Tue 28 Apr 2020

If you can keep your (investment) head…

Many will have more immediate priorities, but the news headlines in relation to the stock market made nervous viewing for those affected.  And with workplace auto-enrolment having added more than 10 million pension investors in the last 8 years, then most of us are impacted to some degree.

Should you do anything with existing pensions and investments?  Everyone's circumstances are different, but almost certainly the answer is no.  It is at times like these that it is critical to remember that investment is a medium to long term activity, and the rationale for that is that it allows you to ride out the rougher periods such as just now.  Historically the worst thing an investor can do is to liquidate their investment at times like this.

The key point is that whenever you can see that "things are going to get worse", you can be assured that the collective wisdom of the stock-market can also see that, and that market prices have already adapted to include this information.  Markets are forward looking, and incorporate bad (and good) news in advance of the reality appearing.

It may not feel like it, but you will have also benefitted from all the work your financial adviser did in ensuring that your investments are well diversified and at the correct level of investment risk (there are reasons why we keep asking you to fill in all those questionnaires!).  This will have provided some protection as the market fell by virtue of you also holding a portion of less risky assets that are specifically held to provide some protection at such times.

The net effect is that, year to date, the UK market is currently down around 24% (as at 17 April 2020) but a typical medium risk fund (such as the default fund in a workplace pension) is down around half that - still unwelcome, but considerably more bearable.

Now is the time to sit tight, as much as you can.

If you'd like to talk to us about this then please get in touch for a no-charge initial call (phone or video).

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