How Quickly Things Blow Over

I was reminded this week of how quickly time (and news) passes while reading through a data pack that we received from a provider on behalf of a client.

In the data pack, the provider included their most recent ‘investment commentary’ letter, which was dated December 2017.

A significant portion of this letter was dedicated to looking at the potential impact of the vote by Catalonia to become independent from Spain (yes – I just about remember that news story as well).

This was headline news for a good few weeks at the back of 2017 and everyone was considering how it would impact on the markets with some fairly disastrous predictions being made about ‘crashes’ and ‘turmoil’.

Now I can’t recall when, but obviously this story has dropped out of the news cycle now. I think it probably did so after a few weeks in fact.

What’s more, I also can’t recall any noticeable impact on the stock market or anything else for that matter. Perhaps there was, but it was so insignificant in the grander context of things that I have simply forgotten.

Either way, when we look back in retrospect at these events, they really do seem rather insignificant.

This is yet another reminder (as if we needed any more) that when thinking about our long term investments, looking at the daily news cycle does not serve us awfully well.

In fact, I would argue it does quite the opposite. These panic inducing headlines do nothing but increase our blood pressure, reduce our rational decision making ability and lead us to make worse (or even downright stupid) investment decisions.

So when we are thinking about Brexit, US trade wars or whatever tomorrows big news story is, just remember this – in 6 months time, it could well have all been forgotten.

"The value of investments and the income from them may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you originally invested"