Coronavirus and
the global market

How Coronavirus is affecting the global markets

Impact of Coronavirus on global markets

In the last few weeks global markets have been rattled by the impact of  Coronavirus Covid-19.

While big moves in the stock market are often headline news, and can be uncomfortable for investors, it’s important to consider these against a longer-term historical context.

What’s happened?

When the Coronavirus became known in China in late January, it was not anticipated to have a serious effect on the global economy. Fast forward a few weeks and things have changed dramatically.

Due to the emergence and acceleration of the virus outside of China, it has caused markets to respond as the realisation set in that the outbreak would trigger at least a short-term disruption of global economic activity. Fear has also been heightened by the latest travel restrictions and cities in lockdown.

Financial markets don’t like uncertainty and with many questions surrounding the virus remaining unanswered, global markets continue to try to price in the longer-term risks. Investors will have seen an impact similar to the performance of global markets.

What should you know about market volatility?

The impact of the Coronavirus on the stock market has been felt heavily, with the S&P 500 dropping 30% in a month (24/02 – 23/03/20). Whilst they feel bad at the time, corrections and crashes have happened throughout history and have many triggers – 1987 Black Monday, Dot com crash and the global financial crisis.

What you need to know about corrections:

  • They’re a 10-20% fall in the stock market
  • They happen on average every year or two
  • The average fall is 13.7% and lasts for four months on average
  • Recoveries (back to levels before the correction) have taken four months on average

What you need to know about a crash:

  • They’re a stock market fall of more than 20%
  • They happen on average once every four years
  • The average fall is 32.5% and last for 14.5 months on average
  • Recoveries (back to levels before the crash) have taken two years on average

Source: CNBC

There have been 26 market corrections since World War 2 (as of February 27, 2020). However, the average return in the 12 months following these losses was more than 16%.

Don’t forget 80% of corrections so far have not turned into crashes. And while past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance, so far 100% of crashes have been followed by a recovery that more than recovers the fall.

What should you do about it?

While it is tempting to take action in a downturn, often the smartest decision you can make is to continue as you were.

Remember the investing principles of Warren Buffet, arguably the world’s most successful investor: it’s time in the market, not timing the market that is the key to success.

If you are tempted to move your money into cash/deposit you need to be aware of the following:

  • This is not risk free and inflation could erode the value of your money
  • It will be difficult to tell when the right time to re-invest is
  • The bottom of the market will only be known in hindsight
  • Re-invest too early and you may be exposed to a further reduction in value
  • Re-invest too late and you may have missed out on sharp recovery growth

What next?

Over the last 20 years (end 1999 – end of 2019), the FTSE All-World GDP has averaged an annual return of 7.5%, and this includes the crash of 2008. So, tune out of the short-term market fluctuations and noise of the headlines as much as you can. Know your time horizon and focus on your long-term investing goals.

Bull & Bear Markets

Below is a graphic of the Bull and Bear markets history since 1900.

Notes: Calculations are based on FTSE All Share (GBP Total Return).

A bear market is defined as a price decrease of more than 20%. A bull market is defined as a price increase of more than 20%. The plotted areas depict the losses/gains ranging from the minimum following a 20% loss to the respective maximum following a 20% appreciation in the underlying index. Time period: 31 January 1900 to 31 December 2018. Calculations based on monthly data. Logarithmic scale on y axis.

Source: Global Financial Data.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. The value of investments, and the income from them may fall or rise and investors may get back less than they invested.

Issued by Vanguard Asset Management Limited which is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority. © Vanguard Asset Management, Limited. All rights reserved.

How to avoid a Pension Scam

If you follow these five steps, you won’t be scammed:

  1. Check that the firm you are taking advice from is FCA regulated. You can easily look them up on the FCA register
  2. Check how long they have been doing this for and ask what experience they have. Again, the FCA register will tell you their Status Effective Date
  3. Make sure the advice you receive is provided in writing and you are given time to digest that information, without being rushed or pressurised into making a rash decision
  4. Make sure you understand what you are doing and have been told about the downsides as well as the benefits – don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand. Even get a trusted friend or family member to look at the advice as well
  5. And be careful, if the investment advice sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. Only invest in FCA regulated investments

Recently reports have been circulating that there are an increasing number of costly pension scams operating in the UK since Coronavirus hit. When considering your options for pension release, always ensure you conduct due diligence during your research, and only share details of your pension with companies authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and clearly displaying their reference number. For more information on how to protect yourself, please visit The Pensions Regulator’s guide to Pension Scams


Coronavirus Resources

Investment risk and volatility

Grove’s approach and beginners guide to investment risk and volatility.

Coronavirus Pension Advice

Should you cash in your pension early due to Coronavirus?

Covid-19 Coronavirus News

Latest news on how the Coronavisus is affecting your pensions.

NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal

NHS staff and volunteers are doing amazing work right now in caring for COVID-19 patients.

Let's show our respect and gratitude as they work tirelessly in the face of the virus. It's our turn to make sure we look after them, to ensure they can keep doing their vital work.

Grove Pension Solutions is raising money for the official NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.



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