It is hard – amid the doom and gloom of the worst year-end for global stock markets since 2008 – to remember that 2018 started sunny.
In January, investors had side-lined concerns of political turbulence and seemed to agree that stretched valuations in the tech sector were justified by quality – something that was worryingly lacking during the dot-com boom and bust. True, UK returns were pedestrian (at best), but aside from a brief blip in February, the pattern of growth which has characterised global investment returns for the last decade, remained at full throttle until August.
Even the creeping threat of regulation, led by European Commissioner Margrethe Vesteger was failing to put the brakes on the dominant US tech sector. On 2 August, Apple (US: AAPL) became the first company in the world to smash through a $1trn market capitalisation where it was joined by Amazon (US: AMZN) just over a month later.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s tax…
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