One year on from the pandemic …what have you learnt?
Let’s be honest. The past year’s been tough for most of us – we’ve all struggled in different ways.
But the good news is that it does feel like better times are on the horizon.
And despite having to adapt to a new way of life, some of us have benefited financially from not going out, going on holiday or spending like we used to.
As normality starts to return this year, it’s worth thinking about how you could put any extra savings you’ve built up to good use towards a brighter future.
It hasn’t been easy, has it?
The last 12 months has also been a tricky time for investors.
The UK FTSE All Share fell by more than 30% between 20 February and 23 March 2020, as the world seemed to turn on its head. This led to a lot of uncertainty. And, across the market, many people withdrew their investments in March 2020.
But for investors who were able to stay calm, the rewards would soon follow.
Things have improved…
Since 24 March 2020 – the day we first went into lockdown – and up to the end of 24 March 2021, the UK FTSE All Share market has gained 33%.
There’s still a way to go before we can say the pandemic is behind us, but the market recovery has benefited people with investments.
Investors who decided to sell their investments last March might well be kicking themselves now. Given how most markets have improved since. Those who kept sight of their long-term goals and didn’t get too concerned about short-term market movements are more likely to be in a much better position now.
And here’s the thing – this isn’t unusual. Every so often, markets will have a sharp fall. But whilst past performance isn’t a guide to future returns and economic conditions experienced in the past may not be repeated in the future, history has shown that markets have recovered.
What this shows is just how important it is to stay patient when it comes to investing. There will always be challenging times like this. Yet investing is all about looking past these short-term bumps and maintaining a long-term mindset.
Keep calm and carry on? …we’ll try to
Mark Butterworth, Skipton’s Head of Financial Advice – Planning and Research explains, “Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is nothing. When markets fall, it can often be front page news. When they’re going up, it gets less attention. Even the most experienced of investors might have felt anxious last year. But keeping sight of your long-term goals is so important.
“One year on, and with the vaccine programme working really well so far, there is genuine optimism about the road ahead.”
Need help with your retirement plans?
If you have a workplace or personal pension, there’s a good chance you’re already invested in the stock market. And it’s likely that these were affected when markets fell in March.
But just like all other investors, your pension too may have benefited from the recovery.
Still, in times like this it’s only natural to want more reassurance over your pensions and investments – especially as you edge closer to retirement. To help you avoid making rash decisions, it’s a good idea to speak to an expert.
Skipton Building Society are here to help.
Their team of advisers could answer your questions, provide greater reassurance and help you make informed decisions over your pensions and investments.
Skipton offers a free initial consultation to work out if financial advice might be right for you. If it is, you can book a face-to-face video chat, where you can speak to a Skipton financial advisor about what you want from retirement, go through your plans – and they’ll provide you with personalised recommendations. With no pressure to act.
Are you saving more money?
Figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility show that by the summer 2021, it’s estimated that households will have collectively saved £180 billion (since lockdown began in March 2020). If you’ve been in a position to save more money, it’s worth thinking about how you could put it to good use to support your retirement plans.
As interest rates remain low, there’s a limit to how much your money can grow in a savings account. And while there are no guarantees, maybe you could consider saving more money into your pension to take advantage of the current tax benefits?
Lloyd Batey, Skipton Building Society Senior Financial Adviser explains, “We offer tailored advice suited to personal feelings to risk and reward. To give you the confidence of preparing for retirement in a way that’s right for you.
“Speaking to us could help you find suitable options for your money. It won’t cost you to have an initial discussion with us, and to hear personalised recommendations.”
A pension is a long term investment and your Capital is at Risk. Your fund value will fluctuate and can go down. You could get back less than you paid in. Your eventual income will depend upon the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates & tax legislation.
Get in touch
You don’t even need to leave the house to plan your future with an expert. You can speak to a Financial Advisor over the phone – or via their award-winning and easy-to-use video appointment service, Skipton Link.
Skipton’s recommendations are likely to include stock market-based investments. These are not like bank and building society savings accounts as your capital is at risk and you may get back less than you invested. The value of your investments and any income from them may fall as well as rise.
Silversurfers is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Skipton Building Society, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority, under registration number 153706 to provide Restricted financial advice. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate most forms of inheritance tax planning. Should you take advice from Skipton Building Society, Silversurfers will receive a fee for the introduction. To help maintain service and quality, some calls may be recorded and monitored. Calls are free from both landlines and mobiles.