The Scotsman’s Free Annual Investment Conference

A year ago, investors were in a state somewhere between panic and bemusement as markets Covid-crashed and commentators queued up with apocalyptic warnings of what might come next.

Those impacts were far from apocalyptic, and the bounceback was in many ways remarkable – despite a few lurches along the way.

Yet many uncertainties remain in 2021 as the global economy stumbles back to its feet as the worst impacts of the pandemic begin to subside.

To help investors new and old chart their way through uncharted waters, experts consider the challenges and opportunities ahead at The Scotsman’s annual investment conference.

The focus is not just on the immediate future, but longer-term trends – including the impact of millennials on the investment market, which will be addressed by Iona Bain, a financial writer and broadcaster and founder of Young Money.

Zehrid Osmani, Portfolio Manager with Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust, will discuss the fundamentals of investing and why we must remember them, whatever is thrown at us.

The healthcare sector has come to the fore in the last year and David Coombs, Head of Multi-Asset Investments, Rathbones, will examine the big investment opportunities in this sphere. “We continue to search for new ideas that could help us all stay healthy without bankrupting our societies,” says Coombs. “Many of these technologies are already there, they just need two things: investment and support from governments. We can supply one and we think the other is happening as we speak.”

Coombs says the last year has shown the rollercoaster nature of investing: “The value of stocks and bonds have sunk and soared numerous times. Some shares – think GameStop – have made lucky investors a fortune, while cleaning out others who bought or sold at the wrong time.”

Iona Bain will examine the way that GameStop highlighted the power – and dangers – of ‘internet investment’, as part of a wide-ranging look at the very different way that millennials approach investment.

“There are a raft of big reasons why millennials matter,” she says. “We belong to the biggest generational cohort since the boomers, and make up more than a third of the modern workforce. That makes us a collective force to be reckoned with. We are in the driving seat when interacting with brands – financial or otherwise. Where our parents had to be loyal to a limited choice of companies, we can be fickle. Technology is progressing at its most rapid rate in history, improving access to and quality of services all the time. A universe of information is now at our fingertips.

“For anyone lucky enough to come through the pandemic with their finances on an even keel, big choices may loom ahead.”

Zehrid Osmani sees cybersecurity, which gained increasing attention as remote working soared during the pandemic, as a sector to look at. “The frequency and magnitude of hacks and cybercrime in recent years also represents a growing investment opportunity,” he says. “With government and corporate cybersecurity budgets increasing to meet the problem, companies offering the right cybersecurity solutions are in demand, and we see this as a developing structural growth theme for years to come.”

The Scotsman’s free Annual Investment Conference – in association with Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust and Rathbones – is on Tuesday 30th March, 2-345pm. It is chaired by event professional David Lee.

You can register here.