Firstly, I hope that this update finds you keeping safe and well with us approaching the 22nd February deadline of a roadmap out of lockdown.

It’s been really wonderful the last few weeks or so now hearing stories from our clients that they have received their first vaccination, with a few now getting their second.

In speaking with some of you personally, I can certainly feel the glimmer of hope and happiness returning.

The milestone of 15 million jabs was met with real optimism in the markets and on Monday the main FTSE100 ended around 2.5% up for the day. The basis of this is purely around the possibility that lockdowns will end sooner than later.

This goes to show how sensitive the markets are still to all “covid” news and this will lift those cyclical stocks by some way very quickly, i.e., leisure, tourism, hospitality and oil to name a few.

Two main news stories of late which I wanted to point out and I will cover these really quickly.

You may have seen in the press the shares of GameStop in the US exploding in value given a social media campaign by small investors to drive up the price to hurt short sellers and hedge funds. Since then, the value has collapsed, and the small investor now could be sat on horrific losses.

Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla) recently mentioned a crypto currency in his Twitter and the value shot up instantly. He does have 47 million followers who hang on his every word.

You may wonder why I am highlighting these in relation to investment markets. The main reason for this is that these events were started and maintained on social media. This means no advice, no protection and no regulation. They can say whatever they want and there is no repercussion for these actions.

Tesla are trying to limit what Elon is now saying given his comments can and have moved markets.

The power of social media to move financial markets is a little worrying and this is being monitored by the regulators who will step in if markets are being manipulated.

If you believe the spam emails and social media posts then you can become a millionaire in a matter of weeks, crypto currency, missing accounts, locked up funds etc.

Cybercrime or financial scams are now imbedded to all online life, so as always please ensure you are taking sensible precautions to protect yourself.

The bad news we have been expecting in corporate profits is now being announced and many of the sectors we did know had been affected are showing big losses. This goes hand in hand with us hitting 5% unemployed.

I don’t hold much hope for the budget on the 3rd March as this will then start to lay out the plan of recovering all the money which has been spent.

I think we all know taxation of some form will have to be altered to recoup the money spent.

We will provide a simple summary of the budget as soon as we can after the 3rd, and I will look to pick out any major areas which could affect financial planning.

Finally, in conducting a client Zoom meeting review, I was met with an opening screen of Mr in a shirt, tie, jacket and Mrs in a dress and a hat.

I asked, “why are you dressed like this”.

The answer “we had a wedding to go which has been cancelled so today’s meeting was the only thing we have planned, so we decided to get dressed up. We are also going dressed up to get our vaccines”.

Thank you both for letting me share this, I did ask if it was ok and it really did make my day. It just goes to show just how resilient us Brits can be in times of real adversity.

Please stay safe and I hope the vaccine call comes for us all sooner than later along with some better weather.