Last year was a memorable one on many fronts, from war in Ukraine to the return of high inflation. What does the rest of 2023 hold? Once again, we asked our panel of experts at Investec Wealth & Investment International to give their views on the year ahead, on many topics, including the inflation and interest rate outlook, and the likelihood of recession; US and global politics; the war in Ukraine; China’s growth and its relations with the rest of the world; South Africa’s economic and energy challenges; views on sectors and regional markets; as well as a few suggestions out of leftfield.
We are pleased to see a larger group of contributors this year, including one new face, Osagyefo Mazwai. The result is a longer edition than last year, but hopefully, one that gives a broad range of views and insights.
Speaking of a broad range of views, it’s always been our stance that a broad range of opinions is a strength rather than a weakness. Diversity in outlook implies robust and healthy debate and should result in a better, more nuanced outcome when it comes to setting strategy and choosing investments.
It also means that this Q&A should not be seen as some kind of “house view” – for that purpose, please refer to our latest Global Investment View, which provides a consolidated view of our Global Investment Strategy Group (GISG) and asset allocation teams.
(We should add that many of those who offered their views are members of the GISG and asset allocation teams, where their broad range of ideas and opinions contribute to the overall risk score, commentary and asset allocations of our different committees. The result is a well-distilled process that guides the way we manage your money.)
Our panel this year is made up of the following people:
- Annelise Peers (chief investment officer, Investec Switzerland)
- Professor Brian Kantor (economist and strategist)
- Barry Shamley (portfolio manager and head of the ESG Committee)
- Chris Holdsworth (chief investment strategist)
- John Wyn-Evans (head of investment strategy, Investec Wealth & Investment UK)
- Neil Urmson (wealth manager)
- Osagyefo Mazwai (investment strategist)
- Richard Cardo (portfolio manager responsible for the Global Leaders portfolio)
- Zenkosi Dyomfana (portfolio management assistant)
BK = Brian Kantor
BS = Barry Shamley
CH = Chris Holdsworth
JW-E = John Wyn-Evans
OM = Osagyefo Mazwai
NU = Neil Urmson
RC = Richard Cardo
ZD = Zenkosi Dyomfana
The differentiator will remain how well companies manage the data available to them - the opportunity is large.
The world we have become accustomed to over the last four decades is no longer valid and we are entering a new paradigm of structurally elevated inflation as a result of deglobalisation and high debt levels.
There are major demographic headwinds for China. Its population has started to decline and the working-age population has already been in decline for some time.
There’s an outside risk of China curtailing supplies of some commodities/goods to the West (“weaponisation of inflation”), but it can only do so much without hurting itself.
Where markets end up at the end of this year will largely depend on three Rs – where and when the Fed funds rate peaks, the extent of any recession, and earnings revisions.
I suspect we could see an unexpected resolution to the Ukrainian war this spring – the war is not going well for President Vladimir Putin. A peace deal between Russia and Ukraine will crush oil prices, but global equities will benefit.
About the author
Patrick writes and edits content for Investec Wealth & Investment, and Corporate and Institutional Banking, including editing the Daily View, Monthly View, and One Magazine - an online publication for Investec's Wealth clients. Patrick was a financial journalist for many years for publications such as Financial Mail, Finweek, and Business Report. He holds a BA and a PDM (Bus.Admin.) both from Wits University.
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