The scandals seem to keep coming for Boris Johnson, with several Tory MPs openly calling for his resignation. Betting markets now have the Prime Minister odds-on to resign this year, and discussion is rife about the government’s future. But capital markets took no notice. Indeed, UK assets outperformed on the week, with both the FTSE 100 and the value of sterling finishing higher.
Although 2021 did not close with another ‘Santa rally’, December – and the year as a whole – generated some pleasing returns for diversified investment portfolios. Compared to 2020 (another strong year in performance terms), equity investors fared considerably better than bond investors. Overall, and across asset classes, investors have experienced a notably better pandemic than so many other aspects of society.
Many of those who seek to change their lives and move forward find they encounter roadblocks. These roadblocks, which come in the form of unnecessary fears and worries about what might happen next, can stop us from reaching our potential and achieving happiness.
Looking back, the year has exceeded some expectations and underdelivered on others. In terms of our expectations for the economic recovery and capital market performance, 2021 has been better for investors than we dared to hope and forecast at this time last year. On the other hand, I am surely not alone in having hoped the vaccination drives that began one year ago would have ensured further progress in putting the pandemic behind us than where we are now.
Equity markets bounced strongly on Tuesday. The catalyst was a flip in the coronavirus narrative that went: “the new variant is as contagious as the very first, but much less damaging. It confers some immunity. Triple-boosted vaccines work well on it, at the same efficacy as on the other variants. Greater contagion will not overwhelm systems, but will help the world live with the disease.”
As we reach the final month of 2021, we are all very grateful to have kept safe and well during this turbulent year and hope that all of our clients are able to relax and enjoy these next few weeks leading up to Christmas. We also have some exciting and bittersweet news to share with you all.
A comprehensive financial plan helps you achieve your goals by analysing your current situation, planning for the future and providing continuous monitoring of progress towards those goals. A well-thought- out plan can help you protect yourself from unexpected events that could affect your ability to meet long-term financial commitments.
As the end of the investing year draws nearer, markets remain on edge, questioning everything that it thought it knew the answers to only very recently. But this week, central bank and government policy, inflation pressures from supply chain issues, and the latest developments from the virus that refuses to be defeated, threatened to leave investors in a state of puzzlement.
It’s been a Thanksgiving week of mixed news. The European COVID case surge was surpassed in negative impact by the fears of a new variant emanating from South Africa. US markets hit new highs just before the holiday, but Black Friday has felt a bit dark. In itself, a new variant is not surprising. New variants are always a risk, but each of the past ones has been dealt with by the vaccines.
The earnings benchmark of the State Pension triple lock will be temporarily set aside for next year. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed on 7 September that the State Pension triple lock rule will not be applied for the 2022/23 financial year over concerns of the potential costs involved.
Despite the negative news flow, be it COVID or politics, UK consumers are proving their resilience once again with both October retail demand and domestic consumer sentiment pointing up. Perhaps the buoyant jobs market is encouraging the UK public to be less concerned about inflationary pressures eating into their disposable incomes than some economists would expect, or it is equally possible that higher energy and food prices have not quite hit home yet.
It’s no secret that the growth of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments in recent years has been fundamental. This has largely been fuelled by the climate emergency, leading to growing scrutiny of company practices with some governments mandating a change in companies’ and individuals’ behaviour...
We are in the middle of the biggest inflation bout in years as ubiquitous post lockdown supply issues are sending prices skyward. A recent report from the Bank of International Settlements suggests that this inflation has become self-reinforcing; Bottlenecks have caused suppliers to build buffers at multiple stages of the chain, exacerbating supply problems that drive prices...
As we have been witnessing in recent years and months, climate changes are occurring in every region and globally. A new landmark report from the United Nations on the state of climate science has highlighted modern society’s continued dependence on fossil fuels, which is warming the world at a pace that is unprecedented in the past 2,000 years...
Capital markets enjoyed another good week, although with one notable difference – this time bond investors were allowed to join in. Just as energy prices started stabilising, corporate earnings results proved less supportive than in the previous week, while macroeconomic data continued documenting the anticipated slowdown of the global economy.
Capital markets continued over the week to recover just as gradually from the September/early October downdraft as they declined then. Many commentators put it down to the continued strong Q3 corporate earnings announcements, which with 20%-40% year on year growth between Europe and the US has indeed provided a positive for stretched equity valuations.
Understanding inflation is an important factor when it comes to your financial success. If you don’t factor inflation in when deciding where to put your money – whether that’s savings accounts or investing – you could find your wealth shrinks over the years.
By most measures, economic growth has been disappointing over the last few months. Economists started the year with high expectations for the post-pandemic recovery to become a sustained expansion – optimistic that vaccines and rebounding confidence would spur activity.
With many of us living longer, you may be thinking about how you can support your family at the moments that matter. Sharing your wealth during your lifetime – especially with younger generations facing the pressures of rising house prices and university fees – can really make a difference and bring you great joy too.
Changed job? Moved house? It’s not always easy to keep track of a pension, especially if you’ve been in more than one scheme or have changed employers throughout your career. Over time, pension schemes close, merge or become renamed. So even if you remember the name of your scheme, it could now be called something else.