As lockdown continues to ease, so the markets continue to stutter upwards from the doldrums three months ago. There will no doubt be twists and turns both domestically and internationally as the economic implications of Covid-19 play out, and I reiterate the importance of only being prepared to invest for the medium to long term. The graph below evidences the sharp falls to March 20th and the subsequent stuttering recovery (source FE:Analytics) of some of the World’s major indices.
Please continue to be vigilant as the incidence of financial scams continues to escalate. We had a convincing email, purportedly from our regulator The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), only this week. The World Health Organisation (WHO) have warned about fraudulent emails supposedly from them. This follows similar warnings about scammers spreading phishing ‘clickbait’ via social media and emails as well as the rise in fraudulent websites selling PPE or anti-viral equipment.
The FCA have provided some salient advice  on how to spot and react to fraudulent activity:
- Reject offers that come out of the blue.
- Beware of adverts on social media channels and paid for /sponsored adverts online.
- Use the FCA Register  and Warning List  to check who you are dealing with.
- Do not click links or open emails from senders you don’t already know.
- Avoid being rushed or pressured into making a decision.
- If a firm calls you unexpectedly, use the contact details on the Register to check that you’re dealing with the genuine firm.
- Not give out personal details (bank details, address, existing insurance /pensions/investment details).
- Of you suspect a scam, call Action Fraud  straight away on 0300 123 2040
If you run your own business, the ‘Bounce Back Loan’  may be of interest. It offers 0% interest for the first 12 months (2.5% for the remainder of the 6 year term) and can be paid back without penalty (eg after 12 months). Up to £50,000 can be borrowed by any small to medium sized business affected by Covid-19. It is impossible to source an unsecured commercial loan on anything like these generous terms other than in these circumstances. These loans are government backed, offered by 11 major lenders (banks), and easy to set up.
Finally, thank you for your feedback over the course of the last three months, as we have offered a weekly perspective from ‘HQ’. Please continue to ask me questions or offer feedback as we all slowly emerge from the constraints of Covid-19. Ben Yearsley and I will continue to offer occasional updates and webinars, albeit perhaps not as frequently as we have been doing. Your advisers will, of course, be happy to engage with you too.
Please continue to look after yourselves.
Jon Treharne MD.