Insights   •   Equities

Investing in Sustainable Growth

Michael Solecki, CFA
Chief Investment Officer, Fundamental Growth and Core Equity

Following the synchronized global economic contraction in the first half of 2020, the world is beginning to recover with positive earnings and economic growth expected in 2021. However, the pace of the recovery is varied and considerable uncertainty remains. Asian markets such as China, Taiwan and South Korea were early to address the COVID-19 crisis and their economies and equity markets have led in the recovery phase. While the US and Europe have struggled to contain COVID, an unprecedented level of coordinated monetary and fiscal support has helped to moderate the economic impact. As we enter the final stretch of 2020, concerns regarding a second wave of COVID are apparent and expectations for a vaccine and an economic recovery have been important in sustaining market valuations.

For the Fundamental Growth and Core Equity team, the divergences we are seeing in the world today underpin more strongly than ever the argument for an active and long-term investment approach. We expect an ongoing trend of scarce growth and anchored interest rates. In this environment, we would expect quality companies with durable and established growth profiles that trade at reasonable valuations to outperform. This is our focus. Over the last year through September 30, 2020, eight out of our nine strategies have outperformed their benchmark indices. This is a testament to our seasoned team, disciplined process, and long-term perspective.

In this update, our thought leadership focuses on two areas. With the first, which we originally published in September, our Emerging Market team examines the sustainability and the drivers of the economic recovery into next year. We look at the implications of a weaker dollar and expectations for growth in earnings and the economy. The second piece takes a longer-term view — our research team shares their thoughts around hydrogen-based power. We examine the climate benefits of hydrogen as an energy source, potential applications and areas of disruption.