Nov 2021 – Omicron emerges

I never studied Greek. But I thought I’d learnt of most of the letters of the Greek alphabet by the time from my secondary school maths/stats education.

The full Greek alphabet

So this ‘omicron’ variant has befuddled me. It turns out that the Greek letter looks like a lower case o, so it would have been the most confusing thing ever in my school maths classes – thank goodness I’d never come across it (nor all the other variants after Delta) before. Now I’m trying to avoid coming across it in a different sense.

But it’s not just me that has been befuddled, it turns out, because the stock market has been almost as befuddled by the recent developments. But as the month turned out, things looked fairly straightforward – equities down, AUD down, and safety (gilts & USD) up.

Market movements in November ’21, constant currency

My overall return for the month was actually up slightly in the month, with currencies and my tech stocks helping counteract the hit from equities. My subportfolios tell a slightly more granular story:

  • Passive market indices: down 1%, measured in USD.
  • Tech stocks: up 1%. Amazon was up 4%, Google was down about the same, Microsoft was flat. QCOM was up sharply, but ESTC was down sharply.
  • US industrials: down 4%. Disney, darn it, was down 15% (so I’m topping up slightly!).
  • Australia: down 7% – as measured in USD. My actual holdings were pretty flat in the AUD currency, but AUD:USD shifted 7% in one month. GBP was Peppa Piggy in the middle.

And in the meantime I’ve been sitting somewhat out of it all. I’ve decided to push on with the 2nd home folly fantasy, and have my cash / liquidity sitting there burning a hole in my pocket waiting for the transaction to proceed – due in December. So I have been almost ‘suspended’ from normal activities. More on that in a subsequent blog post.

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