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Sometimes, things are meant to be.

First stop Newmarket, famous for its racecourses

Unfortunately we can't be there this year but we did catch Andy Donald horsing around in the rain while doing his steps for our 7IM Steps up to the Summit challenge.

Monday 18 January

Written by Ben Kumar, Senior Investment Strategist

As the first stop on our tour of the country is in Matt Hancock’s constituency, let’s start with COVID-19. I don’t want to spend too much time talking about what Mr Hancock has or hasn’t done well – but I will just say that whatever history decides about the lockdown policy, it should also acknowledge that the rollout of vaccinations has been an incredible success. Whether it’s the NHS front-line, the administrators, the logistics operators or the policymakers, everyone deserves a huge amount of credit.

And so to the outlook for investors. In the short term, the vaccine offers hope of an end to the damage which COVID-19 has been doing to our society, and to our economy. The problem has a solution – which means investors, companies and individuals can start to move on from the disruption. That can only be a good thing.

There’s also the longer-term impacts to think about. Two key things stand out. Medical services need to be made more resilient to mass illness and infection. No one knows know when or where the next pandemic might occur, so it’s important to learn lessons from this one. This means government investment in the NHS (and globally) is likely to increase, with response capacity being favoured over cost-efficiency. That’s a positive for humanity.

The second long-term impact is going to be on the development of medical technology and treatments. Most obviously, COVID-19 accelerated the research and development process, along with the regulatory approval. Companies have been reminded how important the research process can be, and will be encouraged to be bolder in their aims. Curing diseases is back in fashion.

And at the same time, attitudes towards the use of technology in medicine have changed. Whether it is the new method of mRNA vaccination, or the willingness to remotely interact with a medical professional, the population embracing med-tech is another shift which will impact the whole healthcare sector.

So while it’s been an unimaginably difficult year to be Secretary of State for Health, the future looks a lot brighter.

Healthcare is a core part of our strategic asset allocation, on which all of our funds and models are built. Discover more about our range below.

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