The traditional early September think piece centres on the natural reset that a generalised return to work (and for the younger generation, school) brings after the typically languid summer holiday period. As 2020 is clearly a very different style of year, let us rip up the normal script and ask the simpler question of ‘does the world feel lucky?’
Financial markets are always a three-dimensional jigsaw, with new pieces being added and deleted at whim every business day. But the signals from the last month have been especially difficult to discern. In contrast to the bounce back second quarter, July was a negative month for pan-European markets with the U.K. continuing to lag.
Whilst there are still pockets of great opportunity across the globe, the past few weeks have also seen crazy price rises of some stocks as investors have rushed to join the herds buying certain technology stocks indiscriminately. Given the backdrop of a Western World with low interest rates and a pandemic that is highly disrupting many sectors, the relatively less affected technology sector is an attractive place to park money. It seems many investors taken this view but have forgotten the importance of valuations. The herd buying has pushed prices up which then reaffirms investors reasoning so they buy more again and so on which spirals share prices upwards.
At Raymond James, Ribble Valley we have a highly bespoke investment proposition and state of the art tools. This allows us to cater for clients’ ethical preferences, however specific they are. Many people only want to profit from companies with certain characteristics and they want to make sure that their views are reflected.
At any other time, a three percent bounce during May in the pan- European (including the U.K.) equity markets and the driest fifth month of the year in large swathes of the country since 1929, would represent an ideal entry into the summer months. However – despite recent lockdown liberalisations – these are far from normal times.
As the virus spreads through the World, fear has reigned, global stock markets have plummeted and the UK’s leading market stumbled its worst quarter since 1987. We pride ourselves that in times of volatility and crashes, when many advisers head for the hills, we are there to support and reassure our clients every step of the way until markets recover and beyond. Our key message to clients, and anyone invested in the markets is, don’t solve a short-term problem by creating a long-term disaster. Instead, stay the course and capitalise on the opportunities.
Over three hundred and fifty years ago, back in 1665, Isaac Newton socially distanced himself from the horrors of the then rampant bubonic plague and – away from his burgeoning academic career at Trinity College in Cambridge – enjoyed a ‘year of wonders’ at his childhood home. During this period he formulated a theory of universal gravitation, explored optics and discovered differential and integral calculus.
The COVID-19 outbreak has led to unprecedented volatility and tremendous declines in wealth, but we have faith that once the pandemic is defeated, the wild swings in the financial markets will abate and prosperity will return. But what cannot be so easily recovered is the loss of a job, the loss of a business, or, worst of all, the loss of a loved one. While it is our duty to provide timely market insights, please know that now, more than ever, the health and safety of you and your families is at the forefront of our minds.