Skip to main content

January 22, 2021

2021 Outlook – Greener Pastures | CI Global Asset Management



Looking back at our 2020 outlook from December 2019, it would be fair to say that we didn’t foresee a global pandemic that would have impacts across the world and keep us trapped at home. Thankfully, our flexible mandate and ability to use a range of capital preservation tools helped us through the initial market plunge and then re-invest once it became more attractive, leading to a strong year for growth equity returns.


The lesson for all investors is that these significant market drawdowns are often hard to predict. What is more important is the ability to be active and have the risk management tools to preserve capital when they arise.


The other big story of 2020 was the bifurcation of markets through most of the year, with COVID-19 winners (core internet, e- commerce and software holdings) accelerating their market share gains as the pandemic began to change behaviours. In effect, these post-COVID-19 world winners have pulled in three to five years of market share gains into 2020 alone, so it follows that their share prices would do the same and pull in multiple years of performance into a single year.


We anticipate that these habits formed in 2020 will stick, with the world continuing the transition to new ways of shopping, working, learning, consuming entertainment and paying.


Looking ahead to 2021, we will look to “follow the money.” With a backdrop of ultra-low interest rates and worldwide quantitative easing – central bank monetary policy to increase money supply in the markets – the case for equities rather than bonds remains strong. With further investment in renewables, batteries and transport, and energy efficiency from the European Union and a Biden-led presidency, our Climate Area of Internet has strong tailwinds.


The major near-term risk to our broadly positive outlook remains the pandemic. While vaccines are on the way, we think equity markets will, for the most part, look through lockdowns as most large companies have the wherewithal to survive and make it to the other side. Where the pandemic would become a greater concern, is if there are any material setbacks in the rollout of the vaccines (loss of public trust, distribution issues, etc.). While we would expect many of our larger holdings to again perform well in a socially distanced world, we would nonetheless expect some negative impact to creep through to earnings from a weaker consumer and business backdrop.


Over the medium to long term, we reiterate that it is far more important to correctly identify an area of structural growth and the companies set to benefit from that growth than to try to predict the direction of the economy or market.


Positioning and opportunities

  • We are currently fully invested as we approach 2021 but remain flexible to employ our capital preservation tools against downside risks and market volatility should any identifiable risks materialize.
  • As growth investors, our focus remains on identifying sustainable growth trends that are underappreciated and mispriced by the market. Structural earnings growth usually equals structural share price growth, and this remains our key focus.
  •  The habits formed in 2020 will stick and for the year ahead we have climate, digital enterprise, and e-commerce as the largest ‘Areas of Interest’.
    • Climate: We are following the money that is being invested to decarbonize the planet, and this leads us to renewable energy, batteries and transport, buildings and efficiency, and packaging, waste and water beneficiaries.
    • Digital enterprise: We continue to invest in the companies that enable the increasingly rapid migration to the cloud.
    • E-commerce: Leading platforms have taken a considerable share in 2020 and are investing heavily in their offerings to drive future growth and capitalize on their advantages. We know that many new consumers started using e-commerce during the pandemic, and we also know that consumers spend more across more products as they become more comfortable each year.
    • CI Munro Alternative Global Growth Fund and CI Munro Global Growth Equity Fund remain positioned with exposure to other key Areas of Interests, including high-performance computing, innovative health care, internet disruption and digital payments.


  • Increased inflation pressuring interest rate rises too early.
  • On the U.S. political front, the outcome of the Senate as well as a peaceful transfer of power to president-elect Joe Biden.
  • U.S.-China geopolitics.


Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P. and Munro Partners as at December 21, 2020.


For more information, please visit

About the Author

Nick Griffin

Nick Griffin

Founding Partner, Chief Investment Officer
Munro Partners

Nick is a Founding Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Munro Partners. Nick is responsible for the investment management of Munro’s key investment funds and the formulation and implementation of the proprietary investment process. Nick has been managing global long/short equity mandates for over 12 years. Nick’s key career highlights include:- Over 20 years’ working in financial services with 13 years of funds management experience- 2005-2015: Head of International Strategy on the K2 Select International Absolute Return Fund- Member of the K2 Asset Management asset allocation and currency exposure committee- 2000-2005: Senior Analyst (global oil and gas) at Deutsche Bank U.K.- 1996-1999: Manager, Australian Equities for Commonwealth Financial Services.Nick holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment, and is a Registered Representative of the Sydney Futures Exchange.



Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with an investment in mutual funds . Please read the prospectus before investing. Important information about mutual funds is contained in their respective prospectus. Mutual funds are not guaranteed; their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.


This document is provided as a general source of information and should not be considered personal, legal, accounting, tax or investment advice, or construed as an endorsement or recommendation of any entity or security discussed. Every effort has been made to ensure that the material contained in this document is accurate at the time of publication. Market conditions may change which may impact the information contained in this document. All charts and illustrations in this document are for illustrative purposes only. They are not intended to predict or project investment results. Individuals should seek the advice of professionals, as appropriate, regarding any particular investment. Investors should consult their professional advisors prior to implementing any changes to their investment strategies.


CI Liquid Alternative investment funds have the ability to invest in asset classes or use investment strategies that are not permitted for conventional mutual funds. The specific strategies that differentiate these investment funds from conventional fund structure include: increased use of derivatives for hedging and non-hedging purposes; increased ability to sell securities short; and the ability to borrow cash to use for investment purposes. While these strategies will be used in accordance with the investments funds' investment objectives and strategies, during certain market conditions they may accelerate the pace at which your investment decreases in value.


Certain statements in this document are forward-looking. Forward-looking statements (“FLS”) are statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or that include words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” or “estimate,” or other similar expressions. Statements that look forward in time or include anything other than historical information are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results, actions or events could differ materially from those set forth in the FLS. FLS are not guarantees of future performance and are by their nature based on numerous assumptions. Although the FLS contained herein are based upon what CI Global Asset Management and the portfolio manager believe to be reasonable assumptions, neither CI Global Asset Management nor the portfolio manager can assure that actual results will be consistent with these FLS. The reader is cautioned to consider the FLS carefully and not to place undue reliance on FLS. Unless required by applicable law, it is not undertaken, and specifically disclaimed that there is any intention or obligation to update or revise FLS, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Certain statements contained in this communication are based in whole or in part on information provided by third parties and CI Global Asset Management has taken reasonable steps to ensure their accuracy. Market conditions may change which may impact the information contained in this document.


The opinions expressed in the communication are solely those of the author and are not to be used or construed as investment advice or as an endorsement or recommendation of any entity or security discussed.


Munro Partners, is portfolio sub-advisor to CI Munro Alternative Global Growth Strategy offered and managed by CI Global Asset Management.


CI is the portfolio manager of the Fund and Munro Partners is the portfolio sub-advisor to the Fund. CI is responsible for the investment advice provided by the portfolio sub-advisors.


CI Global Asset Management is a registered business name of CI Investments Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.


© CI Investments Inc. 2020. All rights reserved.


Published date: December 30, 2020.