Managing your investments in uncertain times

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has had a major impact on the global economy and led to volatility in stock markets across the world.

It can be unnerving to see the impact that volatility can have on the value of your investments and you may be wondering what to do next. Find guidance on things to keep in mind when markets fall.

A lesson from history?

There have been a number of market shocks over the years. The graph shows some of the more memorable events since ‘Black Monday’ in 1987, the impact each had on the UK stock market and the length of time it took markets to recover.

With this crisis we are mainly seeing increased volatility in the markets rather than a major market crash. The below though shows the importance of looking through short term impacts and focussing on the longer term.


FTSE All Share TR in GB 01/01/87 to 28/02/22 – Pricing spread Bid to Bid Source: FE Fundinfo 2022

  28/2/2021 to 28/2/2022 29/02/2020 to 28/2/2021

to 29/2/2020

28/2/2018 to 28/2/2019 28/2/2017 to 28/2/2018
FTSE All share Index 16.0% 3.5% -1.4% 1.7% 4.4%

Discrete annualised performance. Bid to bid, income reinvested. Source: FE Analytics 

It can sometimes feel that we are going from one crisis to the next, just as we were coming out of the latest in the Coronavirus pandemic another one comes to the fore in the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This can lead to uncertainty in our own lives, which whilst not on the same level as the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine, can add to our own worries. It is important to remember that over the years there have been many wide ranging crisis which have unsettled the economy and markets. Some of these are noted below.

Black Monday 1987: Black Monday in October 1987 led to a 20% fall in the UK stock market over a short period.

Global financial crisis 2008: Concerns over the global banking system required financial interventions from Governments leading to significant market falls.

Brexit: The vote to leave the European Union and specific updates on negotiations caused dramatic reaction from UK markets. 

Coronavirus pandemic: The severity of the public health emergency led to global lockdowns which had a massive impact on the economies of most countries. In the UK this led to a fall of 33%* over a short period.

Market shocks are often triggered by specific events and the uncertainty they create.  Once the situation becomes more certain, confidence often returns and markets may recover.

It’s important to remember, the value of investments can fall and you may get back less than invested.

*Data from FE fundinfo 2022 21/02/2020 - 23/03/2020

Frequently asked questions

One of the benefits of investing monthly is that when markets fall, your monthly investment buys more units or shares in your plan and when markets rise you buy less. This averages out over time and can help reduce risk. The investments you make when the market is at its lowest will be the most valuable in the event of a market recovery.

Identifying the top and bottom of the market is notoriously difficult. If you’re investing for a period of five to ten years or more, holding a diversified portfolio that gives you exposure to shares, bonds, property and cash can help reduce the impact of market volatility as falls in one part of your portfolio may be offset by positive performance in another. 

It’s simple, you complete a form on our website and we will send you links and user details so you can log on to NFU Mutual My Investments, It’s a great way to see your correspondence and valuations online, visit to see how it works.

Yes, our customer services teams are on hand over the phone and via email to ensure that your requests will be dealt with. You can email us.

If you know your Financial Adviser, please do contact them to discuss your concerns. Alternatively if you are unable to reach them, please complete the form or email us and one of our customer service teams will be in touch shortly.