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Holly's Blog: Erratic yo-yos and sausage faces

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This picture sums up self-isolation perfectly – this was supper served up to Mr Boring Money Senior this week by my 70-something Mum.

But my parents are not the only ones behaving weirdly! The FTSE 100 has also gone a touch bonkers, yo-yoing around rather erratically.

 

The FTSE yo-yo

As I write this on Friday morning, the FTSE 100 is up about 8% over the week but it’s been a canter up and down along the way – up 9% one day and down 5% the next. This volatility is likely to be the new normal for some time as we try and make sense of the events unfolding around us.

What is apparent is that behind the generic catch-all description that is 'The FTSE' lie 100 different stories which reflect what we hear on the news.

Cruise operator Carnival has lost nearly 70% of its value in one month. EasyJet is down about 65%. Building stocks are hammered and ITV is down more than half as advertisers stop activity.

Ocado is a sole light in the dark, up 14% over the last month. Not so hard to understand, I thought as I chanced my luck this morning, only to find that I was number 163,853 in a virtual queue!

I’m doing my best to ignore all this short-term noise and think the yo-yo will be around for some time yet. I have to say that I think we have some further slumps ahead. Whilst the stimulus packages from Dishy Rishi, he of Bambi eyes and smooth tones, are certainly welcomed, it seems clear that the cost of these will have a huge impact for years to come. On Wednesday, we saw two competing headlines which simply made no sense as bedfellows – the FTSE had soared as we learnt that nearly half a million people had applied for universal credit over the previous week. Hhhmmm…

 

Thanks for the jolly update, Hols!

It’s hard to put lipstick on a pig, folks. These are not economically sunny times. But here are a few practical tips and ideas I’ll leave you with:

    1. If you have a long-term outlook I have no doubt that shares still make a lot of sense – interest rates are almost nothing and inflation will inevitably rise – so cash is not a good long-term savings option.

    2. We’ve written a few pieces and made some short videos on keeping your nerve in these trying times – why we don’t think selling or trying to time markets is a good idea, our current thoughts on final salary pensions and Lifetime ISAs, and lots more. Find the series here.

    3. Don’t forget it’s the end of the tax year in a little over a week. If you have some or all of your annual £20,000 ISA allowance left is it worth paying something into an ISA? You can always take money out of a stocks and shares ISA if you need it down the track – unlike a pension it’s not locked in. And don’t forget you can also pay cash into a stocks and shares ISA and leave it there as cash if you don’t want to invest it at the moment.

    4. Small business owners – some useful tips and ideas here – including one about invoicing anything and everything you can today, the last working day of Q1, to qualify for the VAT deferral scheme

    5. I’ve been interested in reports this week on ‘ESG’ (Environmental, Social and Governance) and Sustainable funds. As inflows into traditional share funds shrivel, the money has kept on flowing into these sustainable funds. It feels like the double whammy of Climate + Corona is driving real changes in investor demand and appetite for different ways to put their money to use. For anyone interested, here’s a piece I wrote for the Mail on Sunday or you can check out our Sustainable Savers tribe.

 

Phew! That’s it for this week. 5 days of home schooling whist running a business remotely has been…… interesting! Thank God for sunshine. Thank God for wine. Thank God for the funnies on WhatsApp. And Thank God for my lovely parents who have kept me smiling!

Have a great weekend everyone. Send us your best #selfisolation photos for next week’s blog!

Holly

 

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