Market Volatility Update

Author: Jade Shelton
Published: 28th May 2020

It’s been over 9 weeks since lockdown was implemented in the UK. The 23rd March 2020 seems like a lifetime ago for me. A lot has happened since then.

The UK government has taken unprecedented action to try and shore up the UK economy. With the job retention scheme and various loans available to keep businesses afloat, the hospitality and entertainment sectors have been amongst the hardest hit. Some analysts estimating that it could take a decade for air travel to reach its pre-covid capacity.

As the virus spread through Asia and then western Europe the uncertainty increased. Italy entered national lockdown. Spain, Portugal, France and Germany all followed suit. Stock markets around the globe inevitably responded to the increasing uncertainty.

On the 14th February 2020 the MSCI Developed World index was riding high at 2,431. It started it’s decline before the UK market. On the 21st February 2020 the FTSE All Share was at 4,133. By the time the global stock markets reached their lowest point (on 23rd March 2020) the MSCI index was down 34% and the FTSE All Share down 23%.  Since then the markets have rebounded somewhat. The MSCI is up 29% to 2,061 and the FTSE All Share is up 4%.

Many clients have received their quarterly Nucleus valuations. Noticing the dates of the these valuations is important. They run from 6th January 2020 (before the markets had begun to react to the Covid-19 pandemic) and 5th April 2020 (just after the very bottom of the global market slump).

There’s two things to note here. Firstly, since the statements were sent the markets have continued to recover. Secondly, it’s important to look back at previous valuations. The investment growth over the past 3-4 years has been significant.

We spend time with our clients each year making sure we run through our Virtual risk table. This colourful table shows what the worst case scenario looks like for their investment holdings. We check that they can sit tight when the markets fall unexpectedly (which they do regularly). We call it the fire drill of investing and so far everyone has remained calm and not panicked.