What’s Possible

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“I think about all the young kids who will be watching this summer.  No matter what happens, I just hope that their parents, teachers and club managers will turn to them and say, ‘Look.  That’s the way to represent your country.  That’s what England is about.  That is what’s possible.’”

Gareth Southgate, England football team manager

As with stocks, so it is with football: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  The Euro 2020 competition was inspiring and contained so many of the hard-fought matches, upsets, heartbreaks and triumphs that are part of the game. 

England made a major final for the first time since 1966.  Although we have a long-term investment horizon and the Stern family has investments like Nestlé and Roche that go back to the 1950s, even we think that is quite a long-term dedication to a goal.  England might have lost the final, but the quality of the team undoubtedly shone through in their pride, determination and passion. 

Gareth Southgate’s inspiring letter to ‘Dear England’, written at the beginning of the competition in June, is as much about the England team as it is about most others: about the incredible privilege of representing your country, and how doing so is a result of great character, determination and discipline on the behalf of the players as they represent their families and communities.  Many of the players come from backgrounds where their families have immigrated to the countries they now represent, and have had to overcome social and economic disadvantage and adversity.  Not everyone can become a national team football player, but their diversity and accomplishment shows what is possible and is a true inspiration in these difficult times.

We also believe in a ‘long game’, and we are pleased that our prediction that the value-to-growth rotation would be a good investment opportunity has been proven right.  The rotation has now fully reversed and our stocks are back to outperforming the wider market.  Quality has proven to be the key factor in winning against the competition, and we will look to take advantage of volatility and other market-related moves whenever opportunities present themselves.

At the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic we had thought that there would come a point when vulnerable populations and healthcare workers would be vaccinated so that healthcare systems would have sufficient resources to cope.  Although many are still affected by the disease, thankfully we appear to be in the midst of this decisive phase.  Vaccines have been rolled out to those populations most affected by the virus in the United States and the United Kingdom.  Roll-out in the European Union has lagged, but the European Commission has just announced the imminent distribution of sufficient doses to its member states, and this will hopefully be achieved throughout the summer. 

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