Markets have been exceptionally volatile, for example, the FTSE 100, at its worst, had fallen by as much as 36.6% but as at 25 March it had recovered about a third of this loss and experienced rises and falls of several percent on single days. Anyone who was lucky enough to invest at the lowest point of the market this year on 23 March gained c.a. 15% in two days. If someone had sold their portfolio at the low point, at current interest rates of around 1%, it would take over 14 years to earn 15%. Of course we expect many more days and weeks of falls as well as rises.
All our investors know that before they invest, that we think carefully about their plan for how they will cope in times where it is not wise to access their portfolios and we know from our many conversations with clients, that these plans appear to be working well.
Our portfolios are all showing losses but not to the same extent as the market indices we see daily on our TV. Diversified portfolios, with a mixture of asset classes and invested in international markets, have not fallen as badly, typically they will be about a third less badly affected than the FTSE 100.
Our advice throughout this volatility is to remain invested and speak with your adviser. Previous periods of volatility and severe falls have shown us that those who remain invested do recover, often very sharply.
Income Payments form Portfolios
Income payments will continue as normal, but we recommend that you speak with your adviser to determine the appropriate level of income during this abnormal period. Some income payments are made by selling units from investment funds and it is a good idea to review this with your adviser.
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We realise many people are looking for advice in these difficult times and are happy to help where we can. Please call or email the address below with a brief summary of your question and a contact telephone number. We are also available to help our clients’ relatives who are supporting them at this time, subject to our security processes of course.
Tax Year End Planning
Despite the corona virus and market volatility we are assisting clients with last minute pension calculations and contributions, ISA investments and other normal tax year end activity following our normal advice processes but using email only for our written communications. Please contact us using the details below.
Views from across the investment sector
‘The “Lehman” crisis had long lasting implications because it destroyed balance sheets and led to a severe regulatory backlash. While there will be some long-term effects from the virus, it will more or less leave the global economy’s operating model in-tact. That was not the case after 2008.’
“It is important during times of extreme market volatility to remember that investing is a long-term activity. History indicates that acting hastily in the midst of a crisis is typically unhelpful, and we would encourage all investors to step back and maintain perspective. When we invest on behalf of clients, it is with a five-year view of the opportunities that a company has to grow. Clearly, many such companies will be impacted in the near term by the abrupt economic slowdown which is unfolding, and stock markets have factored this heavily into prices. However, our view is that such selling has been relatively indiscriminate and driven by fear rather than long-term fundamentals. Companies with growing opportunities, competitive advantages and strong balance sheets are not only well placed to survive short-term pressures, but should resume their positive trends when the current crisis is over. We have therefore made few changes to client portfolios during this period of uncertainty, and are considering opportunities to add to holdings in companies we admire at depressed prices. In recent years there has been a growing focus amongst investors and the public on the benefits of companies acting responsibly towards all stakeholders, including employees and customers as well as shareholders. We will learn much about their commitment to such concepts in coming weeks.’
LGIM March 23
“market instability drove investors’ actions as much as fundamental news or sentiment around the virus last week, which in turn pushed central banks towards further intervention. Both the European Central Bank and Bank of England acted emphatically, for example, causing Italian 10-year yields to move 1.4% in just 24 hours. This seems to have been effective, and towards the end of last week we observed that the extreme level of financial-market stress has now passed, which may go some way to dampening future volatility.”
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