I think the size of the response surprised many but it was another reminder that we are all in this together. It doesn’t matter how much money you have in your pension, no-one is booking cruises right now.
The national thank you was a moving and important gesture but in many senses it does not change anything.
We are probably now entering the most dangerous phase of the virus outbreak over the next few weeks but it is already time to look ahead.
This week I’ve been reviewing a large number of predictions and assessments from leading fund managers and investment experts, trying to piece together how a recovery will look.
While many are tentative and a lot will depend on the health of this nation and other nations, many expect that longer term investment markets will return to something like normality, although it may be 2021 or 2022 before we see this happen.
In the meantime, to use the expectation of one manager, the impact this year will be severe.
Financial Planners will be trying to reassure their clients but perhaps also beginning the most arduous task of assessing the true impact on portfolios and pensions of the outbreak. Some of the news for clients looking to retire soon will not be good, for others it may be better news.
We have seen markets stabilise in the last week but volatility will be the name of the game for many months to come. It’s a time for ‘experienced swimmers’ only to venture into the markets, along with a few optimists.
The fundamentals have not changed, however, as many planners have been reaffirming. Staying invested remains the best long term policy.
But if there was a message from this week it is that people are already looking forward and that, is always, the best place to look for hope.
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Kevin O’Donnell is editor of Financial Planning Today and a financial journalist with 30 years experience. This topical comment on the Financial Planning news appears most weeks.