IN SEARCH OF ANSWERS

TODAY’S BLOG

IN SEARCH OF ANSWERS

I had the unwelcome task of writing to clients to advise that the value portfolios have fallen by over 10% since the start of 2020. The emails that I sent seemed to be well received. Today has been another very tough day for investors (and their advisers). The charts are rather frightening, this comes at a time when we are all (most of us anyway) rather anxious about the state of the world and a deep sense of unease.

So, without wishing to fudge any issues, I thought it best that I re-use the bulk of the content that I have been sending.

It is now a regulatory requirement to tell you when a portfolio falls by 10%. This is a new experience for me, despite being an adviser for several decades. I genuinely believe that this new requirement comes from well-meaning regulation, but is entirely counter-productive, because it is essentially alarmist. I will endeavour to add a little more flesh to the bones.

Focus on what is important

SHOULD YOU WORRY?

Should you worry?  No; but anxiety and concern are normal responses to ‘seeing’ the value of your portfolio fall.  Anxiety or fear are normal responses to ‘danger’ or bad news.  We are built that way and it is why we have survived as a species for as long as we have. However, the instinct of ‘flight’ is of no use to investors.  The stock markets of the world fall in value each year.  I would refer you to the various articles I have written about this over the years and remind you that 1 in 4 calendar years have negative returns.  This is part of ‘the norm’ and indeed we don’t get the positive returns without the negative. However yesterday’s headlines of the FTSE’s second largest fall in a single day does not really help calm nerves.

UNCERTAINTY IS NORMAL

The problem with investing is that markets are not predictable, despite appearing so.  What is predictable is irrational investor behaviour. This is precisely why we ask you to complete an attitude to risk questionnaire.  So that a suitable portfolio is constructed for you – one that provides the chance of delivering the returns you need whilst enabling you to sleep at night.  You will have experienced similar falls in value before, but either didn’t notice, or were reassured.

WHAT IS A LOSS?

When the value of anything falls, it only impacts those selling.  A crash in property prices, impacts those selling their home, most of us do not notice, although it may provide conversation around the dining table with friends or colleagues.  Unlike property, the value of equities and bonds are transparently priced throughout the day in a highly regulated market.  When you sell your home, frankly the price is a bit of a guess by the estate agent, surveyor and then haggled over by seller and buyer … in practice, a very small and biased market.

The key is not to panic; not to sell.  You know this, but we also know it is hard to do.  You know that you should sell at the top and buy at the bottom, however as humans we tend to do the exact opposite.  I’m not going to pretend that this doesn’t make us all wince and wonder, but equally I will remind you to stick to your plan – yours; not those of a media which seems only intent on making you miserable.

Your portfolio is globally diversified, it is well balanced, it is low cost and it is properly reviewed.  We have biases towards smaller and value equities which over time will demonstrate to be better value.  There is a  huge amount of research that should you wish it, I can point you to.  However, I tend to think of that as my job … to help you make better decisions with money and help reduce or avoid all the daft ones.

THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH

If you are investing on a monthly basis, the fall in prices is a bit of a bonanza – because you buy more for the same money.  We expect values to rise.  They will; it’s just a question of when.  For those who add lump sums, similarly now is essentially a discount sale that will not last.

Those who are withdrawing money have a much tougher time.  The fall in prices means you sell more holdings to get the same figure out. Thereby not benefitting as much when prices rebound.  They will, and you will, but not as much.  In an ideal world, you will have discussed and outlined your plans for income or lump sum withdrawals and we have already factored this in.  If you need to review this, then please get in touch.

DO NOT OBSESS OVER THIS

Looking at your portfolio each day will never help anyone.  It will rarely provide comfort.  Worry will not help you to live your life well.  You have to trust that the fundamentals of investing will remain true today, next week and next year as they have done over the decades.  Yes – there are ‘bad times’, but remember that market returns are positive 3 in 4 years on average, we simply don’t know the order or reason.

You are investing for decades and I have no doubt that this too will pass.

YOUR COMPLETE FINANCIAL LIFE

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

IN SEARCH OF ANSWERS2023-12-01T12:13:22+00:00

Investing: Q2 2015

Q2 – 2015

The second quarter (Q2) saw the domestic equity market fall 2.8% while the market for government bonds fell 2.6% in value. A portfolio composed of 60% equities and 40% bonds finished the quarter 2.6% lower.

Index 1 year 3 years 10 years Low Point Greatest Loss
FTSE100 0.2% 9.2% 6.3% Feb 2009 -39.8%
FTSE Gilts (5-15years) 7.4% 2.1% 5.6% Dec 2013 -6.7%
60-40 Portfolio 3.2% 6.5% 6.3% Feb 2009 -20.4%
LIBOR (3 months) 0.6% 0.6% 2.3%
Consumer Price Index 0.3% 1.5% 2.5%

Taking a longer term view, and given a minimum of 7 years for investment, we look for returns from the FTSE 100 Index to lie somewhere between 6.9% and 10.1% per annum. The most recent decade (from 30 June 2005 to 30 June 2015) is characterised by a return of 6.3%, outside of the lower end of our range. That makes good sense when one considers that the starting and ending points in that period coincide with a maturing bull market in 2005 and some volatility today.

Our hypothetical 60-40 portfolio, comprising 60% in the FTSE 100 Index and 40% in the FTSE Gilts (5-15 years) Index, has gained 3.2% over the last 12 months, 6.5% p.a. in the last 3 years and 6.3% p.a. over the 10 year period. Adjusting those figures for inflation gives us a healthy set of real returns of 2.9%., 4.9% p.a., and 3.7% p.a. respectively.

Those positive inflation-adjusted returns are particularly pleasing when we consider that cash investments have, somewhat unusually, lost ground relative to inflation – a result of 6 years of unprecedented monetary easing.

The last year is characterised by a mixed set of results with the US and Japan performing strongly. Meanwhile relatively low returns have been provided by markets in Asia, Europe and developing world.

Steve Williams

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Investing: Q2 20152023-12-01T12:20:14+00:00

FTSE 100 – Top of the Pops

1965: Life at the Top – Kotcheff
The FTSE 100 index had its quarterly review on Wednesday and saw three companies dropped from the index (Investec, Lonmin and Inmarsat) replaced by CRH, Evraz and Polymetal International. The index is reviewed every quarter (every day would simply create an unnecessary administrative burden as companies towards the bottom of the top 100 list would alter far too often). The FTSE100 is based on the largest UK listed companies, by value. It includes well known names and companies that most people would not have heard of.
Lonmin, is the worlds third largest platinum mining company, based in South Africa. The latest results for the company revealed improvements in profit and debt reduction against 2010 figures. However its share price has gradually collapsed to about half value over the last 12 months.
Inmarsat are a satellite company – the space technology type. The company was promoted to the FTSE100 in September 2008 but has now been “relegated” though this information does not appear on their website. The third quarter 2011 figures show improving revenue, up nearly 18% to $364m, however the share price has fallen around 40% over the year.
Investec are an investment company originally from South Africa. They provide financial products here in the UK and of course globally. You might have seen their adverts which tend to include a zebra. They would describe themselves as a specialist bank and asset manager. In the UK and Europe they manage around £45bn where operating profits increased by 8% in their last financial year. However their share price has also fallen significantly this year – by around 30%.
As a result, these three companies have dropped out of the FTSE100, which means that anyone with a UK FTSE100 tracker fund will have minor adjustments being made. The replacements are Evraz, a steel company with significant production in Russia. A theme continued with the inclusion of Polymetal International, a precious metals mining company with significant production in Russia and Kazakhstan. CRH are a building materials company with its HQ in Ireland. It was originally formed as a merger between Cement Ltd and Roadstone Ltd in 1970.
Never forget the adage – where there’s muck there’s brass.
We are a boutique firm of financial planners. We create financial plans designed to achieve a desired lifestyle. We will craft and implement your plan that will provide you with the greatest chance of accomplishing your unique goals based upon the values that you hold. Financial products are little more than the tools to achieve your required results
Call us today or visit our website for more information and to arrange a meeting
FTSE 100 – Top of the Pops2023-12-01T12:48:25+00:00
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