Choices in a changing world

UBS kicks off its Year Ahead series with insights from thought leaders on key issues impacting your investments in 2020 and beyond

13 Feb 2020

Trade, political tensions and the US presidential election are among the issues weighing on investors' minds at the start of what UBS's Mike Ryan, CIO Americas, believes will be a disruptive decade. Seventy-two percent of high net worth investors believe the investment environment is more challenging than it was five years ago, according to the latest UBS Investor Watch report.

However, as Tom Naratil, president, UBS Americas, pointed out during the “Year of Choices, Decade of Transformation” event, "69% feel positive about investment returns over the next ten years, and 88% want to align their portfolios to take advantage of key long-term trends, like an aging population, technology and diminishing natural resources, all things that are likely to change the world."

What can investors look forward to in 2020? That was the question on everyone's minds during the first in the UBS 2020 Year Ahead event series, which was held in New York City on Thursday, January 23. Clients and their advisors heard from a panel of UBS thought leaders about what they can expect in the coming year. They also heard from Ray Kurzweil, Inventor, Author and Futurist, who discussed what life might look like in the not too distant future. 

In a fireside chat with Chairman UBS Americas Bob McCann, Kurzweil said he sees a blurring line between human and machine. He foresees a merging of human consciousness with the digital world, predicting that future generations will have the option to upload their thoughts into new bodies.

Naratil and Ryan were joined by Barry Gill, head of investments, UBS Asset Management (AM); Solita Marcelli, deputy Chief Investment Office Americas; and John Savercool, Senior Lobbyist and Managing Director, UBS Americas, for a discussion about the trends expected to most affect investment decisions in the 2020s. According to the group, investors should pay particularly close attention to the US presidential election, trade developments and climate concerns in 2020.