Investing|Money management

Navigating a permacrisis: Finding financial and emotional stability in a world of uncertainty

October 27th, 2023.

The world has faced many crises lately, from Brexit and the pandemic to Ukraine and the Middle East. These events have created a sense of ‘Permacrisis’, a word that means a long-lasting state of instability and insecurity. It was even dedicated as the dictionary’s word of the year in 2022.

In the current digital age, it is often hard to go even a matter of hours without checking the news for the latest developments around the world. With so much being reported, we may often find ourselves asking whether more is happening or if we are just so interconnected with media and big headlines that it just feels that way. As humans we are by nature commonly risk-averse , and with so much time dedicated to reading the news, it’s valuable to recognise the power the media has on our emotions and decision making.

Our risk aversion impacts the way we handle our finances, and the more negative news we read, the more cautious we are likely to be with our personal finances. An impulsive, bad financial decision affects you more than just financially. The Loss Aversion theory perfectly explains how we are more affected by our potential financial losses than our potential gains – those are the ones we remember, and which can affect us emotionally. The overwhelming fear of loss or losing out can cause an individual to make bad, or sometimes impulsive decisions.

During a permacrisis, reminding ourselves that crises are not a new occurrence and have been happening for as long as time (and well before we had such easy access to live news updates) is important for both our financial decisions and emotional welfare. Markets adapt, and there will always be swings in volatility. There’s little we can do to individually manage or influence the macro environment; however, we can all put steps in place to manage our own financial situations and plan for our futures.

Three steps to finding comfort in a permacrisis:

  1. Create and stick to your wealth plan
    Working with a wealth planner to create a bespoke wealth plan over the medium to long term will help bring clarity to your financial future, help you achieve your goals and objectives and provide a sense of purpose.It may sound obvious, but being influenced by the macro environment in the short term can have a significant sway on whether you meet your longer-term goals. Having a plan in place and sticking to it offers psychological comfort and helps you feel better prepared to face financial challenges. It can help to manage emotions by providing a structured and rational approach to your financial goals and wellbeing, often helping reduce anxiety and worry of the unknown.
  2. Work with a specialist team of financial experts
    Having a specialist team working with you (a private banker, wealth planner, investment specialist) can provide emotional support and technical expertise during turbulent times, helping you make informed decisions, and avoiding costly mistakes driven by impulsive actions created through fear, worry, and anxiety.
  3. Relax knowing your finances are being looked after
    A wealth plan can act as a psychological anchor in turbulent times, providing you with a roadmap for navigating what can feel like a permacrisis, to give you a sense of control over your financial future.Work with financial experts who make you feel supported. A permacrisis can feel like a never-ending period of uncertainty, so working with an experienced team who make you feel supported will leave you feeling at ease to go on holiday, relax, and enjoy time with family and friends.

While this permacrisis can start to feel like the new norm, we can’t predict the future. We can, however, prepare ourselves to expect the unexpected and plan for this. Don’t let the noise or external pressures influence your decision-making, or you may be left acting reactively and impulsively. Having a bespoke wealth plan that best suits your needs and working with experts you trust will help you achieve your financial goals. By doing so, you will feel more in control throughout periods of uncertainty.

How Nedbank Private Wealth can support you through a permacrisis:

Our dedicated team offers an award-winning end-to-end service, whatever your financial needs to leave you feeling ready for whatever the future holds.

Nedbank Private Wealth can provide education and awareness about your finances and investments. The more informed you are, the more confident you become, reducing emotional reactions.

Nedbank Private Wealth provides ongoing reviews to our clients. Our experienced private bankers, with the support of specialist teams, can help you adapt to changing circumstances, providing a sense of control and reducing fear of the unknown.


Clients of Nedbank Private Wealth can get in touch with their private banker directly to understand how wealth planning can help them achieve their financial goals and objectives, or call +44 (0)1624 645000 to speak to our Client Services team.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you with wealth planning support, please contact us on the number above or via our Contact us page.