Global stock markets were hitting new all-time highs repeatedly in 2017 before encountering some turbulence in 2018.

If you were invested in world stock markets last year, you should have enjoyed some healthy returns, although markets have experienced a much bumpier ride of late.

In 2017, the benchmark for developed markets, the MSCI World Index, was up nearly 10% in sterling terms, while the corresponding emerging markets index rose by over 20%. The US epitomised the strength of global share markets, with the Dow Jones Index closing at a new high 70 times in the year, itself a record.

Unpredictable futures

Despite this performance, stock markets have proven their unpredictability at the start of 2018.

If you are a long-term investor, it’s generally unwise to suddenly turn into a short-term trader because of market volatility. In any case, holding cash is an unattractive option when base rate is 0.5% and inflation is running at around 3%, guaranteeing a post-inflation loss. A compromise for fresh investment could be to drip feed sums into funds regularly, rather than make a single purchase.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your investment options.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Investing in shares should be regarded as a long-term investment and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.