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Alternative Market Briefing

Other Voices: Taking a long-term investment view is the only way to navigate this period

Thursday, March 19, 2020

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Mark Walker
By Mark Walker, managing partner at Tollymore Investment Partners, London:

We can make no clear conclusions on how much further markets may decline. We do know that this panic will subside but don't know if it will accelerate before it subsides. Anyone claiming the ability to be able to predict the future in this field has self-awareness issues.

While many public market commentators and investment bank strategists were calling for a market correction, no one stated a respiratory virus and a Saudi-Russia oil price war would be the cause. Corrections are caused by things that we have not anticipated. Throughout my more institutional investment experience, I have seen time and time again predictions about the future which were consistently and often significantly wrong. There is clearly a lot of uncertainty today. But there is always uncertainty. There was uncertainty in 2007. We just didn't know it until 2008/09 came along and the uncertainty was suddenly reflected in asset prices.

We could come up with reasons to justify why markets have overreacted - 12 countries account for almost all COVID 19 cases but warmer weather kills almost all respiratory diseases. We have seen peaks in early markets already and significantly lower fatality rates than commonly understood, but panic spreads more quickly in a social media world. Predicting the evolution of its effects is well beyond the scope of humans' abilities.

Future investment decisions sho......................

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