It’s been quite a year. With the upheaval and pressure of the news cycle around the general election, not to mention lack of clarity on Brexit, we can’t even begin to get into that relaxed holiday spirit until the dust settles.
Our latest newsletter was published just prior to the general election when all the party manifestos were finally available. The visions on offer are starkly contrasting. What the markets will make of the outcome we will have to wait and see. Meanwhile we consider the topsy-turvy behaviour of UK shares versus government bonds. The last ten years have seen a reversal in previous trends, with dividend yield on UK shares currently delivering nearly five times the returns of 10-year government bonds. Similar upsets are being seen across other world markets, as lower interest rates seem to be becoming the new normal. Advice on selecting the right funds may be more important than ever.
Throughout 2019 the protest activities around climate change have made headlines in the UK and abroad. If you’ve taken on board the agenda of making serious changes at both government and individual level to help meet the environmental challenge, you can also make a difference in terms of your investments. Choosing environmental, social and governance-based funds means you have control over the type of investments you may want to exclude and gives you the chance to focus your money on sustainable businesses in line with your principles.
Income protection may seem an unnecessary expense for a fit, successful employee, but with another wave of high street retailers and other companies failing, it could be prudent to make sure you have a back-up plan in place. It’s not just redundancy that could see you without a job, but unexpected ill-health or an accident could leave you unable to work. Schemes are available that will pay out a proportion of your salary and guarantee an income while you get back on your feet.
Our next update will come in March, before the start of the new tax year. The landscape may look very different. We look forward to discussing further developments with you then.