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Global Multi-Asset Viewpoint
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December 31, 2021

2022 Global Multi-Asset Investment Outlook

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Global Multi-Asset Viewpoint

2022 Global Multi-Asset Investment Outlook

2022 Global Multi-Asset Investment Outlook

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December 31, 2021

 
 

Our base case is that COVID-19 will transition from pandemic to endemic in 2022, with 2023 likely the first full normal year since 2019.

Two years after the first cases of COVID-19, the world still faces tsunamis of new infections with no apparent end in sight. And while COVID-19 continues to have an outsized impact on financial assets—for example, bond market performance in the past nine months has been better explained by infection numbers than inflation, growth, or the Fed—countries, populations and governments are reacting more moderately to new waves of infections, with targeted measures such as vaccination campaigns and mandates, with masking and selective quarantines thus reducing the economic impacts of each successive wave. Indeed, current data suggests omicron is twice as infectious as delta, though its deadliness is lower. And though 2022 may see a few more waves, each could be of lessening severity given the improvement in the availability of medical tools in the developed world such as triple-dose vaccines, antiviral therapeutics and treatment, as well as the protection afforded by prior natural infection. Of course, the uncertainty around this base case remains enormous and, as such, well reflected in the prices of direct plays on an end to COVID-19, on Working from Home and on full re-opening of the global economy.

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cyril.moulle-berteaux
Head of Global Multi-Asset Team
Global Multi-Asset Team
 
sergei.parmenov
Managing Director
Global Multi-Asset Team
 

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RISK CONSIDERATIONS

There is no assurance that a portfolio will achieve its investment objective. Portfolios are subject to market risk, which is the possibility that the market values of securities owned by the portfolio will decline and that the value of portfolio shares may therefore be less than what you paid for them. Market values can change daily due to economic and other events (e.g. natural disasters, health crises, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) that affect markets, countries, companies or governments. It is difficult to predict the timing, duration, and potential adverse effects (e.g. portfolio liquidity) of events. Accordingly, you can lose money investing in this portfolio. Please be aware that this portfolio may be subject to certain additional risks. In general, equity securities’ values also fluctuate in response to activities specific to a company. Investments in foreign markets entail special risks such as currency, political, economic, and market risks. The risks of investing in emerging market countries are greater than risks associated with investments in foreign developed countries. Fixed-income securities are subject to the ability of an issuer to make timely principal and interest payments (credit risk), changes in interest rates (interest-rate risk), the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market  liquidity (market risk). In a rising interest-rate environment, bond prices may fall and may result in periods of volatility and increased portfolio redemptions. In a declining interest-rate environment, the portfolio may generate less income. Longer-term securities may be more sensitive to interest rate changes. High yield securities (“junk bonds”) are lower rated securities that may have a higher degree of credit and liquidity risk. Mortgage- and asset-backed securities (MBS  and ABS)  are sensitive to early prepayment risk and a higher risk of default and may be hard to value and difficult to sell (liquidity risk). They are also subject to credit, market and interest rate risks. Certain U.S. government securities purchased by the Portfolio, such as those issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. It is possible that these issuers will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future. Real estate investment trusts are subject to risks similar to those associated with the direct ownership of real estate and they are sensitive to such factors as management skills and changes in tax laws. Derivative instruments can be illiquid, may disproportionately increase losses and may have a potentially large negative impact on the Portfolio’s performance. Illiquid securities may be more difficult to sell and value than publicly traded securities (liquidity risk). By investing in investment company securities, the portfolio is subject to the underlying risks of that investment company's portfolio securities. In addition to the Portfolio's fees and   expenses, the Portfolio generally would bear its share of the investment company's fees and expenses. Subsidiary and tax risk the Portfolio may seek to gain exposure to the commodity markets through investments in the Subsidiary or commodity index-linked structured notes. The Subsidiary is not registered under the 1940 Act and is not subject to all the investor protections of the 1940 Act. Historically, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") has issued private letter rulings in which the IRS specifically concluded that income and gains from investments in commodity index-linked structured notes or a wholly-owned foreign subsidiary that invests in commodity-linked instruments are "qualifying income" for purposes of compliance with Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"). The Portfolio has not received such a private letter ruling, and is not able to rely on private letter rulings issued to other taxpayers. If the Portfolio failed to qualify as a regulated investment company, it would be subject to federal and state income tax on all of its taxable income at regular corporate tax rates with no deduction for any distributions paid to shareholders, which would significantly adversely affect the returns to, and could cause substantial losses for, Portfolio shareholders. Cryptocurrency (notably, Bitcoin) operates as a decentralized, peer-to-peer financial exchange and value storage that is used like money. It is not backed by any government. Federal, state or foreign governments may restrict the use and exchange of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency may experience very high volatility. LIBOR Discontinuance or Unavailability Risk. The regulatory authority that oversees financial services firms and financial markets in the U.K. has announced that, after the end of 2021, it would no longer persuade or compel contributing banks to make rate submissions for purposes of determining the LIBOR rate.  As a result, it is possible that commencing in 2022 , LIBOR may no longer be available or no longer deemed an appropriate reference rate upon which to determine the interest rate on or impacting certain derivatives and other instruments or investments comprising some of the Fund’s portfolio.

IMPORTANT IMFORMATION

The views and opinions are those of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change at any time due to market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. The views expressed do not reflect the opinions of all investment personnel at Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively the Firm”), and may not be reflected in all the strategies and products that the Firm offers.

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This material is a general communication, which is not impartial, is for informational and educational purposes only, not a recommendation to purchase or sell specific securities, or to adopt any particular investment strategy. Information does not address financial objectives, situation or specific needs of individual investors.

Any charts and graphs provided are for illustrative purposes only. Any performance quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All investments involve risks, including the possible loss of principal.

Prior to making any investment decision, investors should carefully review the strategy’s / product’s relevant offering document. For the complete content and important disclosures, refer to the link above.

 

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