Week 1 of Lockdown

There’s no doubt that it’s been a tough month for the markets, and we’ve spoken with many of you about this. It’s worrying, but also great to see such positivity amongst you all that we will come out the other side and things will recover. Indeed, at the time of writing this (morning of Tuesday 31st March), we’ve seen the FTSE 100 increase by approximately 12% since the low point last Monday.

Your confidence mirrors the messages we’re receiving from many of the investment managers we work with.  There will no doubt be volatility for the coming months, but central banks and the government seem to be doing all the right things, including interest rate cuts, increasing liquidity and unprecedented levels of support for businesses and employees. What’s clear is their intention that when we’re all allowed out again, businesses should be ready to bounce back as soon as possible.

Of course, the human cost, both in terms of the very sad news regarding serious illness and loss of life, but also isolation and loneliness, is frightening for many.

However, there are good news stories to be found. At the end of last week, our social media channels reported a number of good news items. The city of Wuhan in China, where it all started, came out of lockdown, rapid testing technology is being developed, children are painting rainbows for their windows and more than half a million people have signed up to the NHS volunteer scheme.  It’s amazing to see the community spirit with people helping neighbours and friends, and we’re all developing new ways of communicating and keeping in touch.

We’ve embraced Zoom for team meetings and client meetings, but also for family gatherings and Friday night “at the pub” with friends. Thank goodness for this technology, which works for many of us, but remember those friends, family and neighbours that maybe aren’t so tech savvy – a call or shout across the garden fence will no doubt lift their spirits!

Wishing you all the very best – keep safe and keep healthy.

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