*First seen in The Times on the 18 November 2017

It was fantastic to see Nancy Curtin, chief investment officer at Close Brothers Asset Management, and Andy Cumming head of advice at Close Brothers Asset Management share their thoughts on importance of saving and investing for the long-term in The Times this weekend.

Why you should not let current global uncertainties affect your financial planning for the years ahead.

Half of all adults in the UK show signs of financial vulnerability, according to research just published by the Financial Conduct   Authority.   But   with   so   much uncertainty in the world – from political upheaval to economic and financial crises – how can savers and investors take control?

The answer, says Nancy Curtin, chief investment officer at Close Brothers Asset Management, is to see the big picture. “Our job is to look at everything, because financial markets are interconnected and global. The challenge is to understand what matters - and what doesn’t,” she says.

Savers and investors need help to make sense of these turbulent times, adds Andy Cumming, head of advice at Close Brothers Asset Management. “A good financial adviser will act as your coach,” he says. “They’ll work with you to identify your financial goals, set a path for achieving them, and review the progress you’re making to ensure you stay on track.”

In practice, everyone’s goals are different. But by deciding on your long-term financial priorities – whether it’s funding your children’s education or saving enough to be able to retire early – you can avoid being blown off course by short-term events.

This is important. In the short term, events such as Brexit or the US election result will have an impact on the value of your savings and investments. But trying to second-guess that impact – or even attempting to make a bet on it – rarely pays off. Instead, savers and investors who focus on long-term horizons – at least five to 10 years – fare much better.

Sensible diversification – owning a mix of assets, including shares, bonds and alternative investment such as property – will help protect you over the long- term. When one area of your portfolio is struggling, another part may provide important protection.

It’s never too early or too late to start  taking this  considered  and  strategic  approach. In  fact, the FCA’s research shows two groups  are particularly likely to be financially vulnerable: millennials just entering the workforce and older adults coming up to retirement. The imperative for both groups – and everyone else – is to confront these challenges now. By working with a trusted adviser and investing sensibly for the long-term, it’s possible to help overcome the uncertainty and build a portfolio that will aim to fulfil your ambitions.

Please be aware that the value of investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than originally invested.