Jeff Prestridge  

Talking up stock markets

Jeff Prestridge

Jeff Prestridge

But I am in the Mr Fink camp. For the past 10 years, there have been plenty of reasons put forward as to why cash, rather than equities, should hold sway.

The devastating aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the vote to leave the EU in June 2016 and more recently mounting trade wars between the formidable powers of the east and west.

Yet, markets have by and large dodged most of the obstacles thrown their way.

It has been better to be in the market rather than sitting on the side-lines in a Lloyds Easy Saver account paying the square root of nothing in interest (0.2 per cent for those who are interested).

Especially given the healthy stream of dividends paid by leading companies, listed either here in the UK or overseas.

Maybe you think I am preaching to the converted (and I apologise if you think that way).

But the benefit of investing long-term in a pension or an Isa is a message that can never be said too often.

As Tom Stevenson, stock market guru at Fidelity, recently said: “If we step back from the market today for fear of what might happen, we will not be able to wind the clock back if things turn out better than we expect.”

Although some financial advisers accuse the press (myself included) of being too quick to talk markets down (‘sensationalising’ is a word often used), I think equities are the only big long-term wealth creation story in town.

It is why I have overseen the launch of new ‘wealth’ pages in the Mail on Sunday and will continue to preach from the gospel according to equities.

Naturally, such preaching will not be conducted without an underlying note of caution. So, I will continue to implore the virtues of regular investing and to encourage investors to build portfolios that are well diversified – more investment fund and investment trust-based than share-based.

I will also suggest a focus more on funds built to last with sustained dividend growth records (take a look at the so-called ‘dividend heroes’ on the website of the Association of Investment Companies).

There will be little emphasis on the latest investment fad in town.

Keep investing on behalf of clients. Keep building long-term wealth on behalf of clients. And when you get a spare moment, book a trip to Madrid and see “Guernica” in all its glory.

Jeff Prestridge is personal finance editor of the Mail on Sunday