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Market & Service Update

14th April 2020

We hope you are well and are coping in this new world of lockdown and remote working.

They say a week is a long time in politics and that certainly seems to be true at present. Overall, the last couple of weeks have given us some respite on the markets after the initial daily shocks. Markets have moved through various psychological stages; denial, fear and panic now seem to be making way for some hope, relief and optimism. Whilst this is still a volatile and difficult time and will continue to be for some time, we are seeing a generally positive reaction to solid and unified economic action plans from governments. In the UK, The Bank of England announced last week that it will directly finance the extra government spending as a result of the coronavirus outbreak via the Ways & Means Facility (effectively the government’s flexible ‘overdraft’ with the Bank). We hope this will have a continuing positive impact on the UK market.

What Lessons can we Learn from Previous Downturns?

For those who may be interested, we have attached an interesting article from one of our main investment partners; FE Investment, titled ‘The importance of remaining invested’. This article looks at some of the longer-term trends in markets and what lessons we can learn from previous downturns. Every time markets fall the circumstances are different but there are some common features that are repeated. History shows us the importance of taking a long term outlook and believing in patience and time in the market, as opposed to trying to time the market by jumping in and out of investments.

Taking an Income?

As we have mentioned before, if you are taking regular income from your investments and have alternative cash resources, you may wish to consider pausing the income stream from your investments and using your cash to top up your income for a while. If you would like to do this, or would like to discuss this further, please call or email us. 

Making Regular Investments?

A reminder that for those making regular monthly investments eg: in to your pension that the current volatile markets provide a great opportunity to ‘buy cheap’ and this may serve you well over the longer term. Our advice is to continue making your investments. Similarly, if you would like to consider making a new or top up investment, we are able to ‘phase’ your investment in over 3 or 6 months to try and take advantage of market volatility. Again, if you would like to discuss this, just email or call.

Security Reminder

Due to the way we are all currently working, we are seeing a lot more reliance on email for communication. This can increase the opportunities for fraudsters to take advantage. They may contact us posing as you by hacking your email address or spoofing your account to appear to be you. They may then attempt to instruct us to change existing bank account details or to place instructions to sell holdings. You may receive an email from a provider changing bank account details or a text purporting to be from the HMRC (note the HMRC never contact people in this way). Always check any change of instruction with us by phone.  Please be on your guard and do not take offence if we ask to speak to you directly to confirm any emailed or written instructions.

Service Levels

Finally - With the Schools now closed and the country in lockdown, we are finding there can be significant delays in the various providers we deal with as they struggle to re-arrange their work environments and deal with staff shortages.  Similarly, although all team members at Fiona Gray Financial Planning are working close to their normal hours from home, it may take us a little longer than normal to co-ordinate responding to your requests.  Thank you for your understanding and support. We would like to stress that we remain open during normal office hours and are fully functioning with all team members contactable via our main telephone number and by email.

We continue to monitor the situation and will send occasional updates. In the meantime however, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best Regards

Fiona Gray

BA DipPFS

Director              

Helen Vaughan

BA FPFS Chartered Financial Planner

Technical Manager

Danielle Fagot

Dip PFS Cert CII (MP&ER)

Independent Financial Advisor