The Year of Choices, the Decade of Transformation

Politics, trade, healthcare, technological disruptions ... UBS thought leaders discuss how a changing world will impact investor choices

05 Feb 2020

UBS kicked off its Year Ahead series in New York City on Thursday, 23 January with its “Year of Choices, Decade of Transformation” event.

Co-President Global Wealth Management and President Americas at UBS Tom Naratil was joined by a panel of UBS thought leaders for an open dialogue on what the next year and the decade ahead will look like for investors. Panelists Mike Ryan, CIO Americas, UBS Global Wealth Management; Barry Gill, head of investments, UBS AM; Solita Marcelli, deputy CIO Americas and John Savercool, senior lobbyist and managing director, UBS Americas, shared insights into the implications of political, trade, healthcare and emerging market activity with an audience of UBS Financial Advisors and their clients.

According to the group, investors should pay particularly close attention to the US presidential election, trade developments and climate concerns in 2020. According to Marcelli, politics and trade are likely to become sources of volatility and are poised to make this a pivotal year.

What can investors expect in 2020?

In the above video, panelists discussed how markets will differ from 2019 to 2020. “So—no doubt—2020 will be a year of choices,” said Marcelli. “[T]he path forward is increasingly dominated by political choices, which means by its very nature they’re hard to predict and hard to quantify … 2020 will be pivotal because the—results of the US presidential elections, the way [the] US-China relationship evolves, trade and beyond and how we use … monetary and fiscal policy will be crucial in shaping both economic and market outcomes.”

When asked if we should expect a recession in 2020, Gill commented “I’m not going to make the prediction as to when the next recession is. But what I can say, with a relatively high degree of confidence, is that the probability of a recession in 2020 is lower than the probability of a recession in 2018 and 2019.”

Watch the video above.

What can investors expect in the coming decade?

In the second video, panelists were asked what we can expect in the decade ahead—and beyond. Ryan shared that “[w]e’re approaching this decade of transformation. It will be a disruptive one. But it will also be an incredible opportunity environment because we’re seeing this fourth Industrial Revolution unfold.”

When asked how people can plan for longer, healthier and more active lives in future decades, Gill noted that “18% of US GDP is spent on healthcare, a third of that total healthcare spend is spent on the final year of life and two-thirds of it is spent post-retirement. So, if these medical breakthroughs actually take place, they’re going to dramatically lower the cost of healthcare.”

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