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Stay defensive until the spring was the call at the end of last year, with the most detailed advocacy for staying cautious until that point in time coming from Barclays Wealth, which issued the advice in its Signpost Annual Outlook. To avoid any confusion, the bank saw fit to name its outlook piece, 'A long, hard slog'.

So, what to do? Simple, and it's back to basics from Barclays. "Build overweights in investment-grade credit in Q2, and in equities from Q3 onwards," says author Michael Dicks, h

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