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.

Market Update: The pre-Christmas ‘quiz’ that not many want to play

As the end of the investing year draws nearer, markets remain on edge, questioning everything that it thought it knew the answers to only very recently. But this week, central bank and government policy, inflation pressures from supply chain issues, and the latest developments from the virus that refuses to be defeated, threatened to leave investors in a state of puzzlement.

/ 6th December 2021

Change to The State Pension Triple Lock

The earnings benchmark of the State Pension triple lock will be temporarily set aside for next year. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed on 7 September that the State Pension triple lock rule will not be applied for the 2022/23 financial year over concerns of the potential costs involved.

/ 25th November 2021

ESG: Investing With Impact

It’s no secret that the growth of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments in recent years has been fundamental. This has largely been fuelled by the climate emergency, leading to growing scrutiny of company practices with some governments mandating a change in companies’ and individuals’ behaviour...

/ 18th November 2021

Market Update: The bad kind of inflation…

We are in the middle of the biggest inflation bout in years as ubiquitous post lockdown supply issues are sending prices skyward. A recent report from the Bank of International Settlements suggests that this inflation has become self-reinforcing; Bottlenecks have caused suppliers to build buffers at multiple stages of the chain, exacerbating supply problems that drive prices...

/ 14th November 2021

What’s happening with inflation?

Understanding inflation is an important factor when it comes to your financial success. If you don’t factor inflation in when deciding where to put your money – whether that’s savings accounts or investing – you could find your wealth shrinks over the years.

/ 22nd October 2021

How to Trace Multiple Old Pension Pots

Changed job? Moved house? It’s not always easy to keep track of a pension, especially if you’ve been in more than one scheme or have changed employers throughout your career. Over time, pension schemes close, merge or become renamed. So even if you remember the name of your scheme, it could now be called something else.

/ 12th October 2021

Market Update: Economy Hits an Air Pocket

October has carried on where September left off, with quite a bit of daily up and down for markets, but with a slight downwards trend. For UK readers, the lack of positive vibe in stock markets is probably unsurprising, with petrol this week only slowly returning to being a commodity – rather than a scarcity...

/ 8th October 2021

Market Update: Wall of Worry Time

The UK received worrying economic news on multiple fronts this week, with several utility companies going under and the prospect of steep rises in winter heating costs, petrol stations running out of fuel, gaps on supermarket shelves and the Bank of England signalling it may raise rates as early as December of this year.

/ 25th September 2021

Market Update: Paying For It

Last week, we noted the increasing importance of fiscal policy, and sure enough this week the UK kicked-off the new school year with a big fiscal bang. National Insurance contributions are on the rise, along with a further tax charge on dividends to fund the NHS and social care over the next few years.

/ 13th September 2021

Market Update: Fed tapering: the ‘how’ matters more than ‘when’

Questions over when and how the US Federal Reserve (Fed) would begin tapering its monthly securities purchases has been much talked about over the last few months. But ahead of Friday's keynote speech at the Jackson Hole symposium, questions have been shifting increasingly towards ‘how’ the Fed tapers, instead of ‘when’. On Friday we got an answer, of sorts.

/ 31st August 2021

Market Update: Markets hit a bit of to and fro

Investors would be forgiven to think that this week’s downdraft in global stock markets was in reaction to the rapid unfolding of the tragic events in Kabul, Afghanistan. However, as long-time observers of risk asset markets will attest, unless human tragedies are likely to have a discernible impact on the global economy, stock markets do not show any empathy to present or foreseeable human suffering.

/ 23rd August 2021

Market Update: Between policy support withdrawal and bounce-back upsurge

Three weeks since the long-awaited “Freedom Day”, Britons are enjoying a pleasant, if somewhat overcast and dull, summer. The surprise drop-off in virus cases seems to have levelled off, but while the fact that numbers are not increasing is an encouraging sign, it remains to be seen whether this will be sustained.

/ 6th August 2021

Wealth Preservation

The rules around Capital Gains Tax (CGT) are complex and they differ depending on your financial situation. It’s a complicated tax and, as a result, some people may get confused about how much they should expect to pay. WHAT IS CAPITAL GAINS TAX? Capital Gains Tax is a tax payable on the profits (or ‘capital gains’) you make from selling certain assets. These assets include some property, items of value such as art, jewellery or collectables, company shares or other investments, and businesses or business assets.

/ 27th July 2021

Market Update: Don’t Look Down

Global equities have been on a pretty rapid ascent since the start of the year. This week the world’s investors had a bout of looking down, and a mild attack of vertigo. This dizzyness has been prompted by some reasonable worries. Do we have enough food (earnings growth) to carry on? Is the strong tailwind (in the form of liquidity) about to turn into a headwind? Has one of our party (China) already started slipping back down?

/ 12th July 2021

Market Update: Transition Uncertainties

The great British summer may have struggled to materialise so far, but the end of the first half of the year always brings an element of sunny optimism. We will comment on market and investment returns in more detail next week, when the data has settled, but after what proved a quite decent 2020 for investors, the first half of 2021 has again left investors with plenty to be positive about.

/ 5th July 2021

Six Principles of Investing

Whatever stage of life you’ve reached and whatever plans you may have for the future, you want your money to earn the best return possible without taking undue risk. That’s why it’s important to invest in a way that’s right for you and that will meet your goals. Creating and maintaining the right investment strategy plays a vital role in securing your financial future. How much control do you want over your investments? Investing can seem daunting but you don’t have to do it all on your own.

/ 24th June 2021

Market Update: Hazy as Carbis Bay

The G7 meeting in St. Ives’ Carbis Bay was rightly the centre of attention in the UK this week and looks to centre on Europe’s leaders cosying up to a much more loveable US administration, at the same time as trying not to mention Brexit too much.

/ 12th June 2021

Market Update: Europe’s Beacon of Hope Shines Light on Old Problems

After a long quiet spell, Europe is capturing investor interest once again, with the green shoots of a recovery now coming through. After a desperately slow start, vaccination programmes on the continent have stepped up greatly, with ever more jabs set to be delivered in the coming weeks. That, combined with warmer weather and a slowing spread of the virus, is thawing the freeze on economic activity as businesses start to reopen...

/ 21st May 2021

Market Update: Doubling of Earnings Leaves Markets Cold

After last week’s lull in global equity markets, most regions recovered their previous highs this week, albeit in somewhat lacklustre trading patterns. Just as there were several reasons why markets were in a bad mood last week, there are many reasons for the more positive outlook this week.

/ 4th May 2021

Pension Consolidation

One thing retirement is not, is an age. Not any more anyway. Gone are the days of being told to stop working one day and pick up your pension the next. Today you have new pension freedoms to decide when and how you retire.

/ 2nd April 2021