2020. The year that will be almost impossible to forget. The year that already has a Netflix series documenting its events and without a doubt will grace Hollywood and the big screen in the near future. It is unnecessary to write another article outlining the many solemn and disastrous global events that have happened over the past year, but the point is that 2021, for many, has been looked forward to as a glimmer of hope. Hope that change will come, balance will be restored, and the world will somehow return to a state of ‘normality’, whatever that may look like these days.
January 2021 has not been without its challenges, Covid numbers continue to remain high and restrictions remain tight across the globe, whether in the form of national lockdowns, curfews or other specific measures to try and control the spread of the virus. The second largest news story that crossed our screens was the storming of the US Capitol building in the United States, in an attempt to overturn the election outcome. A week after the riot, which resulted in five deaths, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection”, making him the only US president to have been impeached twice.
However, 2021 has also delivered significant change already, despite only being one month in. The biggest vaccination campaign in history has begun. More than 86.4 million doses in 60 countries have been administered, according to data collected by Bloomberg. The latest rate was roughly 4.19 million doses a day, on average and there continue to be regular news updates of additional vaccines being approved and introduced.
Particularly notable for our US firm, Pitcairn, was change in the form of a new President. January 20th saw the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States at the US Capitol, the very same building that had been stormed two weeks prior, and Kamala Harris as Vice President, making her the first female Vice President of all time. This milestone inspired Pitcairn’s reading choice this month on National Reading Day (take a look by clicking here),which is aimed at age groups ranging up to third grade.
As we looked forward in January, we also remember those that have been lost, both due to Covid-19 but also January 27thmarked Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK. Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. The theme for the day this year is ‘be the light in the darkness’. This theme asks us to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’, for example, identity-based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice; and different ways of ‘being the light’.
As we enter February and continue to navigate these challenging times across the globe, we also hope that 2021 will continue to offer light to lift the darkness and that future monthly reflections will be outweighed by positive change and news from around the world.
For an update on markets by Wigmore’s Chairman, Tom McCullough, click here to view his reflection on 2020, an update on the current market and tips on focusing on what you can control, so that investors can participate in good markets and protect themselves from bad ones.