December usually has a ring of ‘Silent Night’ in the investment world and, in a year where practically all else has changed, at least this has stayed the same. In the UK, news that millions more would be placed under tougher restrictions over the Christmas period may have felt deflating, but it was hardly unexpected and failed to get a peep out of capital markets.
We recently announced in our November team news blog that having successfully passed his ER1: Equity Release exam, our very own Financial Planner James Blackham has now obtained the final credits required to achieve the coveted Chartered Financial Planner status. So, it is with great pride, we congratulate James as he becomes one of the new breed of young Chartered Financial Planners in the UK.
The infamous year of 2020 is finally coming to an end – what a tough one it has been. I’m sure each and every one of us are tired of the words ‘pandemic,’ ‘covid,’ and ‘lockdown’, so let us try to make the last few weeks of 2020 as positive as possible, with hope for a better year in 2021.
This week’s edition was meant to focus on our annual outlook for the coming year, while working under the assumption that the UK and Europe would by now be operating under a ‘skinny’ trade deal that would prevent tariff hurdles to trade while also dealing with the barriers to trade that come with operating under independent regulatory regimes.
As the world faces up to a not-so-jolly Christmas season, it may be surprising to learn that sentiment across the global economy was reported to be quite strong this week. Admittedly, this is mostly driven by strong manufacturing data and not the services sector, which relies so much more on social proximity. Nevertheless, the current economic environment combined with the announcement of COVID vaccinations becoming an imminent reality (if only for those vulnerable) had markets starting December on an upbeat note.
Saving into a pension is one of the most tax-efficient ways to save for your retirement. Not only do pensions enable you to grow your retirement savings largely free of tax, but they also provide tax relief on the contributions you make.