The second quarter of 2022 proved to be as volatile as the first, with equities and bonds alike suffering declines as inflation soared to record highs across the globe, above almost all economists’ forecasts. Interest rates also began to see increases in an attempt to combat inflation but did little to curb mammoth increases in the cost-of-living, deepening the risk of recession across global economies. The start of Q3 has proved slightly more positive than expected due to better-than-expected Q2 earnings reports from larger US companies, such as Meta, Twitter and Tesla, and President Biden’s announced Infrastructure plans to help...
Bad news filled the airwaves last week. Faltering global growth, higher inflation forecasts and rising interest rates set a dour tone – capped off by a geopolitical crisis in Taiwan. UK investors were struck by the Bank of England’s dire warnings: a 13% inflation peak and a protracted recession are now in store for Britons, according to Governor Andrew Bailey. Predicted to last for five quarters, the looming UK recession is set to outlast the one following the global financial crisis in 2008/09.
For a second consecutive quarter, the US economy shrank in real terms. Yet the US Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates by another 0.75% on Wednesday because the US economy is too strong.
Global investors tend to be quite US-focused, as the world’s largest economy has an outsized impact on trends across the world. Last week though, attention was on the other side of the Atlantic. European economic data caught the eyes of traders – and unfortunately not for the right reasons. Both consumer and business sentiment surveys indicated unexpected weakness, heralding a downturn across the continent.
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Investors’ rough ride continued over the last week. Markets are being buffeted by the ups and downs of economic data and the resultant changing expectations for central banks. We had unexpectedly positive UK economic growth during May, while the continued decline in oil and general commodity prices (resources and food) paints a picture of receding inflation pressures.
More than two years since the COVID virus hit Europe, it is clear that most peoples’ livelihoods have been affected more by the policy ‘medicine’ than the virus itself. Of course, without those interventions which were needed until vaccinations become prevalent, it most likely would have been the other way around.
Through much of this second quarter, the financial market narrative has been about inflation. Last week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) informed us that inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose from 9% in April to 9.1% in May, while the Retail Price Index (RPI) rose 11.7% compared to May 2021. UK inflation-linked benefits for 2023 – including pensions – will be determined by September’s data sets, and means the state pension will almost certainly increase by more than 10%.
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As central banks around the world were busy reasserting their authority and credibility as the guardians of monetary stability, the previous week’s stock market wobble turned into a fully-fledged rout last week. The growth concerns that preoccupied investors morphed into fears that central banks have become so determined to stop inflation from embedding itself that they are prepared to accept that proceeding with monetary tightening countermeasures may indeed lead to a global recession.
After the resurging positive sentiment of past weeks, markets were this week once again showing signs of fragility – the mood was decidely ‘risk off’. We could characterise this as growth scepticism, or more wariness that inflation will require even stronger and swifter central bank policy tightening before it is effectively squeezed out. Last week’s move towards monetary tightening from the European Central Bank (ECB) – even though long anticipated – provided the necessary headlines.
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Party stalls and libations were in full flow for the Platinum Jubilee. But no fairground is complete without some thrilling rides. Over the last month, capital markets chipped in with a rollercoaster of their own: equity indices jumped in the first few days of May, only to sink frighteningly low mid-month. At times it felt like markets were in meltdown, with investors buffeted by fierce global economic headwinds.
We are so proud to have both Andrew Flowers and James Blackham included in The Times as one of the most popular financial advice firms, according to VouchedFor for yet another year. The rating site released its list of financial advisers who qualified for its 2022 Guide To The UK’s Top Rated Financial Advisers by receiving the highest number of positive reviews from their clients. At a time where demand for advice is growing, but consumers don’t always know where to turn, the aim of the guide is to shine a light on those advisers delivering consistently great outcomes for...
It has been another rocky ride week for capital markets, with inflation talk increasingly turning into chatter of an ‘inevitable’ recession, prompting the most recent cohort of DIY retail investors to throw in the towel. However, the thin trading volumes, plus the fact there’s no clear directional trend within stock markets, tells us institutional investors are staying put.
The word ‘inflation’ had barely featured in the market’s vocabulary in the last three decades until it suddenly started to come back with a vengeance in 2021. As higher inflation looks set to persist in 2022, finding ways to generate a return on investments greater than inflation will be a key investment theme – otherwise your wealth falls in real terms.
Welcome to the first Vizion Wealth Discretionary Portfolio Management Service Update. We appreciate the last 5 months has been an extremely turbulent time for the investment markets with high inflation and increasing interest rates which when combined with major global events such as a Ukrainian invasion and further lockdown issues in China has dampened risk appetite. As part of our decision making process in managing your investments, the Vizion Wealth Investment Committee consider the natural cycle of the markets, the current economic environment and projections of various economic variables to help formulate our portfolios.
To some investors it will seem the old investor adage of ‘Sell in May and go away’ has once again proven correct, especially when the US S&P500 fell within touching distance of that bear market threshold of -20% last week. However, what makes this particular market correction different to others experienced since the pandemic is that it has disproportionally affected those risk assets considered safe havens when economic growth prospects faltered – namely US tech mega caps and other tech names quoted on the NASDAQ.
The last week of April was like being on a roller coaster. We had rather hoped that the ride was almost over, but in fact it’s only been getting wilder. For the past five weeks, the asset markets have been displaying greater volatility. These charts area way of demonstrating the phenomena we term asset market “noise and loudness.”