I’m sure most of you share my distress when watching the Russian forces invade Ukraine. I find myself staring at the news reports and live footage in disbelief. The Russia-Ukraine crisis is a complex issue that has been building for years. The impact today is global. You may find yourself worried about your investments. If so, here are a few brief points to bear in mind:
1. The Russian and Ukrainian economies make up 2% of the global economy. This is relatively small in global terms. A spill-over into Europe will have much bigger implications.
2. Russia is a meaningful contributor to global commodities (In particular oil, grains, corn and sunflower oil). Because of this, you are likely to see commodity prices increase, like Brent crude that reached $100 per barrel for the first time in 8 years. This is likely to have an inflationary impact.
Source: Bloomberg & PortfolioMetrix
3. Most global markets are down year to date. This move is driven mostly by inflation fears and NOT Russian conflict. The Russian conflict is likely to exacerbate inflation fears.
4. Importantly, central banks ignore food and energy inflation when making policy decisions. It’s likely however that central banks will take a measured approach to increasing rates due to market sentiment and conflict concerns.
5. If we look at historical geopolitical conflicts, it’s unlikely that markets will experience significant and permanent losses unless it escalates to full-blown world war (There is a low probability of this happening).
Source: UBS & Anchor
Events like this should not impact sound investment principles, like diversifying your investments. We don’t know the ultimate outcome of this war. We can only focus on what is in our control:
• Diversification is one of the best ways to protect yourself against the unknown. Our portfolios are designed to offer outcomes that are not overexposed directionally to one particular political or economical scenario.
• It’s not easy but staying invested and having a long-term view is sensible. History suggests that knee-jerk reactions can seriously destroy value if you get the timing wrong.
Have you been following the Joe Rogan debacle? The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the world’s most popular podcasts with more than 11 million listeners. Recently Joe sparked global outrage over his anti-vaccine rhetoric and false claims. This issue highlighted how podcasts have emerged as influential sources of misinformation. What is misinformation? What about free speech? Does censorship work? What does the law say about this? Turns out the law gives very few answers. In this podcast with Brené Brown, we realise that this is a hugely complicated and contentious issue. It is a fascinating discussion, which I highly recommend you all listen to!
We all want to be successful, but what does success look like for you? This is not an easy question to answer - but definitely something that deserves your time and headspace. Why? Because I believe knowing what success means to you will influence every decision you make in life. Sunél and I recently made a difficult business decision, but we made it without falter because we know what success means to us.
An article published by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) in 2010, has recently been republished because HBR is celebrating their most popular articles from the past. It’s from Harvard Business School professor, Clay Christensen. In it, he shares a set of guidelines that have helped many of his students define success and find meaning in their own lives.
It is a masterpiece.
I hope you enjoyed this month’s edition.