To mark the fourth anniversary of pension freedoms on April 6th, we consider how investing at income drawdown is evolving today given Brexit and other growing uncertainties affecting the markets. Over the years we have discussed the following: move from growth to income funds since the latter offers higher yields that can be taken as income and with potential growth on top; invest in low risk in the beginning since it offers a potentially smoother ride with a lower chance of having the pot hit at an early stage; and last but not least consider allocating to some higher risk assets to help add potential for better returns.
Geopolitics and sentiment shifts in 2018 whiplashed investors and the fourth quarter of the year especially gave new meaning to ‘risk-on’ and ‘risk-off’ trades within the global equities market. To put this into context, when investor sentiment is optimistic about the economy, geopolitics and industry, riskier assets tend to get pricier – ‘risk-on’. Conversely, when uncertainty and negativity hits the market, investors tend to sell riskier assets and buy ‘safer’ ones that are typically less vulnerable to weakening investor confidence – ‘risk-off’.
Although volatility has settled down from the violent end of 2018, global growth has moved into the slow lane and geopolitical uncertainties continue to drive the markets at higher-speeds. In the UK, assets remain unloved and, as the Brexit clock ticks, recent rallies in sterling suggest the market would welcome any sort of agreement that helps pave the way for leaving the European Union.