UBS, the global wealth manager, is expecting a year of discovery that will reveal what a new ‘normal’ looks like, after two years marked by lockdown and reopening.
2022 is expected to be a year of two halves, with high rates of economic growth and inflation in the first half, giving way to lower growth and inflation in the second. In the decade ahead, investors should seek opportunities in the net-zero carbon transition and the ‘ABC’ of disruptive technologies – artificial intelligence, big data, and cybersecurity.
Central banks will likely reduce their emergency monetary accommodation, as the economic effects of the pandemic increasingly subside. However, tighter policy is not expected to prevent positive equity market returns, according to UBS Global Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Office Year Ahead 2022 outlook.
The report’s core recommendations for the year ahead include:
- Buy the winners of global growth. Economic growth will likely remain above trend for the first half of 2022, benefitting cyclicals, including Eurozone and Japanese equities, US mid-caps, global financials, commodities, and energy stocks.
- Seek opportunities in healthcare. Although growth is set to be strong in early 2022, favouring cyclical sectors, a slowdown over the course of the year should start to favour more defensive parts of the market, such as healthcare.
- Seek unconventional yield as interest rates, bond yields, and credit spreads remain low by historical standards. US senior loans, synthetic credit, private credit, and dividend-paying stocks, look attractive.
- Position for a stronger US dollar as a combination of Fed tapering and slowing global growth favour the greenback, relative to currencies bound to looser monetary policies, such as the euro, yen, and Swiss franc.
Within bond markets Asia high yield offers attractive yields, and, heading into 2022, UBS maintains its preference for sustainable investments for private clients investing globally.
Mark Haefele (pictured), Chief Investment Officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, said: “As pandemic-related drivers of economic growth begin to subside, we embark on a journey of discovery to see whether we are entering a new longer-term economic regime.
“We start the year with a positive stance on the ‘winners from global growth’, including Eurozone equities, and on the US dollar. Over the longer-term, we see opportunities in disruptive technologies, the net-zero carbon transition, and in the power of alternatives to unlock return and manage volatility.”