An important update from Blue Ocean

| Category: News

In recent weeks, the coronavirus has never been far from the headlines. By the end of last week, there had been more than 165,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with more than 6,600 deaths.

While governments around the world take draconian steps to stem the spread of the virus, one of the most immediate consequences of the coronavirus outbreak has been the impact on global stock markets.

The month to 16th March 2020 saw the value of the FTSE 100 fall by around 30%.

Other markets around the world have also seen falls. While you may be concerned about the short-term volatility of the markets, it’s important to remain calm and focused on your goals.

Market falls tend to be short, sharp shocks

Whenever you invest in equities, short-term volatility is something that you should expect and accept. Everything from the Budget to Donald Trump’s social media updates can affect what happens to markets around the world, and so on any given day or week prices will fluctuate in the short term.

However, in the long-term – and that’s what the vast majority of us are investing for – markets tend to offer positive returns.

Here’s the year-on-year FTSE 100 performance between 2009 and 2018:

Source: IG

During this period, the compound return was 8.8% per annum. As a total return that was 121%.

In the longer term, IG report that the compound annual return of the FTSE 100 over the last 25 years was 6.4% with dividends reinvested. This would be a total return of 375%.

If your long-term goals haven’t changed, it’s unlikely that your plans should. Your goals are likely to be the same as they were a week or a month ago. Our investment strategies are designed with the long term in mind, and this naturally considers periods of both positive and negative returns.

Earlier this year, Charles Schwab published research into the reaction of global stock markets to other pandemics.

The conclusions were clear:

“While there is always the chance that the next outbreak could have greater consequences, the global economy and markets have been relatively immune to the effects of past viral epidemics – even when the global economy was especially vulnerable to a shock. A short-term dip in stocks tended to be followed by the continuation of the upward trend.”

Two other things to bear in mind

  1. You have a diversified portfolio. The fall in the value of the FTSE 100 is typically not the same as the fall in the value of your portfolio. Our clients have diverse portfolios that include exposure to other asset classes, for precisely this type of situation. Once the initial shock to markets has settled in the coming days/weeks, we will be reviewing all client portfolios to assess what changes are needed in order to best position our clients for the months ahead.
  2. Now is a bad time to panic. If your house had fallen in value in the short-term, it is unlikely that you would immediately put it up for sale and realise a loss. While our emotions might take over at this time, reacting to a fall in the markets can be a mistake, and many studies have found that this is one of the main reasons why investors lose money.

Continuing to serve you during this difficult time

In coming weeks there is a possibility that many of us will be asked to work from home, or to avoid office environments in a policy of ‘social distancing’.

It’s important to underline that we have contingency plans in place should government advice change in this regard. We are well prepared for a situation where our staff have to work remotely, and normal service will continue in this scenario.

We are closely monitoring the current situation and will update you with any significant changes. If you do have any concerns, then please get in touch with us.


Working with Blue Ocean has enabled myself and my wife to invest our pension savings with the confidence that they are being managed by a professional team of qualified financial advisers. They have been very supportive and responsive when we've requested a detailed analysis of our investment performance and the outcome has been positive in terms of the expected returns. I have recommended family and friends to Blue Ocean and they have been equally very satisfied with the service.

Glen Ridout


A client since 2011

We would have no problem whatsoever in recommending the services of Blue Ocean for sound financial appreciation and advice, all handled in a friendly, convivial and concerned manner. Blue Ocean are always looking at how they can go that extra mile for their clients. This is a rare positive commodity in any business environment in today's world. The financial advice is always considered and simply explained in terms of what if and if you invested here etc. There is no pressure put on me to invest in high-risk return possibilities and at all stages the advice given is tailored to the perceived situation of their clients.

Barry William Ednie

Tonbridge, Kent

A client since 2013

Over the past 18 years, I have received very reassuring advice on my investments and always been treated in a friendly but professional manner.

Jacqueline Prosser


A client since 2001

I have known John for over 20 years and have always been satisfied with his integrity, knowledge and reliability. I recommend him to business and family contacts without reserve.

Paul Richardson


A client since 2002

Bespoke service... friendly, helpful staff.

Jane Stevens

Dartford, Kent

A client since 2017

Blue Ocean resolved a difficult situation in a very satisfactory way. The whole staff are extremely friendly and helpful and it was very cost-effective.

Richard Mersh


A client since 2017

Since we have used John and the team over the years our investments have gone from strength to strength. We’re very happy with the work they have done for us. I am now in a position to retire with no money worries.

Keith Yeates


A client since 2008

Honest, well versed, ‘personal touch’ business out to make sure everyone has satisfaction.

John Townsend

Hearn Bay, Kent

A client since 2017

I have received honest advice in a relaxed, friendly environment with my personal circumstances paramount.

Janice Hill


A client since 2009

I love Blue Ocean Hartley! So very helpful and fantastic staff.

Christine Bryant

Dartford, Kent

A client since 2009

Blue Ocean has always given me the help and advice that I feel protects my family’s investments. Not only have we used Blue Ocean for more than 20 years, but the team have always made us feel welcome. Always at the end of the phone for any advice we may need. Many thanks!

Russell Paul David

Rochester, Kent

A client since 2001

I have been advised by Blue Ocean for the past 21 years, and have always found their service sound, helpful and supportive.

Louise Bober


A client since 1999

Having the benefits of sound financial advice from Blue Ocean for over 20 years, I would recommend them without hesitation.

Andrew Martin

Medway, Kent

A client since 1999

We have used John Doyle and Blue Ocean for over 20 years as our financial adviser for everything from mortgages, pensions, income protection, trusts and investments. His advice has always been realistic, reliable and no-nonsense. He has always understood our requirements and has advised accordingly.

Michaela Franklin


A client since 1999

I find them very easy to deal with. Extremely knowledgeable and with no pressure.

George Howell


A client since 2016

I moved my investments to Blue Ocean in 2014. The advice I have received has been more professional and my investments have performed better. The staff are polite and always quick to respond to queries.

Lee Menzies

East Sussex

A client since 2014

Having been a client of Blue Ocean for the past 3-4 years, I can honestly say there is nobody I trust more with regards to my financial future than John and the team. Too good to be true? Not with Blue Ocean!

Liam Ryan


A client since 2016

Very good, friendly advice from a good team.

Stephen Williams


A client since 2010

Knowledgeable, approachable and always happy to discuss my issues.

Michael Southall


A client since 2018

Professional and reactive to any questions regarding your investment.

Michael Gould


A client since 2011