2019 was dominated by political squabbling about BREXIT culminating in a general election allowing Boris to move into number 10. Most of us hadn’t heard of Wuhan.
Early 2020 gave us a taste of the rollercoaster that was to come with a war of words between the Saudis and Russians over oil, the fallout being global equity markets taking a significant hit. It wasn’t long before we learned about what was happening in Wuhan and then we watched as our European neighbours experienced their first COVID wave whilst our thoughts of “if” turned to thoughts of “when”.
During 2020 we’ve shared some of our clients’ grief and trauma, many (including members of our team) have suffered from, and/or lost loved ones from COVID.
Many of those who have avoided the disease have suffered from mental health issues as a consequence of fear, isolation and increased financial insecurity.
As 2020 ends, despite some tears over tiers and a lockdown in all but name, it seems the light at the end of tunnel is on. The scientists told us in the spring that winter would be horrible, it looks like they were correct, but with a large scale vaccine roll-out starting there is reason to be positive.
The financial markets start 2021 much happier than they’ve been through most of 2020:
- A BREXIT outcome (it didn’t really matter to the markets what the outcome would be – they just want certainty) has helped.
- If Mr Trump moves out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in a few weeks without anything more disruptive than some angry conspiracy tweets then markets will be happy.
- And of course, domestically, the vaccine rollout has delighted the markets as they can start to imagine the opportunities which will arise as something much closer to what we remember as normal emerges during 2021.
Through 2020 we’ve learnt a lot about ourselves and our systems, much of it was good, but in some areas we can and will do better. The Directors are tremendously proud of and grateful to our team. We continue to face significant challenges getting timely information from financial providers, but despite this, members of our team have given 7 days a week at all hours of the day and night to ensure we do our absolute utmost for our clients.
We also salute our clients, who through necessity, have coped with frozen computer screens, audio delays, connection problems, fangled digital signature etc, etc; things which 12 months earlier wouldn’t even have been attempted.
We are particularly mindful of our ‘healthcare professional’ clients, including those who seem to have forgotten that they retired a number of years ago. Their shared stories have been exceptionally grim at times, but their dedication continues to inspire.
2020 was a year we’ll all remember for all the wrong reasons.
2021 is likely to have a bumpy start as society continues to manage with COVID and as businesses learn how to manage with our new relationship with the European Union, but as these two challenges are dealt with there are reasons for optimism as many sectors will face over a whole years’ worth of pent-up demand.
With positive thoughts in mind, we’d like to wish all of our clients and professional partners our most sincere best wishes for a: