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Stock markets started the year strongly. The FTSE 100 index of leading UK-listed shares rose by almost 6 per cent in the first three sessions, buoyed by a Brexit deal and vaccine developments. Yet the economy has suffered a precipitous decline and is in another lockdown. Are we at the end of a long bull market? Is it time to bale out?

Predictions of a market fall have heavyweight backing. Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of the fund manager GMO, warned this week of a “fully fledged epic bubble”.

I have no idea if forecasts of a crash are right but it doesn’t necessarily follow that markets are being irrational in moving higher despite a historic crisis. And I can state what I think are reliable principles