Holly's Blog: Week Four in the Lockdown Household

11 July, 2017

Due to host a webinar at midday this week, the peace was shattered at 11:57 by a blood-curdling scream...

Another week in lockdown lunacy. The travails of trying to run a business and single-handedly prevent two small people from falling into anarchy were highlighted on Wednesday lunchtime. I was presenting a webinar to a few hundred industry bods at 12pm, all set up and ready to go. The squabbling children had been banished outside. I had even brushed my hair, put on a frock and found a lipstick - I was a proper Business Woman! But at 11:57 the peace was shattered with a blood-curdling scream as I saw my daughter flash past the window, chasing her brother with a pitchfork in her hand. I wonder if they will change MBA courses in future to include a module on home working? And breeeeeathe………

To the markets and they have also ranged from the calm to the crazy. There has been a rally since the end of March and the FTSE 100 is about 15% higher over the last fortnight. It feels to me as though there is mildly bonkers tension between forecasts of Depression and a glut of money looking for a home – the top 5 shares in the main US index are only down about 2% over the last 3 months. Compare that to the FTSE which is off about 25%.

Loosely translated as no-one quite knows which way is up.

Here’s My Week in Lockdown in Numbers:

1 – ping pong table bought and assembled.

2 – bruised toes as a result of lifting said table.

3% – the amount the FTSE 100 is up just this morning on news the US is to ‘re-open’ (complacent??).

4 – the number of times I have wondered if I fancy Rishi Sunak – worrying.

6.8% – the fall in China’s GDP for the first three months of the year – very crudely we can think of GDP as the value of stuff a country makes in any given time period – this is the first official drop since the 1970s but arguably less than we might have anticipated.

8% – the amount of UK flour sales accounted for by home baking – up from a normal rate of 4% (as plain flour becomes the new must-have white powder for the Cotswolds Ocado set).

£12.5m – new scheme to back loss-making start-ups to be unveiled next week – we could reportedly see Government match pound for pound venture capital funding of up to £12.5m as a convertible loan (convertible loans are just lending a business some money and this slug of money will convert into shares in that business in the future unless the loan is repaid first).

15 – number of minutes the children played on the new ping pong table before a fight broke out.

24 – the number of days I have gone without a face to face chat with someone over the age of 12 who doesn’t work in a shop.

25% – the amount by which the FTSE 100 has fallen since January highs.

29% – the amount my India fund has fallen over the last 12 months :0)

30% – the reported hit on the average self-employed person’s earnings since lockdown.

44 – kilometres run in an attempt to maintain a tenuous grip on sanity.

60% – the reduction in new business reported today by large advice firm Succession.

73 – glasses of wine consumed. I exaggerate! (Mildly.)

£732 – the amount I made from buying Persimmon shares two weeks ago and selling them today – this is naughty, it was a punt, it’s silly, don’t do it (I was bored, forgive me, they looked stupidly cheap, it’s my only form of rebellion!), diversify, use funds etc. etc.

17:45 – the time at which I now look at the clock to wonder if a glass of wine is in order.

$2,408 – Amazon’s share price rockets higher as the business reports earnings which roughly translate into over £10,000 a second

10,182 – blog subscribers – thank you all! Please tell a friend if you like it…..

200,000 – estimated number of times I have said F*ck or a variation thereof (I think it’s OK to swear if you also include a word such as ‘thereof’ in the same sentence).

I leave you this week with a request...

We are investigating advice. Of the financial variety. As we all adapt to a world of video calls, there are real signs that what we want from financial advice – and how we want it delivered, is changing. We’re preparing a report on the changing face of advice and are after your views. Whether you have a financial advisor – or are resolutely DIY – would you spare us 5 minutes to share a view (https://survey.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cGFaIAcmcrLTq2F)? Please……?!

Have a lovely weekend everyone. Chin up! (or if I keep eating chocolate at the rate I am, chins up!)

Holly