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.
Coronavirus Update for Businesses
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FOR BUSINESSES – 31 MARCH 2020
In order to try and help the economy in these unprecedented times, the Chancellor has outlined a number of packages to help you and your business hopefully get through this awful situation and come through the other side with as little damage as possible.
• a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme;
• deferring VAT and Income Tax payments;
• a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs;
• a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England;
• small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief;
• grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000;
• the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank;
• a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans;
• the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme;
• A number of other easing of deadlines, e.g. limited companies can apply to Companies House for a three month extension for filing accounts so avoiding late filing fines and easing the many pressures that firms are experiencing currently.
In addition to this, anyone can register for regular Government email updates, if you feel this would be useful to you and your business. This could be helpful given the current state of everything and how worrying this is for all concerned.
For further information on any of these schemes or helpful tips, please find more information on the official government web page:
Stay safe and take care
Corona Virus Policy - Further Update
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 23 MARCH 2020
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE THE OFFICE IS NOW ON REDUCED WORKING HOURS
Further to the announcement last week regarding the ‘self-isolation’ of the office, we have now taken a further step to reduce the office to skeleton staff and reduced hours.
We took steps last week to ensure that all staff can work from the safety of their own home and this will therefore continue for the foreseeable future.
Please continue to drop anything through the letterbox as this will be picked up and administered daily and contact your adviser direct to advise them that you have done so.
The office telephone will go straight to voice-message, but this will be picked up throughout the day.
We are doing this to protect our clients and our staff and we want to come out of this awful situation unscathed.
As usual, we will be on hand to answer any queries or concerns that you may have.
Please stay safe and look after your friends and family (from a distance).