Investment Week hears from our Trailblazers - the next generation of UK investment professionals making a difference to our industry - on how they are adapting to the lockdown and coping with the coronavirus crisis.
Today, we hear from Jakob Payne, head of investments at Forrester-Hyde.
What are your three key tips for working from home?
Maintain your routine: If you train before work, still do it. If you read at lunch, still do it. The structure is important to mentally prepare for the day ahead and get into the "I'm going to work" mindset.
Set up correctly: Make sure your designated space and clothes reflect that you are working (no need for a full suit!). It'll help you maintain good posture, avoid distractions, and allow you to switch off at the end of the day.
Stay connected: We work in a relationship industry and that has not changed. Speak to clients, fund managers and other key contacts. You will learn more than simply reading all day.
How are you keeping in touch with work colleagues, friends and clients?
We have been using Zoom. It is a new way of communicating and certainly still allows creativity - one colleague even dressed as Iron Man to wish me well for the Easter break!
What have you learnt already about investing in this crisis?
Process. Process. Process. We have practiced and proven investing principles that help us focus on long-term goals and prevent deviation from our strategy.
Emotions can take over during a crisis: for clients, it is often fear and for investment professionals, this can come in the form of behavioural biases, such as excitement in perceived opportunities.
Those who are focused on long-term goals, stay diversified and understand their risk tolerance will be proven correct once the crisis has passed.
What investment/fund opportunities are most interesting to you at the moment and where do the biggest risks lie?
We see opportunities in technology through active management in both the short and long term. The near-term impact on balance sheets and cash flow will be fundamental to ensure companies survive the next six months without any permanent damage to their long-term prospects.
Technology company balance sheets are favourable compared to other sectors, with the largest (mega-cap) technology stocks in particular having the biggest net cash balances.
The crisis also shows our further reliance on technology, such as remote working tools, online grocery delivery, and online communication.
This is also a long-term trend as companies assess how to mitigate future reinfection risk and streamline efficiency for increased profitability.