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And now for something completely different!

Written by Katy Caine and Darren Thomas

It has certainly been a volatile week on stock markets as we watched the FTSE 100 react badly to grim recession news and then bounce straight back to much the same levels. Shops opened and more positive medical news arose in regards to the pandemic.

The FTSE 100 is still around 1,400 points off its January peak but the overwhelming majority of our client portfolios are now breaking even – or slightly in profit – if we look at a full years’ data.

This week, I want to move away from markets, economies and governments to talk about something completely different!

I want to consider something close to my own heart and that’s litter and our own beautiful coastline.

I think it is just a matter of time before we have to wear facemasks on all public transport. Even if this isn’t a legal requirement, it is very likely that individuals may take the decision to wear facemasks regardless.

Ultimately, we all want to get back to some form of normality and wearing a face mask in certain situations – could be the temporary ticket.

Before we reach for the disposable facemasks, however, let’s take a minute to think about the social and ecological impact of this.

Conservationists have already started to raise the alarm on what has been dubbed ‘Covid Waste’. Our annual beach clean was scheduled to take place last month but for obvious reasons we had to postpone the event.

Last year we found that the majority of litter was actually fishing gear. This year we worry that we may find disposable facemasks washed up on our shores. We are already hearing friends tell us that the gutters in London are littered with this waste as people leave tubes and then discard their flimsy mask.

Most disposable facemasks contain polypropylene – the same material used in nappies (which apparently takes around 450 years to decompose!) So even when disposed of properly, they are still harmful to the environment.

Between March 1st and April 6th this year, China exported 3.86 billion masks (according to The Jakarta Post). Before the pandemic, half of the world’s masks were manufactured in China; now that figure stands at around 85% – according to the Guardian.

The reported conditions of these factories and the treatment of their workers is not something that many of us would be too comfortable with.

This is where the reusable mask comes in.

I wanted to share an amazing local story with you about a very well regarded tourism based firm in Pembrokeshire called Celtic Quest Coasteering.

This week I was introduced to Cleo who runs this well-established firm. The Pandemic ruined their entire season and left them with no ability to take bookings for the foreseeable future.

Not to be thwarted, Cleo dusted off an old sewing machine of her Mum’s and set about producing reusable face masks. With the help of scientifically approved patterns, she soon worked out how to make an extremely effective filtered mask that is triple ply, washable and can even go through a tumble dryer!

Cleo initially made some 4,000 reusable facemasks – free of charge – for the local community which was a truly heroic achievement. She then set up an online shop via – here is the link if you fancy buying some:

*please see foot of article.

Celtic Quests Phone Number if you are struggling is 01348 837337

Facemasks have become the ‘must have’ fashion accessory of 2020! (So I am informed)

Vogue magazine recently covered an article on the ‘best high fashion brand garments with matching facemasks’.

If you fancy making your own mask, this step by step guide by the BBC demonstrates that there are many resourceful ways to make a facemask:

The current World Health Organisation guidelines state that non-medical fabric facemasks should be three layers thick and washed in warm or hot soapy water once a day (if they have been used).

Of course, good hand hygiene and physical distancing are also critical.

So you read it here first!

As we now appear to be heading out of lockdown and more businesses reopen, I think I am safe to reduce my weekly bulletin to you all.

The past 12 weeks have been tough for each and every one of us. Everyone has had to endure their own unique worries and challenges but we got through it.  I hope that my updates have helped to keep you bang up to date with recent market trends and the progress of investments.

Each update takes over half a day to research, write, record and upload.

I am fiercely proud that through this time, our clients’ portfolios have always been in a far better place than the FTSE 100 benchmark.  Each and every one of our precious client’s financial plans all appear to be on track currently during their annual reviews – despite the shock of the worst market crash we have ever seen.

Not one of our clients has experienced any lessening of our service to them.  We are noticing very positive responses so far in our annual client questionnaire which closes in just over a weeks’ time. If you haven’t scored us yet, please click on the survey monkey link and let us know what you think:

I have learned that a lot of our clients really enjoy these short videos and so I plan to keep running them alongside our articles whenever I possibly can.

So until the next article, please stay safe and know that we are here for you 100% if you need absolutely anything at all.

My very best wishes


*Whilst we make every attempt to check the companies and links that we suggest. Thomas and Thomas cannot take responsibility for the safety of any links in our articles as you leave our webpage – or for the subsequent service of any firms that we mention.


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