While shepherds watched their stocks…with HFMC’s Finlay Holland

In a festive Q&A series investment experts reflect on how much markets and work life have returned to normal in 2021

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HFMC Asset Management assistant investment manager Finlay Holland reveals which Baillie Gifford fund was his worst performer in 2021 and how their team is avoiding catching Covid in the lead up to Christmas

What have been your top and worst-performing fund picks during the year?

Fidelity US Index & Threadneedle Global Focus were the best, Baillie Gifford Global Discovery was our worst performer.

How do you expect the Santa rally to play out this year?

More likely a Santa correction (not as catchy), concerns over central bank hawkishness, Omicron variant, and high valuations on risk assets temper the outlook going into a year where comparative growth to 2021 will likely slow significantly.

What are your biggest over and underweights heading into 2022?

Generally quite balanced but our largest overweight is probably UK equities relative to peers and biggest underweight is to duration as we maintain a relatively short-dated fixed income book.

How much have you been meeting fund managers face-to-face this year compared to last?

Not much, we’ve had a couple physical face to face and a few conferences but the majority of meetings have still been on Zoom this year.

How have in-person meetings changed compared to pre-pandemic times?

As a team, whenever we meet in person we either tend to try and focus on our work which requires greater collaboration or use it for more social activities so that the team can bond since we have a few newer faces join since the pandemic started. Most face to face days will include a bit of both.

Are you going to have an office Christmas party this year? If so, what is the plan?

We are having a wider company party post-Christmas so that people aren’t worried about potentially catching covid prior and missing out on Christmas.

How different are your Christmas plans going to be in 2021 compared to last year?

Personally I will spend more time with my family this year, most of whom live further north and so I haven’t seen a lot of them this year.

What’s on your Christmas wish list?

On a personal and professional level I think greater progress towards a world where covid is a decreasing concern in our lives is definitely top of the list. I think a lot of people have still found it difficult to get on holidays abroad this year so people getting proper time away will help massively and give people something to look forward to in 2022.

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