Covid - then and now
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After around a year of living under the cloud of Covid, here is a quick look at how this has impacted on us here within the Molyneux practice and our clients.
We all have our thoughts on what could, or should have been, done and the causes of it which may well remain a mystery.
It has affected all of us in some way, but in context just think of those who have lost family members, loved ones and work colleagues and those who have lost jobs or businesses, or had businesses severely damaged.
From my point of view, involved in the equity release, 'over 60' world, it certainly impacted with the shielding advice effectively meaning that those people were excluded from the face-to-face meetings that I believe are crucial in that market.
Listening, conversation and questions must, I feel, be an important part of that process.
Moving on, it may be that this last year might make a lot of people think why not just look at this as something that might benefit them?
The mortgage market is understandably still nervous particularly at the smaller deposit end of the market.
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It will be interesting to see if any extension to the stamp duty holiday is applied next week or whether something else is set in place to prop the market up.
On the housing market, some extracts from a conversation with Neil Bartlett from John Lakes to help those possibly buying or selling: "Digital viewings should take place before arranging a physical viewing first and agents should aid potential buyers with all due diligence... those who can evidence they are in a position to action a purchase - mortgage offer in principle, cash in bank or own property sale agreed - should be allowed to physically view."
Some guidance there, going on to the market itself... ”confidence and volume will inevitably increase once lockdown restrictions ease and the spring months draw nearer.”
Over to my colleague Martin, our Marychurch office specialist, for his words on the investment / pension 'then and now' side of things, 'between January 13, 2020, and March 16 the FTSE 100 dropped by approximately 30 per cent... so let`s put this into context.
"Most investors know that market-linked investing is a long-term concept. The less experienced investor may panic and want to cut their losses fearing some kind of financial Armageddon.
"This is the worst possible course of action in times of market turmoil. The age-old advice is to stay put and hold on - providing that you do not absolutely need your capital right now.”
Moving on to life cover, we are seeing clauses in application forms with regard to symptoms backed up with, perhaps, a three-month cover deferment before going on risk.
Going back many years to when AIDS first appeared on the scene the concerns were that this might be the end-of-life insurance as we knew it, particularly as critical illness was a relative newcomer on the scene at that time.
Knowledge and underwriting over the years have realistically helped to maintain the life cover industry, so perhaps that will be the way with Covid, especially with the development and administration of the vaccine.