Wealth Management: Quarterly Letter – Why the long term?: Foreword
Helen Watson, CEO, UK Wealth Management
“If one is mentally out of breath all the time from dealing with the present, there is no energy left for imagining the future.”
- Elise M. Boulding, sociologist, 1978.
More than 40 years have passed, but I think the above words are just as relevant now as they were then. We're often too tired from putting out fires today to plan effectively for tomorrow. It's a problem Boulding called 'temporal exhaustion'.
We believe shifting the focus away from the here and now is crucial for investing successfully, but it's easier said than done. A 24-hour news cycle and our 'always-on' culture means people are fed a steady diet of data to guide their decisions. With limited time to digest the latest information before the next course arrives, it's hardly surprising investors feel under pressure to make hasty decisions when market winds change.
We prefer to take a more patient, long-term view. Our investment approach helps us distinguish between headline-grabbing risks with limited permanent impact and serious developments that erode a company's sustainable competitive advantage for the foreseeable future.
The new year is a time when people often revisit their long-term goals. A decisive UK election result before Christmas means there is now more assurance as we head deeper into 2020. Many investors may feel they have avoided a winter of discontent.
Our globally invested portfolios already performed well last year, despite ongoing uncertainties in the UK, so we're focusing on 2020 through a positive lens. But in this Quarterly Letter, we explain why prioritising the long term isn't just a seasonal perspective, it's a perennial pursuit.
In this Quarterly Letter:
Download the full Quarterly Letter in PDF format (354 KB)