With many of us living longer, you may be thinking about how you can support your family at the moments that matter. Sharing your wealth during your lifetime – especially with younger generations facing the pressures of rising house prices and university fees – can really make a difference and bring you great joy too.
We are halfway through September and investors have not experienced a continuation of the positive returns picture of the summer months. This is despite COVID restrictions gradually lifting (not only in the UK) and an on-track economic recovery resulting in record numbers of jobs and demand outstripping supply in many places.
Last week felt a bit like the whole month of August. Equity markets (North America and Europe) were in the green over the past few days, and then on Friday expressed their disappointment over the weak US jobs report. Market participants discovered yet again their taste for cash-rich mega- caps in the US, especially after last week’s Jackson Hole symposium.
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August continues to be what one would expect from the middle of the summer: quiet. Yet for investors, it is also pleasing that stock markets around the world are gradually nudging upwards, allowing them to remain relaxed wherever they have retreated to in these travel restricted times.
It has been a week of ups and downs. Monday saw sunshine and relaxation as so-called ‘Freedom Day’ COVID restrictions were lifted in England. Investors did not join in the party, though, as major equity indices sold off around the world. Markets recovered most of those losses later into the week, but the episode marked an unwelcome return of volatility. Unfortunately, that market volatility has been matched by uncertainty in the underlying economy, as the spread of the virus continues to pose a threat to global activity.
Investors chase returns. That statement may seem too obvious to be interesting, but over the last decade it has had a special significance. For a year and a half now, central banks around the world have pinned interest rates down and poured historic amounts of liquidity into the global financial system. But the era of loose monetary policy long predates the pandemic
The seemingly never-ending pandemic-induced restrictions and uncertainty is making the forward planning of summer activities quite precarious and frustrating at times. That capital markets have recently borne fewer surprises than the planning of our summer holidays is a rare event and should be cherished – assuming it is not simply the calm before the next storm.
May’s returns numbers are in, and the headlines are as follows: a rotation from tech to financials – and from value to growth – as well as a bit more downward pressure on bonds. We have included our usual ‘in review’ table and monthly comments below. Overall, it was a quiet month...
After a strong April, May felt somewhat of a mixed bag for investors, particularly when stock markets suffered a correction in the middle of the month. However, as the month draws to a close, it is mostly only cryptocurrency holders and those who had banked on a warm and sunny May in Northern Europe who are still feeling the pain.
Markets have certainly lost a bit of that exuberance displayed in recent weeks. However, the risen inflation expectations that have been blamed for the sell-off, are now merely – at last – reflecting what the US Federal Reserve (Fed) had told markets to expect since the beginning of the year. Moreover, the global economy continues to motor towards a post pandemic recovery boom. Therefore, we view this sell-off as more to do with market participants experiencing a wave of vertigo, rather than a fundamental change of direction.
Whatever age you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, it’s human nature to live in the moment and cope with whatever challenges life throws at you. Selecting the most appropriate investments to align with your values and life goals requires undertaking the right planning to accumulate wealth over the long term.
Equity markets finally paused in their upward trend this week, with the most speculative assets like Bitcoin experiencing their first serious setback since February. It was hard to pin the cause on any one specific development, although falling oil prices got their share of blame...
In our private lives, the first few months of 2021 were much the same as 2020 – unfortunately. Britain, and indeed the world, suffered more COVID cases, more fatalities and, once again, tighter restrictions. For investors, though, it was a different story. Despite a global economy frozen in motion and the deepest recession ever recorded, stock markets did very well last year, with some major indices climbing to new highs.
It has been another week of markets feeling on edge, without going anywhere. Markets seem to have caught a bit of worry about the passage of growth, oddly just as the wider populace gets more confident and the recent headwind of rising bond yields abated.
Stock markets around the world have had another choppy week, but this time there was more up than down across the board and bonds yields stopped their upwards trend – at least for a while. The general upward trend notwithstanding, there was a lot of rotation and counter rotation between different market segments...
Rishi Sunak’s second Budget Statement was a hotly anticipated affair. After setting out the roadmap to navigate the COVID crisis, the Chancellor was able to mark down the route out of economic crisis. The pandemic has left a black hole in Britain’s public finances and, while vaccines and gently easing restrictions will help get things back on track, there is no doubt that the UK economy still needs a big helping hand from the Treasury.
It would be some understatement to say that Rishi Sunak had an interesting start to life as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Less than a month into the job, Sunak delivered his first Budget as the UK economy was closing it shutters and a black hole in public finances was expanding. One year on, his second Budget looks to be just as eventful.