Wealthwise Team news
We would like to welcome Lilly Walker, Reikki Newman and Sarah O’Sullivan to the Wealthwise team. Lilly is relatively new to the workforce, having completed an Accounting degree and Sarah joins our para-planning team after a number of years working with AMA Financial Planning.
Covid 19 update
The number of cases worldwide is now fast approaching 40 million with tragically 1.1 million deaths. Australia’s management of the pandemic has fared better than arguably any other nation with just over 27,000 confirmed cases and 905 deaths at the time of writing. Whilst Victoria has gone through a disturbing second wave, the State does appear to now have the spread under control with the rolling day average in single digit figures.
The somewhat besieged Victorian premier announced a relaxation of restrictions, with a travel distance limit increase from 5km to 25km and the time limit for going out to exercise / socialise being removed. Other states are in a much better position, though WA and NT appear to be the only one’s maintaining the hard border approach.
This week has unfortunately seen the 90th consecutive day of 200,000 plus cases being recorded. The U.S. has the highest number of recorded cases (so far) of 8.15 million and India not far behind at 6.2 million. Perhaps one of the few good numbers, although still tragic, is that the number of deaths from the disease has declined marginally to 2.79%.
On a lighter note there was some humour in a Facebook post providing advice to President Trump in light of him contracting the disease – the caption was “Stay Positive”.
Pfizer, a large American pharmaceutical company, have announced that the vaccine it has been testing is unlikely to be available until late November and other than the testing phase would be unable to prove whether or not the vaccine works for several weeks afterwards, or if it is safe to actually use. The U.S. President has been extremely positive about a vaccine being available before the election, which has become increasingly unlikely.
Markets have recovered strongly since the trough in March of this year. Indeed; the U.S. markets have recovered to all new time highs. However, the recovery is not consistent across all sectors, with the main positive areas being; Consumer discretionary (+54%), IT (+52%), Materials (213%) and communication services (+33%). The NASDAQ technology bourse has been particularly strong.
By comparison, the Australian share market recovery has been much more subdued, held back in part by a struggling financial sector and an absence of technology stocks.
In general, markets have been quite volatile with September seeing both our own and the U.S. retrace some of the recovery. This was largely due to a lack of further stimulus from the U.S. a topic hotly debated in congress. Unfortunately, there was no resolution with Trump stating that he would not sanction any further major spending until after the election, which brings us to what appears to be more of a Broadway show.
The U.S. Election
The U.S. Election will be held on Tuesday 3rd November. Wealthwise holds no view or informed opinion as to the result. However, we do believe that there will be considerable market volatility over the next couple of weeks until the uncertainty over who wins is decided. Whilst the early polls and postal ballots are predicting a win for the Democrats, the most recent polls suggest the gap is narrowing and there is potentially a replay of 2016 on the cards. Either way, the removal of uncertainty and a new stimulus spend from either party should help to stablise investment markets. In the meantime enjoy the show; the U.S. election.