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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Inheritance Tax can cost families thousands of pounds but there are various ways to legally avoid paying this tax. Without making suitable plans, your loved ones could face a tax bill of 40% on the value of everything you own above a certain threshold.
By maintaining proper portfolio diversification and avoiding the pitfalls of market timing, you’ll have the foundation needed to help manage your overall exposure to market volatility. Historically, the stock market has been up more than down.
We wrote last week, that fortunes could be changing on the COVID front, with UK case numbers showing a decline from their (possibly temporary) peak. Since then, the 7-day average for daily cases has fallen for the first time since Britain started reopening. It is far too early to say whether this marks a sustained turn for the better, but it has certainly brought some much-needed optimism. The good mood has spread to markets too, with UK assets outperforming global peers and sterling gaining against other currencies.
If you are approaching retirement age, it’s important to know your pension is going to finance your plans. Pension legislation is extremely complex and it’s not realistic to expect everyone to understand it completely. But, since we all hope to retire one day, it is important to get to grips with some of the basics.
The biggest event of the week took place on Wednesday, as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) concluded its two-day Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting, where it discussed economy policy and its latest projections on inflation and interest rates. Leading up to Wednesday, we were asking ourselves the question “what will the Fed change?”. In essence the choices were “nothing”, “a bit”, or “more than a bit”. All of us were somewhere between “nothing” and “a bit”. The Fed delivered “a bit”.
The operational demands of running a family business or other closely held enterprise can be all- consuming, but it’s vital that business leaders take the time needed to assess their organisation’s business succession planning.
There has been a great political awakening across the world in recent years. The issues of the day have become visceral divisions. These arguments have had significant impacts on all aspects of our lives, including capital markets. In the UK, this has been most evidently played out in the great Brexit drama which, aside from its impacts on foreign investment and asset valuations, has been the main driving force behind the value of Sterling.
No one likes to pay tax on their hard-earned money. But due to the complexities of the tax system, without expert professional financial advice, some individuals could be paying more tax than necessary. Before the end of every tax year on 5 April, you have the opportunity to save money on taxes and plan for the year ahead.
This week, developments in the bond markets may be of more significance for investors, over the fact that equities continued to do well. On Thursday, yields of long maturity bonds across global developed markets fell quite sharply, at the same time as economic data showed resoundingly strong activity...
Even those who believe they have moderate wealth levels may still need to take action to minimise Inheritance Tax, particularly if they own property and have savings and investments. Naturally, you’ll want to pass on as much as possible to your loved ones, rather than paying 40% to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Are you worried your family could be left with an Inheritance Tax bill after you’re gone?
It may have been April Fools’ Day, but ignore the ill-fated corporate PR stunts (Voltswagen!). The fact is that the first quarter of 2021 has brought genuine good news for UK-based investors with exposure to global stock markets. Equity markets have generally resumed an upward trajectory, while low risk assets, especially long maturity bonds, have sustained meaningful losses...
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered his second Budget on 3 March declaring that “we will recover”. The key fiscal event, which had been delayed from the Autumn due to the pandemic, centred on a £65bn three-part plan designed to continue supporting British people and businesses through the pandemic, ‘fix’ the public finances once recovery begins and lay the foundations for the future economy.
‘Worst recession in 300 years’ was how UK media framed Friday’s release of UK GDP growth data for the last quarter of 2020. They were also quick to point out that the -9.9% full-year number was far worse than any other major industrialised nation around the world. What they only reported far further down in their articles was that compared to...