From Andrew Harris principal of Minerds Bell Consultancy Group
The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has unsettled us all and our thoughts are with those directly and indirectly impacted by the virus, and also the measures now being implemented to protect us all from its spread.
I want to assure you that we understand that this is a time of significant uncertainty for all of us and we need to take care of one another.
Understandably, we are seeing an increase in the number of enquiries and the team is working hard to respond. Please bear with us if our response times are a little slower than you may be used to.
I want to share 2 messages with you.
- How we are changing the way we operate to protect you and our team,
- Some key points about financial markets right now.
Changes to the way we operate
The most important thing right now is to look after each other and slow the spread of the virus by limiting exposure to those most vulnerable, including those who are older. I believe it’s important that Minerds Bell fulfils its community responsibility in this regard.
Therefore, we are making the following changes from next Monday 30th March: –
- We will be conducting all our financial review appointments via the phone or other digital means, such as facetime, skype or the like. We appreciate this may mean we will need to forward documents to you before we “meet” and this will slow our advice processes, and perhaps may not be as easy, but your health is more important.
- If you already have an appointment booked with us, we will contact you to alter arrangements so we can “meet” over the phone or other digital medium you prefer.
- There may be rare occasions when we believe a face to face meeting is essential, and if you are comfortable we can make these appointments. In these cases, we will conduct a quick risk assessment to ensure you aren’t in a high-risk category that may affect other clients and our staff.
In addition, to protect our staff, we have implemented a range of sensible health precautions in the office, including the cleaning of meeting rooms. Some of our team will also be working remotely on a part time basis to limit the number of people in the office. We will do this in a way to maintain our availability and services for you.
We will review these arrangements at the end of May, subject to any prior Government or Health Department advice that may require earlier changes.
These are unprecedented times. Uncertainty caused by, and actions being taken to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus is playing havoc with markets as they react to emotion, anxiety and changing business operating conditions.
Our advisers have nearly 90 years of experience advising clients between them and honestly, none of us know when the current market volatility will end. What we do know though, is that it will and based on the sharp fall we have seen, it’s likely that markets will spring back reasonably quickly when they do. Sometimes, the best course of action is to do nothing.
It is times like these when it’s so important to not lose sight of the basic principles of investing: –
- Buy low, take profit when markets are high,
- Stick to your long-term investment profile,
- Don’t panic, don’t act irrationally,
- Remember, if you sell out of the market, you face the most difficult question, “when do I buy back in?” This is a most difficult decision to make. Trying to precisely “time” the market is invariably unsuccessful.
Included in this email is an article from Dr. Shane Oliver, Head of Investment Strategy & Chief Economist from AMP Capital that looks at 5 key things to remember about investing in tough times. I hope you find it helpful and of some comfort.
Should you have concerns about meeting with us, or your investments, please give your adviser a call or send them an email.
Please do watch out for each other. We are here for you.
Principal – Minerds Bell Consultancy Group