(Jan 31): Despite 2020 looking like a year that will deliver slower growth, we expect to see a continuation of positive earnings next year, which should continue to drive performance in equities. Short-term periods of volatility remain likely, triggered by geopolitical risks such as flareups in the US-China trade dispute, but we are constructive on equities overall and find opportunities in Emerging Markets and Japan particularly compelling.

Geopolitical uncertainty has been elevated for the last few years, and 2020, with ongoing trade re-alignment across the world and a US presidential election, will be no different. Investors need to be mindful of these shortterm risks and able to navigate around those that are most exposed.

However, we believe equity valuations remain reasonable. For those companies that are aligned to key secular growth trends, there remains significant long-term potential. In particular, those aligned to three, interlinked mega trends:

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