Hargreaves Lansdown ‘sell in May’ warning to people with investments | Personal Finance | Finance

Investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown has issued a warning to customers with investments in stocks and shares this May.

The firm, which is an investment platform for various managed funds as well as giving customers access to companies listed on the stock market, has addressed the ‘Sell in May’ advice it says a lot of investors swear by.

It says the saying ‘sell in May and go away and don’t come back until St Leger’s Day’ is advice still heeded by some investors to this day – but is it still true and should you sell your investments in May?

It said: “Investors were usually wealthy people who would leave London for the summer. They’d enjoy the leisure pursuits of the countryside and come back after the last major horse racing meet of the year, the St Leger’s Stakes. This was usually around the middle of September.

“This meant there wasn’t much trading activity over the summer months, and returns were lacklustre at best.

“What does ‘sell in May’ look like today?

“Let’s assume you had £1000 to invest. You put this into the market at the start of October 20 years ago and took it out at the end of April, repeating this process each year, putting in your original £1,000 plus the returns made in previous years.

“Taking the money out of the market in 2024, your £1,000 would now be worth £3,526. Not bad.

“But now let’s assume that you had just left this money invested during the entire 20 years. Your £1,000 would now be worth £4,024.”

So the age old adage still applies – time in the market is better than timing the market. If you don’t plan to spend the money any time soon, leaving your investments where they are is still your best bet for May, according to historic data.

Of course, investments can always go down as well as up so there are definitely no guarantees.

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