Many are expecting vaccinations to lead to a robust recovery this year. Return to normal and restart of the in-person economy should encourage growth and be celebrated.
At the same time, the return to growth could also weaken the case for continued fiscal and monetary ease. And once restarted, the globe faces challenges. The tensions and ailments that existed before the pandemic are still with us. The path appears to be forward but it will not likely be a straight line.
Last year’s pandemic-induced downturn was out-and-out different from recessions past. For this reason, we should see recovery as a reset of the old one, not the start of a brand new cycle. Following old cyclical playbooks will not likely work in this case. This year may well deliver a major economic rebound, but market returns could also prove limited given low starting yields on fixed income and above-average starting valuations for stocks. Amid this lower yield, lower-return world, a tactical approach may be well worth considering.