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The risk of negativity and diversification

By Jozef Spiteri
This article is published on: 20th May 2024

The information within this article is for information purposes and is not to be construed as investment advice or recommendation. Please consult with your investment advisor before making any type of investment.

Each year we are exposed to at least one event that can have an effect on our savings and investments. You may not be old enough to have been around in the ‘good old days’ when there were world wars, and life expectancy of 20 years less than now, but the world has never been short of diseases, viruses, strikes, politicians making crazy decisions, and conflicts, and these can influence the value of our money.

It is not really important for us all to understand the complexities of the different types of investments but it is vital to understand that no investment is immune to short term problems. It is also important to appreciate that, generally speaking, short-term problems should be treated with a long-term view. That is, they should be ignored in the most part. There have been many occasions where some financial experts have been so far off the mark with their forecasts which has created unnecessary losses for those with a tendency to panic.

Speaking of experts, we leave it to those professionals that we associate ourselves with to select the best asset types for our clients’ circumstances. The amount in each asset type can depend on general trends and, although they can buy and sell funds and shares on a daily basis, discovering a trend after one day is pretty tricky.

The risk of negativity and diversification

Of course, headlines get into our heads and we might make decisions that we later live to regret. By employing experts, who in turn will be diversifying your investment funds, you limit the downside when markets, rightly or wrongly, go down, whilst making the most of positive times. As mentioned, we have seen investors lose out because they sell up due to headlines that actually have had no effect on their money. Since the invention of the internet, and certainly since the majority of the planet has been able to use it, the pace of information supply has increased dramatically and, consequently, has affected investment markets. We no longer have to wait for Speckled Jim the carrier pigeon to arrive or sit on a beach looking for a bottle with a message in it. For some older readers from the UK, 50 years ago their knowledge of China may have extended to ordering Special Fried Rice from the local takeaway menu. Now China is one of the major players in the world economy having opened its doors to economic globalisation in the 1970s.  We know, today, about events that happened in China, today.

Reducing exposure to negative headlines will help avoid emotionally driven investment decisions that prove to be mistakes. Having an addiction to watching, listening to, or reading the news is not helpful.

Having a financial goal helps to combat the problems we all face. If we understand how much money we need or desire, and when we would like it, this will keep us on track and enable us to bat away any doom and gloom. We often meet clients who are nervous about investing for the future having had issues in the past. Our role is to provide our clients with solutions and a service that are not mind boggling and actually simplify their lives, thinking about the future as well as the present, and to be there whenever our clients need our help.

The Spectrum IFA Group Limited is licensed to provide investment services, under the Investment Services Act, by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Article by Jozef Spiteri

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