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Spring of hope, or winter of despair? Investors face Dickensian conditions

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; … it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. "

First sentence of ‘Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens, English novelist, 1812-1870

Charles Dickens’ famous lines set the scene for a world of latent volatility, where contradictory extremes loom as equally likely realities and the slightest change in the political winds could send events either way. This encapsulates the bipolar nature of investors in 2018 to date, as they seek meaning in conflicting signals: will it be a time of inflation or disinflation, liquidity or illiquidity, growth or slump? In this issue of Market Risk Insights, we analyse key investment metrics in order to help investors navigate these Dickensian conditions.

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