Despite the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, Covid-19 has not gone away and is likely to be with us for quite some time still. There have been a lot of changes around the globe, with different countries relaxing their lockdowns in different ways and at different speeds, with nobody yet knowing who is right and who is wrong.
A large part of the public seemed desperate to get back to some sort of normality and are seizing any opportunity to venture out of their homes and enjoy the British summer. Seeing some of the pictures of the UK beaches, roads, queues for places like IKEA and McDonald’s makes you wonder if people are forgetting about Covid-19 already…
Global stock markets have steadied since their lows of late March/early April 2020 but have recently been more volatile, as they have reacted to news of rises in infection rates, or falls in infection rates and deaths, shops and hospitality companies reopening, and travel abroad being a real possibility like a swinging pendulum.
Below we show how three of the Beaufort Investment portfolios have fared since the start of this year. It is reassuring to see that they have strongly recovered and are now very close to being back to the value at the start of the year. For many clients if we look back over the last 12 months, the value is higher today than it was 12 months ago. The fact that they are nearly back to the values at the start of the year has surprised most clients, when I have spoken with them recently, as many are still following the news and are expecting falls nearer 20% in their portfolio.
* Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.
This vindicates our approach of staying steady and riding out the stock market volatility. It also shows the value of having a well-diversified portfolio designed to stay within its risk parameters. If you look at the performance of the FTSE 100 this year, which is what many people users are proxy benchmark as it’s something they know and it’s on the news every day, you can see that is still down significantly (over 17%) so far this year.
There will still be bumps in the road ahead, and there may well be further falls, before this bear market ends and the recovery takes hold.
Whilst the shape of the recovery is unknown, we still believe the portfolios will deliver and produce the required results that you need to achieve your financial objectives over the medium to long-term. The financial plan that we built with you, already factored in a potential fall, such as we have recently seen & our stress testing of your plan would have shown they could withstand such a shock and what actions needed to be taken for you to ensure your plan still worked.
There is undoubtedly going to be significantly more financial pain to come for some people, as a number of businesses will not survive this pandemic, especially those in retail and hospitality, who have major hurdles and headwinds to overcome.
A number of investment managers now think it is a great opportunity for stock picking managers to shine, by focusing on those shares that are still likely to continue their growth, whilst hopefully avoiding those whose days may well be numbered. They will be focusing on companies with healthy balance sheets that will emerge from this crisis in a strong position and these companies should also continue to benefit from the long-term cultural shifts that we may see as a result of this crisis.
We will continue to monitor these investments and interact with the investment managers and provide you with updates as and when we think they are relevant.
If you do have any questions, queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me in the normal manner.