01 Mar 2017
News that the UK's index of blue-chip shares, the FTSE 100, has hit a new record closing high will be toasted by investors this evening.
Since a year low of 5,923 last June, the index has seen a spectacular climb to today's close of 7,382.90 - up 119.46 points or 1.64% on the day.
The FTSE enjoyed an outstanding day, thanks in part to a weakening pound at the hands of a resurgent US dollar.
Many companies in the index have big American interests, so a falling pound increases the value of their earnings across the Atlantic.
US stocks have also hit record highs, with the Dow breaching 21,000, as American bank stocks surged on the possibility of an interest rate hike this month, while a more measured tone from President Donald Trump reassured investors.
But anyone who puts their hard-earned cash into the FTSE 100 and other stock markets around the world know that there is no guarantee that the good times will continue, and that markets can just as easily nose-dive as well as soar.
So how can you lock-in any recent gains in your stocks and shares?
Allan Gardner, financial services director at Aberdein Considine, said the lure of the stock market can be tempting at a time when the typical interest rate for instant access savings accounts has dropped to a new low of 0.37%.
However, he said it is important to diversify your investments to ensure your long-term financial objectives are met.
"When investing in stocks and shares, it is rarely prudent to put all your money into one company," he said.
"It is sensible to spread your money across various s of companies operating in different markets around the world.
"It's also a good idea to have cash in a variety of different asset classes - not just stocks and shares - which also include bonds, property and even Premium Bonds."
Mr Gardner said that it is important not to react out of panic when there are big movements in the stock market and to remain calm and take a long-term view.
"Taking a step back from the short-term noise, thinking why you invested in the first place and making sure those reasons haven’t changed are essential before making any changes to your strategy.
"During market falls, it can be tempting to sell some of your investments and keep the money somewhere safer.
"But if you do, it means you are likely to be selling after the markets have already fallen – and, crucially, before they rise again. That means you lock in your loss."
If you would like to speak to Allan or a member of his team at Aberdein Considine, please call 0333 00 44 333 or click here.