Reflecting on some positives from 2020

Reflecting on some positives from 2020

Now that 2020 has passed us by, many will say - good riddance – because of the pain and suffering brought to so many by the Coronavirus pandemic.  Not just because of the actual virus itself, which has infected over 100 million people and taken the lives of more than two million people around the world to date, but also because of the consequences endured by people as governments scrambled to contain the virus, instituting harsh emergency measures such as citizen lockdowns, curfews, travel bans and business shutdowns.

It’s time to look for some good news and with hopefully more light showing at the end of this virus-induced tunnel as the vaccine programs roll out, we thought we would search out and list some of the many good things that did came out of 2020, whether virus related or not. 

  1. Polio was officially eradicated on the African continent.
  2. Dogs trained to protect wildlife have saved 45 rhinos from poachers in Southern Africa.
  3. We spent more time with our families, and some even found love in strange places – an Italian couple who met across their balconies during quarantine, got engaged (CNN).
  4. Pet shelters saw an increase in adoptions.
  5. African musician, Master KG’s song “Jerusalema” became a worldwide sensational hit with over 280m views on YouTube.
  6. China reportedly exported billions of masks to help the world deal with the global pandemic.
  7. Carbon dioxide emissions declined as a result of the Covid pandemic.
  8. We had uncomfortable conversations and talked about the things that we normally wouldn't talk about, unless they affect someone we know directly, such as police brutality in the US, gender-based violence, etc.
  9. People around the world rose up to protest police violence and racial injustice.
  10. The US election led to historic wins for people of colour.
  11. Many of the aged – even older than 100 years old, fought and beat the virus.
  12. As a result of Covid, the world’s fastest ever vaccines ever have been developed and the largest global vaccine campaign in history is being rolled out.
  13. Many of us got to wear tracksuits during formal business meetings for the first time as we learnt to operate online.
  14. Many of us learnt new skills and cooked more at home.
  15. Crayola launched a box of crayons with diverse skin colours for children to "accurately colour themselves into the world".
  16. We learned that home-schooling is really difficult and finally recognized teachers for the heroes that they are, and have always been.
  17. We realized how heroic health care and essential workers really are.
  18. While coronavirus pushed many museums to close, it also opened up their collections to audiences to view online.
  19. Stock markets recovered well from the pandemic and some even reached new all-time highs.
  20. Interest rates were cut which benefitted citizens with house mortgages and debt.
  21. Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free.
  22. Supply chains changed to allow for more onshoring. This should benefit developing countries especially, as more goods are now produced locally and not sourced from China or other developed economies.
  23. The pandemic catalysed the long-anticipated move away from physical bricks and mortar shopping to far greater penetration of online shopping.
  24. On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn appeared closer together in the sky than they have in over 800 years.

Economic performance around the world

REGION

GDP Growth rate

Inflation

Interest Rates

Botswana

-6.0% (Sep-20)

2.2% (Dec-20)

3.75% (Dec-20)

USA

-2.5% (Dec-20)

1.4% (Dec-20)

0.25% (Jan-21)

Eurozone

-5.1% (Dec-20)

-0.3% (Dec-20)

0.0% (Jan-21)

UK

-8.6% (Sep-20)

0.6% (Dec-20)

0.1% (Dec-20)

China

6.5% (Dec-20)

0.2% (Dec-20)

3.85% (Jan-21)

How have financial markets performed over the last 12 months to December 2020?

1 Year Botswana Local shares (TR)

1 Year Botswana Local Bond Performance (Fleming Bond Index)

1 Year money market (BWP) (Overnight Call rate +2%)

1 Year MSCI ACWI (BWP)

1 Year MSCI Emerging Markets

1 Year change Botswana Pula vs US$

-8.21%

1.63%

5.03%

19.01%

15.84%

2.14%

Can you think of good news you could add to this list?

As the saying goes - for every cloud there is a silver lining, and so, despite all the harshness and troubles of 2020, we can still continue to celebrate humanity, progress, nature and people’s dogged spirit to strive and carry on, no matter the circumstances they find themselves in.

We wish all of our readers and clients a safe, healthy and happy 2021.  Please remember to continue to follow applicable Covid-19 safety rules until the vaccine roll out starts to make a real difference.

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DISCLAIMER:  While every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information used in this column, Strategic Wealth accepts no liability for errors or omissions.  Information is provided for general educational purposes and is not to be treated as financial advice.  Investors should consult professional advisors before taking any action.  Not all statements necessarily reflect the views of Strategic Wealth.