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The past few years have been challenging for investors with a series of unforeseen events and rising geopolitical tensions weighing heavily on global markets and, as a new year dawns, many issues remain unresolved. However, while such times are disconcerting for investors, historically the best way to achieve financial empowerment is by sticking to a sound strategic plan that optimises investment decisions and thereby tackles any potential issues head on.

Geopolitical risk

Although it may sometimes feel we are living through unprecedented times, geopolitical risk is not a new phenomenon – it has always been a feature of the investment landscape. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and, more recently, the Middle East conflict, however, are both clearly major events most people did not foresee. And, when such events do occur, even the most well-informed investors find it difficult to accurately predict their impact on markets and investment portfolios.

Economic prospects

The global economy is currently in a relatively precarious position with the long-term consequences of the pandemic, war in Ukraine and the Middle East, and increasing geoeconomic fragmentation hindering prospects. The International Monetary Fund’s assessment, for example, produced just before October’s Middle East conflict erupted, points to an easing of growth across advanced economies this year, while China looks set to experience its slowest growth rate for years.

Investment pragmatism

While geopolitical events need to be closely monitored, investors must also be disciplined with any changes to investment strategy based on hard facts rather than knee-jerk reactions to the latest news headlines. The key to successful investing is undoubtedly to focus on long-term objectives and mitigate any potential risks by maintaining a well-diversified portfolio spread across different asset classes, industries and geographical regions.

New year, new opportunities

While geopolitical tensions are expected to present ongoing challenges, as 2024 unfolds new investment opportunities will inevitably become available. We’ll be on hand throughout the year to help you make the most of any opportunities, by carefully repositioning your portfolio and ensuring it remains firmly aligned with your financial objectives.

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.