Corona virus

12 Mar 2020

Covid-19: Call for calm amid the storm

In the midst of plummeting markets and public hysteria, it’s important to remember that investing is a long-term game and panic selling can do more harm than good to your portfolio.

In this podcast, a panel of experts from Investec Wealth & Investment in the UK and South Africa give their views on the Covid-19 pandemic and what investors need to keep in mind.


Our panel:


John Wyn-Evans (Head of Investment Strategy, Investec Wealth & Investment UK)
Chris Holdsworth (Chief Investment Strategist, Investec Wealth & Investment SA)
Alexandra Nortier (Joint Head: Wealth Management, Investec Wealth & Investment SA)

Christian Fraser, BBC correspondent and journalist (interviewer)

LISTEN: Markets & investing in the time of COVID-19
Key takeouts:
  • COVID-19 is not as deadly as Ebola and SARS, however it is highly infectious.
  •  Investors expected a supply shock from China in the markets, but we got a demand shock with consumers putting a halt on buying.
  • Central Banks can mitigate the effects of Covid-19 by cutting interest rates, but this won't help if no one is spending.
  • Highly likely that Germany, Italy and the UK are going to go into recession in the summer.
  • Infections in China and South Korea are slowing down, so it is possible to contain the virus, but at what economic cost? China shut down their whole economy.
  • South African exports like coal and iron ore to China will be affected. Tourism is also likely to be hard hit. 
  • If government responds with another interest rate cut, it will be good for South African consumers, but not for economic growth.
  •  A Moody's downgrade has already been priced in by the markets.
  •  When it comes to investing, now is not the time to panic. The old adage of time in the market being better than timing the market still holds.
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