Date Published: 09/03/2020 15:04
As the coronavirus continues to have an impact on the markets, we take a look at what that means for investors, on a day when the markets fell dramatically.
Coronavirus really is an unknown quantity. We don’t know how far it will go and when it will end.
If the current trends are anything to go by, we can see that every five days the number of cases is doubling and we can predict that it will be six to eight weeks until it could be at its worst in the UK. But that could all change, one way or the other.
While China, Italy, South Korea and Iran have the highest number of cases right now, I am worried about America; a country where health care is not free at the point of use and people may not be able to get the treatment they require. How coronavirus will play out in the US is worrying and unknown.
What we do know is that the financial markets are volatile right now. Today, which is being dubbed by some as ‘Black Monday’, the FTSE 100 index fell more than eight per cent in the first few minutes of trading, before recovering slightly.
The main reason for the fall was a dramatic drop in the price of oil, which fell 20 per cent after a row between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Right now we could do with everyone puling together to get us through these uncertain times, not disagreeing and trying to cash in.
What is going on now reminds me of previous shocks to the financial markets, such as 9/11 and the Banking Crisis. Whatever the cause we need to be calm and consider our moves. For example, when it comes to income, don’t crystallise your losses, don’t take money out from your investments when they are low. Could you take money from your savings in the short term instead?
And don’t forget that investments are for the long term, so maybe now is the time to buy because the market will recover. It may take time – and how long we don’t know, but remember investments are for the long term.
Keep calm, take advice and let’s carry on. But there is so much being said by so many, that we need to make sure we are listening to the right people right now. If you want health advice, listen to the NHS; if you want financial advice, listen to a financial adviser.
No individual investment advice is given, nor intended to be given in this article and liability will be accepted in respect of any action you may take as a result of reading this article. If you are unsure you are urged to take independent investment advice.
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