As we wrote last week, there is a broad consensus that this year will see a strong economic rebound as mass vaccinations finally put an end to pandemic – even if we have to wait until the second half of the year to see it.
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.
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.
During a week when global stock markets continued their more gradual upwards trend, government policy was in full focus, but offered little in support. For the UK, it looks like ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’ when official lockdown ends next Thursday, with the vast majority of England under tighter restrictions than before – and for an indefinite period of time.
Investors have enjoyed another very good week. Optimism had already returned the previous week, with the US election eventually delivering a clear verdict. This week then brought the news that literally everybody had been waiting and hoping for, and which we had portrayed as probable in our ‘optimistic case’ forward-look on these pages two weeks ago.
Here we go again. Having had our fun, and eaten out to help out over the summer, the UK public is back indoors for the rest of November. What the government was keen to prevent still came as hardly much of a surprise last Saturday, given rapidly-rising hospital admission numbers, the tiered shutting of regions across the country and the European neighbours having already announced similar nationwide measures earlier in the week...
By the time we have been working for a decade or two, it is not uncommon to have accumulated multiple pension plans. There’s no wrong time to start thinking about pension consolidation, but you might find yourself thinking about it if you’re starting a new job or nearing retirement.
If you’re going through a divorce, dividing up any pensions you have will usually be one of the largest financial decisions you need to make. Agreeing financial arrangements in your divorce can seem daunting; there are so many misconceptions and myths as to what each party is entitled to that it gets confusing.
Against all expectations, and despite considerable intramonth volatility, September turned out to be decidedly dull for investors. After a five-month rally had left global stock indices around or above their pre-pandemic highs, the turn of Autumn sent a chill through capital markets.
September continues to bite equity markets. Stocks everywhere wobbled again this week and even though they bounced back, the S&P500 is down around 8% in US Dollar terms for the month. UK investors might notice less of a fall, with global equities down just 1% in sterling terms. This is partly due to the fall in sterling itself, with the pound suffering yet again from adverse Brexit news.
Stock markets have stabilised and started trading sideways, in a sign of healthy consolidation following their extraordinary recovery rally since late March. Notably, the darlings of the recovery, namely US large cap tech and growth stocks, are no longer the leaders. This bodes well for a gradual sentiment shift among investors.
September has ended what now feels like a ‘goldilocks’ summer for investors, and political, societal and capital market frictions have returned to the stage with a bang. However, the fact that stock markets have not simply plunged on bad news, but have instead remained surprisingly stable, is a good indication that economic and market dynamics are not quite as simple as they may appear.
Whether you have earned your wealth, inherited it or made shrewd investments, you will want to ensure that as little of it as possible ends up in the hands of the taxman and that it can be enjoyed by you, your family and your intended beneficiaries.
In a week where Donald Trump kicked off his re-election campaign in earnest, global investors showed it is indeed “America first”. US equities continue to push at all-time highs, having recovered everything lost in March’s frantic sell-off – and then some.
The pleasures, and then increasing discomfort, of the UK’s unusually broiling August weather offered a welcome distraction from the seemingly never ending COVID news flow of gloominess. As the heatwave came to an end with a thunderous bang, so too did many of the UK’s summer freedoms.
At the other end of the scale, poor returns from Japanese and UK equities confirms the trend of investors preferring long-term growth prospects of the ‘new economy’, versus short term earnings stability or recovery potential (value) of the ‘old economy’. This has much to do with the fact that the yield investors could safely earn...
Earlier in the week, Europe’s top politicians slogged through marathon negotiations to reach a historic deal on a €750bn common budget designed to spur recovery from the deepest recession since World War Two. We cover this in more detail separately below, but suffice to say that investors took it well, with the Euro gaining on other global currencies.
The summer season has started in earnest and yet, unsurprisingly, this year everything feels different. Most of us are relieved restrictions are easing, meaning we can go about our lives more like how we were used to until a few months ago. While in lockdown, many may have reasonably expected that – in return for our sacrifices – we would emerge into a post-COVID environment, with the virus no longer a threat, and with normalities resumed.
We are halfway through the most disturbing year in generations and that much-used word won’t go away: unprecedented. Over the course of the first quarter, it became steadily more probable that the coronavirus crisis that had started in China would engulf everything around us. In late February, stock markets finally faced up to the inevitable and nose-dived. Investors’ mad dash for the exit accelerated throughout March, turning the sell-off into a sell-out of tradeable financial assets, resulting in the most rapid stock market crash on record.