As we start the new year, it feels much like the old year with virus cases on the increase, pressure on the NHS and a sense of doom and gloom pervading.
Unlike the first lockdown in March, the East of England seems to have been hit hard with most people now knowing someone who has had COVID and with the nights long, cold and dark, it all feels like a never-ending drudge.
However, in all of this, there are a number of reasons to look forward with some cautious optimism...
1. We now have a vital weapon in the war against COVID-19 – the vaccines that are being rolled out are a real game changer, and whilst it will take a huge effort and a fair amount of time to vaccinate the whole population, it is now a matter of when, not if, we get back to normal
2. We are seeing the dawn of a new political era in the US and potentially an end to the populism that has created huge divisions and unrest with the American people. These problems will not go away overnight, but there is hope that both parties can repair some of the damage and work to restore faith in the US political system. The global economy needs a functioning America
3. A deal was struck enabling us to leave the EU and have a framework for trade. There is still plenty to be worked out here, and there will be issues, but this is another major hurdle that is now in the rear view mirror
It seems counter-intuitive, but global stock markets have continued to rise and at least provide investors with some good news. If you have checked on your pension or investment recently, you may have been pleasantly surprised, with the value close to, or back above, the level seen pre-COVID.
Again, there are still challenges to overcome and, as we know, markets do not move in a straight line, but we believe that we will not revisit the lows seen in March last year.
People’s health is always far more important than their wealth. But worries about money bring their own problems and can have a huge detrimental effect on lives so it is vital that we continue to work hard and help you and your investments navigate these challenging times.
If you would like to speak to your adviser, please do not hesitate to get in touch. A 20 minute telephone or video call could make all the difference and give you some reassurance and peace of mind.
In the meantime, keep safe, and join us in looking forward to better times ahead.