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How to get through the tough times – a financial adviser’s view

Head of HL financial advice, Bruce Pearce, tells us about his experience in tough times like these over the thirty years he’s been a financial adviser.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

These are unprecedented and uncomfortable times.

The risk of Covid-19 is a big concern for myself and family. And I have no doubt that it’ll be the same up and down the country.

Things are probably going to get worse before they get better. But I’m confident this terrible test will pass, which means we shouldn’t stop thinking about our long-term future.

Please remember that when investing there are no guarantees and all investments rise as well as fall in value, meaning you could get back less than you invest. The information provided in this article and on the website is not personal advice. If unsure, seek advice.

My view on the market

The global market is suffering its worst volatility for as long as many can remember. But in many ways, what we’re seeing is not new.

My first experience of a significant market downturn was in 1987. It felt like the world was falling apart. But in time, things passed. Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, it was nothing more than a blip. Holding tight, or even investing in the market low, gave investors the best result.

The global financial crisis was the same. We all experienced another significant market fall. Again, a market fuelled by emotion as people jumped out of investments. This time there was a real threat that the entire infrastructure would break as the banking sector looked to be set on a course for destruction. But the world responded to the economic crisis and we eventually got back to “usual”.

I remember many discussions with clients in these times. The advice always remained the same – hold on and think about the long term.

Those that listened, and invested at the time, mainly got the best results. Markets generally entered into a period of strong growth during the next decade.

Sometimes, I meet clients that jumped out of the market, concerned about losses and planning to get back in when things improved. Most never did.

What to do?

It’s never comfortable experiencing significant market drops. Falls like this can create a buying opportunity, but remember there may still be further falls to come. The selling has been mostly indiscriminate so far – most prices are falling across the board as investors wait for the dust to settle to digest the real impacts. But in the coming months some sectors of the market are likely to feel a much more negative impact than others. Other sectors could emerge much stronger.

For most, life will return to normal and businesses will continue.

In times like these, we implore investors to focus on the long term. Now could be a good time to review your strategy and gently adjust as necessary or not.

Remember that there are no guarantees and this article is not personal advice. If you’re unsure what to do, please ask for advice.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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