Savers warned to hang tight as markets plunged into turmoil
8:00 AM October 12, 2022
East Anglia’s worried savers should hang tight and not panic about market turmoil, an investment expert says.
Financial planner Stuart Lawn is advising investors and savers against a knee-jerk reaction – as despite some losses in value the trend over the longer term is generally upwards.
Mr Law, – who works for regional accountancy firm Lovewell Blake and has worked for more than two decades in the financial services industry – warned against panic selling which will only serve to “lock in” losses.
Volatility has gripped the markets – which have been thrown into turmoil by global factors and some closer to home after a strong market backlash to chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget.
But Mr Lawn said savers should take advantage of the general upward trend of the market – unless you need capital or income in the near-term.
“Rising inflation, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, supply chain issues, commodity prices and the energy crisis have all combined this year to create what you might call a ‘perfect storm’, causing most asset classes to fall,” he said.
“There was a rally in July and August, but the recent ‘mini-budget’ has once again caused a bout of volatility, with the pound hitting a record low against the dollar.
“It is worth mentioning that these most recent issues are UK-specific, which emphasises the benefits of a globally diverse portfolio – not least because currency issues can help companies with assets denominated in other currencies (most of the FTSE 100), and so investors could potentially benefit from increased returns.
“But there is a wider issue here: at times such as these, when financial markets are headline news and everything you hear seems to be doom and gloom, it is important to keep a level head, and not to panic. Selling your investments in a period of uncertainty is very rarely a good idea. Panic selling will lock in losses, and you will miss out on any recovery.”
Market volatility was part of investing and large falls do happen every do often, he said. But once the issues are resolved, markets pick up.
“Trying to ‘time the market’ is extremely difficult, and you will generally come off worse. It is usually better to stay invested throughout, not least because history shows us that the best trading days are typically very close to the worst trading days,” he said.
Investors and savers should make sure they have a broad portfolio to spread the risk, he said.
“It is only human to worry about your investments during periods such as these, and everyone will have their own set of aims, objectives and risk tolerance. It is important that your strategy reflects these – but the main message is to be aware, but not to panic during volatile times.”