This latest newsletter comes to you as we approach the end of our sixth week in lock-down.
It has been a remarkable and challenging few weeks in lots of ways.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson knows this more than most – having experienced the extreme low of being an intensive care patient struck down by this deadly virus to returning to Downing Street and celebrating the birth of a new baby son.
In some ways, the markets have been almost as resilient as Mr Johnson.
The markets initially dropped by over 30% but have since bounced back, while, in contrast, overall portfolios from February until now have seen an average drop of 12%.
While not underplaying the turbulence of recent weeks, conversations with almost all clients have concentrated on providing reassurance that their longer term, diversified plans will be more than capable of withstanding the impact of Coronavirus.
This is likely to include further financial shocks over the next couple of years, particularly if, as has been widely mooted, the UK experiences further waves of the disease as we slowly start to move to a new normal.
As businesses start to emerge from this crisis, many, such as those in the commercial property sector, are likely to have to deal with even bigger holes on their balance sheets than they imagined. Some, including the big food retailers and pharma giants, will be among a smaller section of the economy to buck the trend.
Our job as your financial adviser is not to try and call the markets and recommend short-term tactical opportunities. Instead, we focus on partnering with our clients to provide a carefully mapped out and personalised plan over the right timescale.
The pandemic highlights, more than ever, the importance of having a broad, diversified range of investments which will deliver as part of a long-term financial plan.
With clients ranging in age from their 30s through to 80s, no two plans are the same.
Good plans are about anticipating that there will almost certainly be bumps in the road.
In the case of this current crisis, I have been advising a client who has been made redundant a few years ahead of when he was planning to retire. While not ideal, his long-term plan is, however, able to absorb this set-back.
We have made a point of calling round clients since the Coronavirus crisis first took hold and it has been heartening to receive so much feedback that people are confident – in a time of so much uncertainty – that their financial planning is in good hands.
While we are always pleased to hear that you are happy with what we are doing on your behalf, it is very much a partnership – working together to help you meet or exceed your financial goals.
We want to hear from you
Like so many businesses, we had to quickly adapt our way of working almost overnight.
Thankfully, we have always been a business that embraces technology and I have been delighted with how well the team has adjusted to our new remote working ways.
Remote does not, however, mean that we don’t want to hear from our clients. While we cannot currently carry out face-to-face meetings in our Neston office, we are still busy speaking to clients by phone or on the myriad of online conferencing facilities that have so quickly become part of our everyday language.
Earlier this week, we even onboarded a new client using Zoom, running through all the necessary paperwork by sharing my screen. It was almost as if we were sitting opposite each other in our meeting room.