The pandemic has brought with it major financial uncertainty.
Last month Sky News reported that the FTSE 100 had fallen to its lowest level in six months, while soon afterwards positive news from vaccine trials saw the Evening Standard report that the same index had been sent ‘soaring by more than 5 per cent.’
Throughout this time, anyone with investments has been left wondering how they can best ride out this market uncertainty.
Here, Brian Ollerton, Financial Services Manager at WHN, offers his top tips.
Planning – know what you want to do
First of all, remind yourself what your long-term goal is, whether that is capital growth or providing income.
Make sure your investments are well diversified, for instance that they include a spread of different investments.
Finally, make sure you keep reviewing your financial goals – for example, do you need to realign your investments accordingly? Perhaps you need cash in the short-term because you are made redundant.
Look to the future
Try not to keep checking the value of your investments too often, as that will create unnecessary stress – remember you are investing for the long-term and even though there may be some short-term pain, this should pass.
Avoid trying to time the market – in other words, trying to time your investments so you are getting out of the market before it falls too far and then getting back in when it starts to rise.
This is a difficult skill even for experienced investors. There is an old saying, “time in the market is better than timing the market.”
Each week we see further positive news in terms of the pandemic and likely treatments and vaccines. US president-elect Joe Biden’s recent victory has also given many commentators cause to think positively, plus the decision by the UK Government to extend the furlough scheme and hopefully some good news relating to Christmas will hopefully play their part.
However, there is no doubt markets across the globe will remain uncertain for some time to come. Indeed, as reported by the Times, the Bank of England does not expect the economy to get back to its pre-pandemic size until the end of next year, so we have a rocky road ahead of us.
So, my final piece of advice is to get professional help by seeking the reassurance of an adviser – that’s what we’re here for.
Brian Ollerton is Financial Services Manager based at WHN’s Haslingden office. He helps clients with a range of financial issues including pension transfers and advising the elderly on equity release matters. To contact Brian, call him on 01706 233 415 or email email@example.com