Investment Performance and Solutions

by | Oct 4, 2023

Part 5 of a 5-part Series: What Have Past Inflation Crises Taught Us About Investing? 

By James Pearcy-Caldwell, Aisa Co-Founder and Compliance Officer, and Chris Lean, Chief Investment Officer 

Investment performance of top sectors during, and when coming out of past recessions, can illuminate trends in the current economic conditions. Utilising the research in this series, we are able to look at what sectors have performed and not performed during a recession. 

Top 10 performing IA sectors in the previous 3 recessions

However, it is worth highlighting that during these recessions the policy of governments has to be to decrease interest rates. At the moment the policy is exactly the opposite and so it may be that consideration has to be given to the fact that only a few countries, mainly in Europe and China, are effectively in recession. When will other countries follow?  

Therefore, these outlined top 10 performing sectors happen during and afterwards, when coming out of the recession, rather than going into the recession.  

This would be supported, though, by the very poor performance seen in these sectors at the time of writing this series. We continue to suffer the aftereffects of COVID, the reckless printing of money by governments across the globe, and the energy crisis caused partly by Russia and partly by the net zero drive.  

Supply side inflation from China has exacerbated all this. All of these, to a greater or lesser extent, have provided the ideal situation for creating a rise in prices which in turn has led to an increase in interest rates to combat inflation.  

Consumers’ point-of-view 

From a consumer point of view, it is much simpler; with costs going up and the real value of earnings going down, the impact is on day-to-day life. As investors, the two major concerns at Aisa about our own portfolios are linked to inflation (interest rates) and China.  

In reality, it may be that the worst is behind us in many of the key areas above but that hardly provides reassurance to people whose next question is, “I have lost money; where do I invest to make it back!?” 

Timing is not something that anyone can accurately forecast, whereas trends are not so tricky. The trend is now to consider that interest rate cycles across the globe continue to rise but are potentially reaching / have reached their peaks. Likewise, inflation has been tamed in many countries (and remember that like-for-like inflation figures in each country are not possible, as each country has their own way of measuring and presenting them).  

Has the cost to the consumer fully fed through then? In a word, no!  

For most of our clients their biggest asset is their home, and this is where there is always going to be a lag in reaction and prices.  

And Bitcoin? Who knows but it goes outside the scope of this discussion, as it is not a regulated investment and suffers volatility in excess of all the other assets. Along with the recent collapses of exchanges and current indictments and future talk of regulation, we simply cannot comment on it and would not therefore include it in our recommendations.  

This series is about providing the facts, which can then be considered alongside other factors. 


This series is based on key factors currently affecting most economies, but not all. It has an immediate relationship with investment performance in the world. The MSCI World tracker index over 18 months shows zero growth before charges are applied.  

Timing is a consideration, but we do not know exactly where we are in an economic cycle until after we have already got there. Recessions are only recessions using past data!  

The main learning point from this series is that property may not be a great place to be for the next few years; this may shock anyone who has seen the relentless rise in house prices for the last 30 years. 

However, the conditions behind that, being easy money, easy access to money, and low rates have likely gone in the short term. On the other hand, corporate bonds, fixed interest and gilts are normally a great place for recovery after peak rates have occurred.  

We are NOT giving individual advice to you, and you should seek further personal advice before making any decisions. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future!  

Investors may consider the following sectors for investment albeit some of these may already be in an investment bubble.  

USD Government Bond, USD Mixed Bond, UK Gilt, Corporate Bonds in all currencies all feature consistently throughout all 3 recessions, which may surprise some. However, the returns may surprise even more as they can match equities at points.  

Then there is also historically a bounce back in equity markets, which appear determined by a particular country’s individual make-up in each recession. The first recession looked at in 1990/91 was led by the US and the UK. In the second in 2008/09 it featured Japan and in the third in 2019/20 it featured Technology & Telecoms which probably does not come as a surprise.  

In 2023/24 it appears that this has been led by armament and energy companies due to the particular circumstances of these times. Whilst everyone’s focus has been on things such as bitcoin and investment companies (mainly in the USA) one engineering company’s stock has been quietly rising since the beginning of 2022 and has risen by over 160%. It’s name? Rolls Royce.  

Therefore, in each period it appears our conclusion is that the focus on short-term investment has to be linked to what is normally regarded as lower risk investments that are linked to corporate and government borrowing, alongside particular current world requirements in equity companies.  

After all, long-term results of equities surpass that of corporate bonds and government gilts. Therefore, the strategy adopted should be considered as two different timelines – short term positioning and long-term planning. 

Image by Freepik

House Prices Affected by Past Crises

Aisa International

Aisa International, s.r.o. is a wealth management firm with an award-winning team providing investment advice, financial planning, and asset management for U.S., U.K., and E.U. expatriate citizens residing abroad. Aisa International holds all current regulatory licenses, including the FCA license in the UK and the Investment License in the European Union. Therefore, Aisa International is uniquely qualified to provide personal financial advice for U.K. pensioners living outside of the U.K. Aisa International serves its global clients where they reside through its OpesFidelio network of highly-qualified advisors. For more information, please visit 

The views expressed in this article are not to be construed as personal advice. Therefore, you should contact a qualified, and ideally, regulated adviser in order to obtain up-to-date personal advice with regard to your own personal circumstances. Consequently, if you do not, then you are acting under your own authority and deemed “execution only”. The author does not accept any liability for people acting without personalised advice, who base a decision on views expressed in this generic article. Importantly, where this article is dated then it is based on legislation as of the date. Legislation changes but articles are rarely updated, although sometimes a new article is written; so, please check for later articles or changes in legislation on official government websites, as this article should not be relied on in isolation.

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Post written by:

James Pearcy-Caldwell

James founded and runs Aisa with an emphasis on a pro-client and transparent approach. He is always looking for the most suitable solution for the benefit of the client. He has been in the field of investment advice since 1998, and therefore fully understands the necessity of open communication and honesty. James is certified in many financial areas in several countries and also holds the most prestigious European certificate in investment planning EFP (European Financial Planner).

Aisa International is the only financial advice service company specialising in advice for expats that is regulated as a Securities Trader in the Czech Republic, USA, and UK.