10 Themes That Will Affect Your 2021 Investing

What can investors expect this year? Positive (but unsteady) economic growth, a powerful boost in earnings and continued success for information technology stocks, says Raymond James Chief Investment Officer Larry Adam.

To read the full article, see the Investment Strategy Quarterly publication linked below.

The first-ever postponement of the Summer Olympics exemplifies the depths of disruption the pandemic has caused. However, the concept of the torch is associated with hope, light and strength, an excellent metaphor for the rescheduled start date – July 23, 2021 – likely coinciding with the sustainable reopening of many parts of the world.

As a salute to everyone that has done their part to make this happen – from scientists to frontline workers to the athletes themselves – and to set our sights on a more uplifting time period, we’ve chosen the Summer Games as the backdrop for our ten themes for 2021.

1. Global synchronized economic recovery: Rowing in the same direction

Nineteen of the twenty largest economies in the world experienced a contraction in growth in 2020, but we expect the entire crew to see positive growth in 2021. The coxswain of the recovery will be global central banks, led by the Federal Reserve (Fed), as its decisions to keep interest rates low and liquidity robust will ultimately dictate the power and pace of the global economic recovery.

2. U.S. economic recovery will take on a triathlon

The recovery will be defined by transitional periods with varying paces throughout the year. At the onset, worsening COVID trends and paused reopening processes will prove to be a challenge. Analogous to swimming, the first leg of the triathlon, the pace will be slower and the waters may be choppy. However, by the spring, economic growth will accelerate as the dissemination of vaccines push the pedal for more businesses to safely reopen. Toward the end of the year, we expect to reach a steadier stride, finishing at a slower but more sustainable pace.

3. Keeping portfolios en garde despite low yields

Fencing requires agility, coordination, balance, and timing – the same skill set global central banks displayed when adjusting interest rates in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, acceleration in economic growth should thrust the yield back to the 1.50% level by year end, but low inflation, central bank buying, strong foreign demand and the growing economic sensitivity to higher yields will parry yields from returning to levels near 2% on a sustainable basis.