Fight fear with innovation

The crisis has also reinforced the need to factor ESG analysis into investment choices.

The social impact of the crisis is profound – changed human behaviours will affect investment returns for many years.

Increased government spending – that after the Great Depression of the 1930s was generally aimed at infrastructure building – is likely to focus on environmental projects this time, to accelerate the transition towards a lower-carbon economy.

Each of these factors needs to be built into a portfolio management process to minimise the risk and maximise the return potential.

It seems clear the future will not replicate the past. Investment approaches that have thrived under the old regime must adapt if they are to become forward-looking.

A greater-than-normal dispersion between winners and losers makes indiscriminate index-driven investments less attractive, so it is an environment where active management can really add value for investors.

Aymeric Forest is global head of multi-asset solutions at Aberdeen Standard Investments