All posts by James Blackham

James particularly enjoys building close relationships with all clients and helping people identify and fulfil their long term financial goals. A highly qualified Financial Planner working towards Chartered status and is also a Pension Transfer Specialist. James is also a partner of Vizion Wealth LLP.

Retirement Matters

Perhaps the most common investment advice is to stay invested. But with markets being so volatile, the ease of sticking to that advice has been sorely tested in 2020. Even though we’ve seen global markets bounce sharply from their March lows, understandably there will still be those investing for retirement who remain worried and wonder what the best approach is for the remainder of the year and beyond.

/ 16th September 2020

Market Update September: Market dynamic of a K-shaped recovery

Markets’ summer holidays are over. Throughout August, risk assets made some impressive gains, while the global economy remained in its deepest ever recession. After equities were then catapulted to eye-watering valuation levels, the end of this week saw a sharp reversal. On Thursday, the US’ S&P 500 – which soared past its pre-pandemic highs in August’s rally – saw its biggest sell-off since June.

/ 7th September 2020

Market Update August: Fed leaves bond investors with that sinking feeling

Capital markets were mostly steady – if a bit on edge – this week, as they have been for most of August. At least the US maintained positivity, although the extent of gains were not spectacular. Even so, both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 indices surpassed their February peaks in midweek trading, leaving the stock market nosedive of March a distant memory.

/ 24th August 2020

Guide to Securing your Financial Future

We can’t foresee what is waiting around the corner, but we can ensure that we’re financially prepared to protect what are the most important things in life should the worst happen. This means protecting what matters most, whether it’s our family, our income, our mortgage or our health, should the unexpected happen.

/ 11th August 2020

Market Update August: Summer Sunshine Beckons but Politics Still Casts a Long Shadow

As July ends with stifling temperatures, thoughts can turn to the month ahead. August capital markets can be either quiet or decidedly choppy. As investors go on their summer holidays, daily trade volumes decline and liquidity drops out of the market – meaning even small buying or selling pressures can have outsized effects. Of course, this year we doubt many traders will be planning an August trip to Spain...

/ 3rd August 2020

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Investing

Once a niche approach thought to come at the expense of returns, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategies have proven that they can be market-beating. If you’re someone who wants to make a positive difference, you might be interested to know how you, your money and the things you care about could all benefit from sustainable investing.

/ 21st July 2020

Sunak spends big to kick-start the economy

Rishi Sunak’s short time at the Treasury has been a trial by fire. A year ago, the current Chancellor of the Exchequer was Chief Secretary to the Treasury under former Chancellor Sajid Javid. But after Javid’s controversial sacking in February, Sunak’s foot was barely in the door of Number 11 before the global pandemic shuttered Britain’s economy...

/ 13th July 2020

Managing Volatility During COVID-19

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has understandably been dominating the news headlines. Market fear over the escalating global spread of coronavirus has seen a sell-off across many asset classes. This period of market stress further emphasises the importance of diversification within portfolios. Investors’ objectives can rarely be met by investing in a single asset class.

/ 6th July 2020

Support balances increasing strains – but for how long?

The consolidation in stock markets continues. After a brief sell-off at the beginning of the week, capital markets staged a recovery to leave things almost unchanged from a week ago. All in all, markets are now just slightly above where they were after the significant recovery rally throughout April and May...

/ 29th June 2020

Stock Markets Suffer Altitude Sickness

Reading the news seems much more complicated these days. Our friend and old colleague, Rob Martorana, has lived and worked in New York all his life. An excellent portfolio manager and great thinker about investments, Rob has written a series of articles for the Chartered Financial Analyst group[1] about how to digest news in a way that takes account of its underlying biases. The easy way to do this is to pick a sample from media sources with known biases to judge the central case and the range of interpretations.

/ 12th June 2020

Income Protection Insurance

There is a growing unease about the economic fallout of coronavirus (COVID-19), with many businesses laying off contractors and putting staff on extended leave, as well as natural worries about contacting the disease. What this crisis has shown is that being unable to work can quickly turn our world upside down. No one likes to think that something bad will happen to them, but if you can’t work due to a serious illness, how would you manage financially?

/ 2nd June 2020

Big Trouble in Big China

Over the past week, it felt as if the new normal of enforced idleness paired with less stringent lockdown rules and summer weather would lead to a happier mood across Western Europe, including the UK. The same applied for investors, whose portfolios also enjoyed some time in the sunshine. However, the outlook began to cloud over somewhat again towards the end of the week.

/ 24th May 2020

US-China Cold war: Threat or blessing?

In the absence of truly effective anti-viral drug treatments against COVID-19, or vaccines (even in the best case) only becoming widely available towards 2021, we cannot seamlessly switch back on what we switched off and many activities that make up considerable parts of our western economies will take much longer to return than a V-shaped recovery would require. This means that the recession the lockdown has caused is likely to last somewhat longer and be more pronounced in sectors that depend on close social proximity...

/ 17th May 2020

Market Update: Lock-Down, Open-Up

In April, the virus ended the lives of over 190,000 people across the world. Of those, 13% were in the United Kingdom, nearly 25,000. The UK has been one of the worst affected countries during this pandemic. The US has suffered a similarly heavy death toll, with nearly 58,000 deaths recorded with the coronavirus as a cause...

/ 1st May 2020

Millennial Money

Building wealth for the future is important, but increasingly people want their investments to do more than make money. Investing ethically means different things to different people. According to a new global survey[1], almost eight out of 10 millennials now prioritise socially responsible and impactful investing...

/ 27th April 2020

Preserving your Legacy

Are you worried about leaving an inheritance to your loved ones and then having them pay tax on your legacy? No one likes to think about a time when they won’t be here, but unfortunately the reality is that some people aren’t prepared financially...

/ 3rd April 2020

Stocks Market Suffer Worst Quarter Since 1987

With most countries still enforcing strict lock downs, there are some early signs of a reduction of new infections in Italy and other European countries. Governments have now started to distribute monies to support society and businesses and China has talked about additional stimulus to ensure economic stability...

/ 2nd April 2020

Market Update: Markets Rise as Global Sell-Off Eases

Not to be out of the limelight for too long, Donald Trump rattled markets further as he delivered what may well be one of the most expensive speeches in history.  The US President announced he was ordering an immediate shut-down of all travel from Europe to the United States from midnight on Friday to try to stop the spread of coronavirus in the US in an extraordinary address to the nation on Wednesday night...

/ 13th March 2020

ISA 2020 Allowance – Use it or Lose it!

Whatever you’re putting money aside for, there’s likely to be a role for Individual Saving Accounts, or ‘ISAs’. An ISA is a way of holding savings or investments without paying personal tax on interest received or on the growth of your investment. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced saver, we can help you get the most from your 2019/20 ISA allowance...

/ 24th February 2020

2020 Financial Resolutions

Whether it’s stopping smoking, losing weight, eating more healthily or getting fitter, most of us have probably made at least one New Year’s resolution, but how many of us will actually go on to achieve it? We all have different financial goals and aspirations in life, yet these goals can often seem out of reach. In today’s complex financial environment, achieving your financial goals may not be that straightforward.

/ 27th January 2020