better than 2020

Will 2021 Be Better Than 2020?

What constitutes a good year? For many people, I would imagine it is a healthy family, stable employment, freedom to travel. These things provide a positive outlook. I don’t think I am going against the consensus in saying 2020 has not been a good year. But will 2021 be better than 2020?

Will Families Be Healthier In 2021?

One of the key reasons we, as a species, are so successful is our adaptability. When we encounter a problem we seek to solve it or change our behaviour.

Young children have had more interaction with their parents than usual due to lock-downs. Whilst very demanding for the parents, the key thing most children want from their parents is time together.

One of the consequences of the COVID pandemic, or perhaps being locked in a house with young children, has been a surge in people taking up exercise in 2020. Shops selling goods associated with outdoor activities have seen an uptick in demand. Many people will continue to enjoy their new sport even once the pandemic has passed.

Whether there is a vaccine in 2021 or if the virus is still with us this time next year, I believed the population as a whole will be fitter physically and mentally and so more capable of fighting infections generally.

Will Employment Be More Stable In 2021?

The economic impact of the events of 2020 will be felt for a long time. I am sure there will be many studies asking what would have been the right strategy? Analysing the actions of various governments. All, of course, with the benefit of hindsight.

Globally, there may be a small improvement in employment stability but this will depend on the sector you are working in. Those hardest hit by lock-downs so far have been: travel, hospitality, events etc. But no firm works in isolation. There is a network of suppliers, investors and customers who rely on their services. Where these firms are major employers there is a knock-on effect within the wider community. This is where I believe the majority of job cuts and business failures will be in 2021. Effectively a second economic wave of infection.

Freedom To Travel

Travel is possible at the moment in 2020. Although where to changes very quickly which makes planning difficult and risky. For those of us old enough to remember, there was a time when airport security was little more than a cursory glance in your direction. Pre-COVID, thanks to the rise in global terrorism all passengers are vetted, told what liquids they can bring and x-rayed before getting on a flight. We did not like the inconvenience but most of us accept this as something we just have to do.

In the COVID world, flights are not profitable if they run at a socially distanced capacity. A solution needs to be found for this problem. This is especially important for expats who rely on air-travel more than most. Failure to find a solution will be an existential problem for airlines. I am therefore confident that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) will work with governments and their members to enable flights to be both safe and profitable again.

Will 2021 Be Better Than 2020?

I am an optimist by nature. I think that 2021 will be a tough year but not as tough as 2020 for the majority.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me on 050 594 5217 or via my feedback page here.


Stuart Porter - Expat Financial Advisor UAE
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