Market Commentary - June 2020
It has been a few weeks since our last update and we felt now was the right time to update you with our thoughts, following the announcement from Boris Johnson of relaxation of lockdown measures.
Whether you are in favour of this, or not, we must appreciate that the economy needs the easing of lockdown and it is yet to be seen whether this will be to the detriment of health and wellbeing, and we certainly hope this is not the case.
We have spoken to many of you throughout this pandemic and the volatility of the market has been apparent with the differences in values of various asset classes and also global markets combined.
It seems a common theme that, with the easing of lockdown, comes a rally in investment markets. We have seen good growth coming through from Global equities and we would hope that once the UK domestic economy is ‘kick-started’, then we should follow suit. We are still reluctant to be as positive as we might be, as there is still the concern of a second wave of the pandemic and this is something none of us want to experience.
You will see from the following chart, the volatility in the FTSE 100 (the UK’s top 100 companies), over the period of COVID-19. When we have been comparing investment returns with those that have had telephone appointments and reviews, we have compared 3 significant dates; the 21st February 2020, the 20th March 2020 and the values now and I think this chart shows that these were good dates to compare, with an improvement evident throughout May and into June.
Global shares also rallied strongly at the end of May. The US market alone (the S&P 500) saw shares up 40% from their March lows, while global shares overall are up 36% from the lows. More positive news came from China which suggests the country’s recovery is continuing and as you would expect, the UK, Europe and the US are a couple of months behind the recovery curve, compared to China.
Many of the fund managers we talk to are calling this a classic ‘bear market rally’, which means it is susceptible to a pull back if we get some bad news. However, for the minute, optimism has the upper hand.
We hope that you are all feeling a slight optimism too and we will continue to do what we can to limit the downside on your investments, especially if you are drawing a regular income.
As always, should you wish to talk to us, we are here, at the end of the telephone, to guide and advise you when you need us.
Please enjoy the easing of the lockdown, but most important, continue to stay safe and keep social distancing at the forefront of your mind for the foreseeable future.
Blue LIght Exemption
It is also possible that this exemption will be extended to employees of publicly funded care homes, home care workers, and to those employed by charities providing a service to combat Covid-19.
Market Commentary - April 2020
We are fast approaching week three of Lockdown and we do feel in continued hope that it does look like the worst is behind us. We must try and look positively in terms of our investments but at the same time think of all of those families that have lost loved ones and those of us who have friends and family working in the torrid conditions of the NHS, fighting to keep others alive, risking their own safety in the process.
We now more than ever, appreciate our families and the need for a ‘hug’ but, we must all continue to follow Government guidelines and ‘STAY AT HOME’. This will, without a doubt, benefit us in the long term.
Green shoots have started to come through, not only in our gardens but also in financial markets. It is easy enough (and also human) to panic and look on the negative side of things and to sell investments when things are bad, thinking that they will never recover (and the only option is to sell) but this is a behavioural error that we all make at some point and we then reflect later once things have been put into perspective and regret the hasty decision.
Thankfully, the vast majority of our clients have held their nerve and remembered that these investments that we hold and manage for you are for the longer term and short term investments are ones that should be looked upon as your more liquid funds to use in times of uncertainty and volatility.
There are three steps that can really help at times like these:
- Having a plan
Investing without a plan can result in people constantly and unnecessarily reacting to short-term market movements. You, as our clients, have a plan built on a thorough understanding of needs, attitudes to risk and longer-term goals. Downturns come and go. The results of a well-designed financial plan, with funds that match your attitude to risk, can serve you well for the rest of your life.
- Spreading your investments
Diversification which is the investment philosophy that underpins the advice we gave you is based on the importance of spreading your money across a number of different types of investments – known as diversification. By doing this, you are not putting all your eggs in one basket and can balance exposure between the higher performing assets and, critically in times of a market downturn, like now, the poorer performing ones.
- Avoiding taking a short-term view
It’s important to take a longer-term view when investing. An investment plan established during calmer times should not be abandoned when there is a market downturn. Let the benefits of diversification run their course.
The majority of you will be in a range of asset classes which helps this diversification and although we are seeing some restrictions in Property Funds; this is being done, by Fund Managers, to protect you in the longer term. That coupled with the fact that no residential or commercial property can be bought or sold in the current virus situation means that the suspension of these funds will protect you, the investors, and quite rightly so. Please do not think of this as a negative, as it is certainly more of a positive.
Please try and continue to stay safe and please do contact us if you have any queries. If you have not registered on our portal, please do so, as we are also trying to protect you from the many scams that are going around presently and we want to see you all ‘on the other side’ in as safe and secure a place as we can.