It is now over a year since we were told to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.
It has been a monumental 12 months for the world and has impacted all of our lives in a profound way. We sincerely hope you and your family are well and are looking forward to normal life returning at some point this year as the vaccination programme continues and restrictions begin to be lifted.
In some ways, it has been “business as usual” for us, but with the big difference that we have not been able to meet with clients face to face and we have had many of our staff working from home.
Somewhat counter-intuitively, most global stock markets have recovered from the crash in February / March last year, and some are back higher than they were before COVID. The UK stock market however, is still below pre-pandemic levels and has struggled due to its lack of technology based companies. The likes of Amazon, Netflix etc have seen their share prices rise significantly during the last year, but as American companies, you only benefit from them as an investor if your investment or pension has exposure to US shares.
We have always maintained international exposure within our portfolios which in turn has meant that our client pension and investment funds have bounced back. This ultimately means that whilst the big drops we saw last year were painful at the time, the recovery should mean that your financial goals are still on track.
The graph below highlights the difference in performance of our client portfolios against the FTSE 100 Index from the start of 2020:
Looking forward, we are cautiously optimistic for what lies ahead for markets as the global economy recovers and believe that the worst of the volatility relating to the pandemic is behind us.
As ever, please feel free to contact your adviser if you have any questions.
The FSWM Team