle up with an average Lego set. I am not making this up!
I know things have been pretty ‘keech’ in the real world but surely things are not so bad that people are reduced to spending money buying cartoon things that their avatar can wear and use in a virtual world. Who knows? I could be totally wrong and in a few years maybe we all will be having meetings with clients on the Metaverse.
What a depressing thought (although you can bet my avatar will be a lot better looking than I am so maybe there is a plus point).
One thing that is for sure, is at ASAM we will continue to try and cut through the noise, both real and virtual, and do our best to ensure that your ‘bawbees’ are invested in a way that will avoid you going ‘doolally’*.
So until we meet again, stay safe, and I wish you and your families a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for 2022.
*Actually not a Scottish word, but should be!