[Sponsored Article] Looking back at 2020, all of us had experienced such an unprecedented year with Covid-19, an unheard-of term until last January, sweeping across the world. World economy had frozen for months as governments around the world had no alternative but to enact lockdowns and strict social distancing measures. The coronavirus crisis has sparked wealth owners to rethink about their wealth planning, as the pandemic has changed the market landscape entirely compared to a year ago. Some countries have been dealing with the pandemic better than others, and hence were able to stabilize and start to recover in the second half of last year. In terms of sectors, many in the so called “old economy”, such as airlines, hotels, restaurants, are affected while new opportunities prolifically emerges in areas like e-commerce, remote work access solutions, virtual meetings and home entertainment. Rethinking wealth planning In the past, most people kept their assets in their home countries. It is natural because most of us tend to have home bias. Our home countries are where we are more familiar with and are therefore where we feel are safer to invest in. However, the crisis has highlighted the importance of further diversification. The pandemic has been a stress test for governments on how promptly they respond to and how well they handle crises. Since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, many governments have been better prepared for and well equipped themselves with various policy tools to tackle economic and financial shocks. Therefore, in the current crisis, more countries have been able to react pretty quickly and rolled out massive fiscal and monetary stimulus packages in order to prevent their economies from slipping into an even deeper recession. However, the low interest rate environment may put pressures on a country’s bond yields and currencies; the excess liquidity pumped into the markets by central banks may lead to higher asset prices that are detached from fundamentals; and additional fiscal support could drive up a government’s debt level, deteriorating its financial stability. These impacts will eventually pass down and impact individuals. For example, if an investor held only stocks listed in his/her home country with most of his/her assets in one currency, he/she will be exposed to single market risk and currency risk, even though he/she has a diversified stock portfolio from sector perspective. Growing needs for international banking In recent years, we have seen an increasing demand for international banking and wealth management services. Traditionally, similar kind of services such as private banking were only available to the most affluent. But as investors accumulated more wealth and became more financially savvy, they demand an even wider selection of banking and investment products to meet their growing needs. The bank account offered by Citibank’s International Personal Bank (IPB) is designed with this in mind. Leveraging the bank’s extensive global network and deep expertise in international banking, this personal global account provides access to cross-border investment opportunities and wealth facilities. The account facilitates investments in securities from the major stock exchanges in the US, Hong Kong and Singapore markets, as well as tapping into the opportunities of FX markets and an extensive range of global funds. The comprehensive suite of financial products means that investors can choose to protect, grow or accelerate their wealth according to their priorities. Citibank’s IPB also offers holistic wealth management services to the account holders. Each client is served by a dedicated senior relationship manager who will review financial goals and assets, run a “stress test”, and determine the diversification level of the client’s investments. In addition, the relationship manager is supported by an experienced group of specialists to ensure that unique insights, timely analysis and reports are available to the client. 2021 to start on a brighter note Looking ahead, as Governments find their footing and facilitate wide roll-out of vaccines, countries will learn to manage the impact of the pandemic better. A sharp broadening out of the world economic recovery may begin to happen in the second half of 2021. Pent-up demand, ultra-easy monetary policy and stimulus could mean a strong, synchronous global recovery through 2022. That said, the early part of 2021 may still feel unsettling for most people, given rising skyrocketing infection rates in the US and complete lockdowns in Europe towards the end of 2020. While we are hopeful for 2021, the path to full economic recovery will take time. The post-Covid-19 world will enter a “new normal”, giving rise to new dynamics and realities. Wealth owners will need a broader toolkit to navigate uncertain markets and challenges going forward. The account with Citibank IPB is available to applicants who are 21 years old and above, with a minimum funding of US$200,000. Check out more details now by clicking here .