9 January, 2020

Projections for 2020: Global Economic Outlook: Interview with Joe Lin, Director of Investments, Golden Equator Wealth

Interview with Joe Lin Golden Equator Wealth

Joe Lin is a force to reckon with when it comes to his keen analysis of trends spanning the financial world, often sharing his thoughts through regional forums and events as well as within the space among fellow members. We sat down with the Director of Investments of SPECTRUM member Golden Equator Wealth to tap his viewpoints on the global financial climate as we embark on unchartered waters moving into 2020:

 

[SPECTRUM]:

Can you tell us about Golden Equator Wealth and your role with the company?

[Joe]:

We are essentially a multi-family office that functions as a bespoke managerial hub governing the needs of high net worth individuals and families, both within and beyond wealth.

I handle portfolio management, tactical asset allocation, and investment strategies for our clients as well as look into business development opportunities for the firm.

 

[SPECTRUM]:

There has been a lot of talk of a recession coming soon, what’s your view for 2020? Do you expect a global economic slowdown?

[Joe]:

We have actually been in a synchronised economic slowdown globally for the last 2 years, largely caused by geopolitical tensions and overall deglobalisation efforts by major economic superpowers. All this have culminated in trade barriers, manufacturing slumps and general weakening of activities when it comes to international trade. It is also vital to note that monetary policies to stimulate economies will no longer be as effective going forward, with many big players having already implemented negative interest rates.

That being said, we are seeing the flicker at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully tensions will bottom out by mid 2020, thereby allowing global markets to embark on a slow and uneven recovery. There already seems to be slight progress in the U.S. and China trade war. I’m cautiously optimistic for the year, especially when it comes to U.S. equities.

 

[SPECTRUM]:

Could the possible end of the trade war between China and the US improve the economic outlook for next year? How significantly?

[Joe]:

The first phase of a much broader compromise has commenced. I don’t think, however, that this is by any means a cessation of the war – both between the two countries as well as with others. We should see small steps of progress in 2020 though, as governments look into pulling back on retaliatory tactics and explore mutually beneficial concessions.

The elections will also play a part in mediation, as Trump needs a good report card to have any shot at a second term. It’s a delicate balance between keeping the U.S. economy buoyant and standing up to China.

 

[SPECTRUM]:

Do you think that all the issues occurring in HK has propelled Singapore even higher as an asset management hub?

[Joe]:

It’s simplistic to assume that the HK situation will benefit Singapore without any negative repercussions eventually. In the short run, our political, social stability as well as strong governance will incentivise investors to park their money here. But we have strong investment ties to HK and any instability will have a trickle-down effect on the whole region if the situation does not improve over the next several months.

 

[SPECTRUM]:

It seems that Boris Johnson will have a large majority to carry on his Brexit efforts. How do you think the recent electoral result in the UK affect the global economy?

[Joe]:

I think many perceive Brexit as a simple binary process of whether the U.K. is in or out of the EU. There are, however, many grey areas to work out and the saga which has been an ordeal for many investors globally will take more time to iron out. That being said, the election results will provide a clearer path to resolution, which will in turn hopefully provide some relief to investors.

 

[SPECTRUM]:

Recently you led a Lunch & Learn session where you talked about Disney the company’s stock performance. Could you give us some of the key points that were discussed during the session?

[Joe]:

The main purpose of the session was to show how to explore a stock beyond the usual technicalities and spice up a typically dull topic with themes such as investment psychology and animal spirits.

Disney was a perfect example to showcase as it’s a high profile company with great diversity with regards to the scope of industries it encompasses. The session explored how data and numbers are not everything – investor sentiments are also affected by phenomena such as the release of a blockbuster movie or the timing of the launch of a streaming service. Investments are very fluid, so aside from the ploughing through statistics and data, one needs to capitalise on reliable information quickly. There is also always the element of sheer dumb luck that can mean the difference between success and failure at times.

 

[SPECTRUM]:

SPECTRUM focuses on innovation. Are you seeing more of your clients, especially those that have made their fortunes in traditional industries, getting more involved in the startup investment arena? And what is the advice you normally give to these kinds of clients that are interested in becoming investors in the tech space?

[Joe]:

For the startup scene, I see more of the second and third generations relishing in the opportunities of this space as they identify strongly with it. For the older generation, whilst they are not as active with startups, I do see them adopting and embracing new technologies in their businesses.

The tech space is vast and extremely diverse so my advice to clients is to do their homework- Crunch through the necessary and relevant data to be fully cognisant of what they are investing in.

 

[SPECTRUM]:

How has your experience with SPECTRUM been so far?

[Joe]:

It has been extremely positive.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a similar space which provides an ecosystem that gives one access to such knowledge and opportunities. I am excited to see how the team expands on this paradigm and network moving forward.

 

Do watch this space to tap insights on our other members within the space. As always, you can keep up-to-date with what is going on around SPECTRUM here.

 

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