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  • Writer's pictureMichael Roberts FPFS

When bad news is all around...

Had I told you last September that in a year’s time:

  • Inflation would be over 12%

  • Interest rates will be 7 times higher

  • Our energy bills will be more than 50% higher

  • Russia would be at war with Ukraine (and that after 6 months of fighting Ukraine have not been overpowered by Russia’s might)

  • We’d have a new Prime Minister

  • Your used car would still be going up in value

  • Several days could pass without hearing the word “COVID”

You’d probably have asked for some of whatever I was taking before asking me not to call again.

Yet this is reality. A lot has changed in a very short space of time, and it was predicted by precisely no one. The media, as ever, insist on focussing on the negativity, extrapolating until they have a sufficiently catastrophist headline to make you click on it (the sector mainly exists to generate advertising revenue, after all), which can make the situation seem ever more scary. Right now, they have plenty of subjects to choose from.

Amongst all this, I hope it will be of some comfort however to know that some things never change:

  • Market falls of 10% or greater happen more years than not; it’s normal.

  • Markets will always find something to worry about.

  • We will never react to these short-term catastrophist headlines.

  • The focus of our counsel will always be, in this order, i) on your most cherished life goals, ii) having a robust Financial Plan in place to achieve them, and iii) a sensible investment portfolio as the funding medium for your Plan.

  • We will always be here for you to help navigate through the storm-du-jour (so do get in touch if you have any concerns).

  • If we think you need to do something different, we’ll tell you (we'll be carefully considering the impact of the forthcoming announcements from the new PM and anticipated Chancellor's mini-Budget).

Whilst we believe that trying to predict and avoid the next fall in the markets is a fools’ errand, every year without fail we stress-test your Plan to ensure you remain robust against market falls substantially worse than we have seen this year. My mission remains not to insulate you from such short-term market performance, no matter its causes, but instead to ensure you are financially well prepared for it and to minimise any long-term impact by encouraging you to maintain the discipline to focus on your Plan and stay the course.

Whilst concerns remain about energy prices, inflation and what the winter ahead may hold, remember this too shall pass.

Thanks as ever for being a client, it’s an honour to serve you.

Best wishes,


Michael Roberts

Chartered Financial Planner and Director

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