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At this point, maybe you’re done with 2021 – right?!
But face it, we gotta look back to figure out how we arrived…in this mess today! And hopefully recall & reinforce any lessons learned. ‘Cos sure, there’s plenty of good & bad luck involved, but outcomes for both nations & investors are ultimately a result of our (cumulative) decisions & actions, often stretching back years. And last year, as the pandemic dragged on, our drinking problem got a wee bit out of control & we enjoyed that punchbowl just a little too long. And now it feels like the inevitable hangover’s finally starting to kick in.
Well, except for those who started early…God love ’em, how many punters have been trapped in a savage bear market for almost a year now?!
But for the rest of us, last year’s market was the pandemic silver lining. As always, the US led the way with a 26.9% gain in the S&P 500. [The Nasdaq still clocked up a magnificent 21.4% gain, despite some sectors being deep in bear market territory]. Europe was nearly as magnificent, with the Bloomberg Euro 500 clocking a 19.7% gain. And Ireland & the UK brought up the rear, but still delivered higher than average returns, with a 14.5% gain for the ISEQ & a 14.3% gain for the FTSE 100. [On both sides of the Atlantic, the FTSE 250 & the Russell 2000 enjoyed similar 14% gains, whereas a risk-off/stonk bear market reduced the AIM All-Share to a mere 5.2% gain]. Notably, despite H2 price reversals & increasing volatility, all major indices – with the exception of the ISEQ – climbed steadily & closed out the year near annual/all-time highs.
My FY-2021 Benchmark Return remains* a simple average of the four main indices which best represent my portfolio…overall, they produced a benchmark 18.8% gain: