Our Views on the Markets and the Economy

The disruption socially, economically and in markets this year may come at a particularly worrying time for those who are nearing or about to retire. So what should investors do to make the most of their retirement fund now and to ensure its resilience for the years ahead?

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The disruption socially, economically and in markets this year may come at a particularly worrying time for those who are nearing or about to retire. So what should investors do to make the most of their retirement fund now and to ensure its resilience for the years ahead?

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As is distressingly evident this year, investors and society often face major challenges. Yet there are some things that are within your control, particularly when thinking about your personal finances.

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Six Areas Influencing Markets Now

Our lack of understanding of the coronavirus has added to the challenges confronting politicians and policy makers in recent months, and this in turn has fed the uncertainty impacting financial markets.

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In the month since the lockdown due to the coronavirus, businesses across the country have faced often severe disruption. It is only natural for investors to wonder therefore how we face the challenges of managing money during these unique circumstances.

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The extension of the lockdown was understandable. Over the last week, however, fear created by talk of a second wave of the virus has fed pressure to extend the lockdown.

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Should the spurious claims by supporters of the active fund management industry be finally laid to rest? Investors have been much more inclined to choose passive funds in recent years – driven by increasing awareness about the negative impact of high fees and publicly available figures on the long-term underperformance of active managers.

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Many high earners will benefit from the recent changes to pension tax rules. The onset of the new tax year may therefore be an ideal opportunity to review your allowances and, where appropriate, to maximise your investments for the future.

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A lockdown is necessary to limit the spread of the virus and save lives, but it is not feasible or practical to prolong it for too long. A long lockdown will wipe out large swathes of the economy. There will be a negative impact both financially and mentally on too many people.

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Acting under duress is not ideal at the best of times but under severe pressure the regular psychological effects that impact our behaviour are even more damaging. These emotional distortions affect many aspects of our lives, including how we treat our investments.

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