Important information: The value of investments and the income from them, can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest.

THE world’s financial markets have been quick to reflect the consequences of Russia’s now full-scale invasion of its neighbour Ukraine.

Share prices have taken a sharp fall while oil - the supply of which may be disrupted by the fighting and consequent sanctions on Russia - has leapt through $100 a barrel. Russia’s domestic stock market has crashed, losing around 45% on Thursday morning, and safe haven assets like gold and government bonds have been boosted.

On days like today, even seasoned investors can be forgiven for looking for the exit door. There are good reasons to think, however, that calmness and staying the course are likely to be better investment strategies in the days and weeks ahead.

Here’s three reasons I won’t be changing course.

Firstly, those selling out now are likely to be already sitting on losses in the year so far, so selling now means locking in those losses. The situation in Russia has been building for some time but, in reality, markets have been worrying about other things until this week. Rapidly rising prices have forced central banks, notably the Bank of England and US Federal Reserve, to tighten monetary policy via higher interest rates and scaling back asset purchases. That was already hurting the fortunes of some of the global stock market’s biggest and, up to now, best performing companies.

There are reasons to think that those companies will continue to trade well, and that some of the steam will come out of inflation this year, which could lead share prices to recover from their current levels. But investors need to still be invested to take advantage of that, if and when it arrives.

Secondly, the falls we have seen in response to Russia’s action have been broad-based, with few sectors escaping as investors flee from all assets they see as risky. That means there will be many companies that suffer short-term losses despite not particularly being impacted by the trouble. We saw a similar pattern in the early days after the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic when all companies fell dramatically, only for a great many to recover in short order.

Today feels like panic has taken hold, but cooler heads will recover and look for opportunities among those companies that have been sold off unfairly. Don’t be surprised to see some snap back in prices when that happens.

Thirdly, anyone contributing regularly to investments need to continue to make those investments if they want their long-term investing plans to pay off.  Investing regular amounts at regular intervals means that, when prices do fall, your money buys more assets. You are buying when prices are low - a fundamental building block of successful investing. If, on the other hand, you buy only when prices are on the rise, but then panic when they fall and stop buying, you are simply buying high and selling low - the opposite of successful investing.

As uncomfortable as weeks like this one can feel as an investor it’s worth remembering that these are as much part of the journey as the weeks when the going is good.

More on investing in uncertain times

Important information: Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. Overseas investments will be affected by movements in currency exchange rates. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice.

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