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Investments Posts

Thursday November 7, 2013 at 10:00am
It’s odd how we quickly get used to accepting what is really quite unusual as ‘normal’. Inflation is running at 3.3% but bank base rate is 0.5%. In normal times interest rates would have to rise to give a return above inflation. So whilst there might be a benefit for those with a mortgage, anyone with money to invest could be forgiven for scratching their head. Government debt continues to rise, from 1992 when the national debt was £0.2 trillion to £1.6 trillion no....
Thursday October 31, 2013 at 5:02pm
When people talk about ‘the market’ I often find myself wondering if they really know what ‘the market’ is and how it operates. The stock market is made up of literally millions of buyers and sellers who are buying and sell shares based on their judgment of the value of the shares they trade. A typical trading day on the US markets will consist of 39 million trades with a combined value of around $200 billion. The market indices such as the FTSE 100 for example reflect th....
Thursday September 26, 2013 at 10:00am
According to research published in the FT 77% of people in their 50s and 60s didn’t know what their pension fund was invested in. Worst still 71% had no idea how their pension was performing. I find these results staggering. As a Chartered Financial Planner I consider it my job to make sure my clients have at least an annual review to look at how their investments, and especially their pensions, are performing and whether changes need to be made in the mix of investments, the investment v....
Friday July 19, 2013 at 2:37pm
Martin Luther King was not the only civil rights leader in America in the 1960’s however he was the one that everyone followed. Some of his success was down to having a belief or dream that others also held. It’s hardly inspiring to passionately pronounce “I have a plan”. People were motivated to act because they also believed his dream. Most organisations and their employees know what the company does; some will even know how it does it in a way to win business from thei....
Friday July 5, 2013 at 4:05pm
With the pound falling against the US dollar and some commentators predicting parity next year it is worth considering what this means for your investments and how to apply to your investment strategy. Currencies are not like shares or bonds, they do not pay dividends or interest, there is no expected return from them. However currency movements can have a big impact on your investments when those investments are converted back to your local currency that is UK pounds. No one has the ability to ....
Thursday May 16, 2013 at 9:00am
In 2002 the Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Daniel Kahneman, a Princeton University psychology professor. He had never even taken a course in Economics. However, Kahneman was recognised “for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision making under uncertainty.” We have long advised clients that investment success is as much to do with their own investment behaviour as it is to the performanc....
Thursday May 2, 2013 at 9:00am
Don’t let short term distress cloud long term vision The economic system works and has provided positive returns over cash over time. Investors simply receive a higher return for taking on the risk or volatility of equity investment. However, investor behaviour is tainted irrationally by what is happening in the local market. For example here in the UK the Chancellor in the recent budget had to cope with the loss of coveted AAA status for UK debt, a possible third dip to the recession, sla....
Thursday April 25, 2013 at 9:00am
Last week saw another good example of emotion and the herd instinct at work in the investment world. Richard Buxton is one of the UK’s most popular active fund managers where he manages the UK Alpha plus fund for Schroders. He has announced that he is leaving and he is going to join Old Mutual, another fund manager. Such is his following amongst investors that Schroders have warned that almost one third of the UK Alpha plus fund is at risk of being sold as investors withdraw their money an....
Thursday February 28, 2013 at 9:00am
Probably one of the least well understood yet most important concepts for your future financial wellbeing is the concept of investment risk. When saving for the future, especially for retirement, everyone wants to maximise the return on their investment, yet not everyone has the same attitude to risk. Of course the greater likely return, the higher risk you will need to be prepared to take. Beware of anyone who suggests otherwise. But risks is only part of the picture, it needs to be coupled wi....
Thursday January 31, 2013 at 10:09am
When it comes to savings and investments many people think that holding cash is the no risk option. However, the better investor makes a decision on which risks to take and which to avoid. Doing nothing, including staying out of the market, carries risk. With inflation running at anything between 3 per cent and 5 per cent depending upon which month and which measure you use, and returns on cash, after tax, often less than 1 per cent holding low risk/return investments actually carries two big ri....
Thursday December 13, 2012 at 9:00am
You could hardly have missed the widespread news last week as Chancellor George Osborne unveiled his 2012 Autumn Statement, setting out the coalition's financial plans until 2017/18. As we’d all been led to expect, it was pretty depressing news on the economy which seems to be stubbornly resistant to staying on the road to recovery. Estimates for Britain's economic growth have dropped sharply. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now expects our economy to shrink by 0.1% this year,....
Thursday October 11, 2012 at 9:00am
Everyone needs to finance their retirement and, despite some of the bad press over recent years, personal pensions are still by far the most tax-efficient way of saving for old age. It was quite encouraging to see in recently released data from the Office for National Statistics that, although the number of people in workplace pension schemes has stagnated between 2010 and 2011, contribution rates have risen slightly. But it was worrying that a recent survey by the Prudential showed owners of sm....
Thursday August 30, 2012 at 9:00am
Bank holiday weekends are known to see a rise in A&E admissions through DIY mishaps. And the long weekend in August got me thinking about the so-called DIY pension or Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). SIPPs are appealing to investors due to their flexibility but fees can be higher. However, research published in August (2 in 3 DIY pensions left to fail) suggested a number of people managing their own personal pension don’t have the expertise, understanding of market risks or ....
Thursday August 16, 2012 at 10:00am
Andy Parker was invited to contribute to a new book being produced by the Institute of Directors, to be published later in 2012. Here’s a sneak preview of his Chapter focusing on directors’ pensions, exploring the full value of pensions investments for directors and owner managers. For owners and directors of small businesses a pension may seem like a luxury impossible to afford. Company owners often overlook the significant benefits available through Small Self-Administered Schemes....
Thursday August 2, 2012 at 10:00am
Andy Parker was invited to contribute to a new book being produced by the Institute of Directors, to be published later in 2012. Here’s a sneak preview of his Chapter focusing on the importance of taking a proactive approach to your pension investment strategy. Given the turbulence in UK and international markets over the past 10 years you’d be forgiven for being cynical about investment, Stock Market returns and the advice you might be given on your pension investment strategy. Cyn....
Tuesday December 6, 2011 at 9:00am
Solar Energy will form an increasing part of the UK power supply over the coming years. This is especially true as a consequence of recent UK and European legislation which requires that 30% of UK electricity is provided from renewable sources such as solar and wind. As only 5.5% of power comes from such sources at present there is significant growth to be expected in the renewable energy sector. In April last year the government introduced a 25 year feed-in tariff to encourage greater investme....
Thursday August 25, 2011 at 9:00am
Although a daily report on the position of the FT100 index of UK shares is totally irrelevant to the long term investor, the media insist on relaying it in almost every news report at the moment. Steve Forbes, publisher of US Forbes Magazine, makes an interesting point; “You make more money selling advice than following it. It’s one of the things we count on in the magazine business – along with the short memory of our readers.” There is no doubt that big movements in s....
Thursday July 7, 2011 at 9:00am
Gone are the days when an investment in the FTSE all share index would provide a reliably, healthy rate of return. For the last 11 years the FTSE all share index has returned only 2.4% per annum. The investment winners today are those who focus on keeping costs low whilst also investing in a broader, globally diversified portfolio. One such globally diversified portfolio when back tested returned 7.4% per annum for each of the past 11 years. Compare this with the FTSE 100 which has actually los....
Thursday June 30, 2011 at 9:00am
How many parents out there are tearing their hair out worrying, not whether their son or daughter will make the grade and get into university, but how on earth they are going to fund them if they do? If you have a child going to University later this year the cost over 3 years might be as much as £52,000. This is based on course fees around £9,000 per annum, accommodation of £5,000 per annum and living costs on top of say another £100 per week. And that assumes they live....
Thursday May 26, 2011 at 10:00am
In a previous blog I talked about why many investors feel confused and uncertain about investing for the future. Part of this is because the emphasis of the financial services industry is to convince investors that they can beat the markets through company research and stock picking and by getting the timing right. This results in high advisory and transactional costs paid for by the investor. Part of the problem lies with the inherent volatility of markets causing investors to feel greed when m....
Friday October 29, 2010 at 10:00am
In business cash is king. As accountants we talk about it all the time: what is cash flow like? who owes you money, how can you conserve your cash etc. But when it comes to personal finances and investment strategies the opposite is generally true.Cash is seen as risk free as there’s a perception that it cannot fall in value. Research by Finametrica (specialists in risk profiling) estimates that we are twice as concerned about losing money as we are about seeing an increasing return on our....
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