We’ve reached the halfway mark in 2020. If we look back to the US stock market on January 1st and then not again until June 30th, we’d see it was down a modest 4%. But as we are all well aware, that doesn’t even begin to tell the story of the first six months of this year.

The first half of the year contained an all-time high for stocks, a global pandemic, the deepest recession since the 1930s and the sharpest bear market drop on record, followed by a market rally that included the fifth-strongest quarterly gain in the postwar era.

Despite COVID cases and deaths continuing to rise, stock markets continued to trend upwards with the Nasdaq, comprising some of the worlds largest tech stocks closing out June at a record high. This is by and large down to the aggressive stimulus packages of the FED and US government support. Contrary to many people belief, I do not expect to see a repeat of the first half of the year in terms of the violent drop or recovery. It’s my opinion we will see US stocks continue to advance as we see corporate profits recover and people returning to work following furloughing.

The UK and Europe have also seen a steady recovery, albeit not as sharp as the US due to the makeup of the indexes being more financials, real estate, commodities-based and manufacturing which have all been sluggish in their recovery. However, it’s, for this reason, I believe the UK and Europe offer a lot of upside with oil demand recovering, the public getting out and spending and property markets begging to move again.

Commercial property is one thing I’ve been paying particular attention too. While I do think office rentals could come under pressure from companies allowing more and more remote working, this is only one sector in the real estate market. Most real estate investment trusts have exposure to around 90,000 properties with industrials, residential, retail and holding & development, forming a large part of this. As such, I still believe maintaining real estate in a portfolio offers diversification, uncorrelation and strong growth potential in the medium to long term.