Market & Portfolio Update - March 2021

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Market & Portfolio Update - March 2021

For The Financial Year Ended 31 March 2021

The March market update reflects a theme of ongoing strength in global sharemarkets, but weakness in assets whose value is mainly driven by changes in long-term interest rates. Overall returns for the year ended March have been very strong, despite some recent drag on portfolios with high allocations to fixed interest securities (bonds). These have seen some weakness as long-term interest rates have risen, and a little softness in NZ shares lately.

The first quarter also saw the anniversary of the fastest market correction ever seen - during February and March 2020. The subsequent 12-month returns for many asset classes reflect the sharp recovery from those lows, providing a vivid reminder of the merits for a disciplined long-term investment approach.

Central banks and governments are committed to continuing their support for the global economic recovery for some time, thereby keeping short-term interest rates very low and fiscal policies expansionary. This provides investors with both unprecedented challenges and opportunities, “the risk is to search for yield in all the wrong places”. Financial research company DALBAR, has attempted to quantify the effects of poor behavior on investors’ long-term returns. According to their 2016 study, the average individual investor underperformed the broad share market by 2.89% over the past 20 years. The lesson of course is to work with an Adviser who understands your goals and can keep you on track.

News alert March the 5th 2021: Three large earthquakes occurred off the coast of NZ. Civil Defence alerts buzzed cellphones around New Zealand warning of a possible tsunami on the East Coast. Updates in media and Civil Defence website were made known and Kiwis around the land in at risk areas responded to the threat.

This week the Government announced a suite of new policy with the intent to assist first home buyers into the market. This included tax changes for investors, bright-line extensions and increases to the cap on First Home Loans and First Home Grants.