As I sat down to my Christmas Dinner this year, I recall being quite surprised at how settled things seemed to be. Not just in my own little home on Christmas day, but across the country.
The decisive Conservative victory in the election gives us a more certain path for the future and regardless of your views on Brexit or politics in general, I have always argued that uncertainty is almost always worse than the outcome, even if you disagree with the outcome.
As we went into the Christmas holidays, it seemed nearly certain that we would officially leave the EU on 31st January 2020. Of course, this is merely the beginning, and the end of January will signal the beginning of (supposedly) 11 months of trade talks which are designed to culminate in a trade deal by the end of the year.
So, despite the slight uncertainty hanging over the future trade relationship between the UK and the EU, all seemed to be sorted. We had a stable government, Brexit was going to happen and even the US and China seemed to be getting to the bottom of their trade dispute.
It was as if the world knew we didn’t have anything to worry about…
Of course, what followed is the US strike on Iran and the subsequent retaliation, giving us a whole new geo-political issue to ponder over.
Now, my feelings about this issue are just the same as with any issue (from an investment standpoint anyway) – keep calm and carry on will always be the motto.
What this just goes to show though is that there will never, ever be a ‘good time’ to invest. All those people who were waiting until Brexit and the election sorted themselves out will still be waiting to see how the US / Iran situation pans out, all the while missing out on what has been one of the best periods in market history.
The old adage that time in the market is more important than timing the market could not be more important, especially given that this uncertain world seems to be the ‘new normal’ as I wrote about a few weeks ago.