September was the month when nothing much happened on the world’s stock markets. Three of the 11 major markets on which we report were up, three were unchanged and five were down – but none of them by very much. The UK led the way, albeit only up 2%, while Japan and China were the laggards, both markets declining by 3% in the month.
Whilst there’s something to be said for seeking out a last-minute holiday to make the most of the summer months, the arguments for booking in advance are fairly difficult to deny. Not only could you end up saving yourself up to 25% on the price of travel and accommodation, thanks to time-limited discounts, you’ll also have the opportunity to save towards your spending money and may even be able to split the cost of your holiday by paying in instalments.
Following the Brexit result of the EU referendum on 23rd June, a number of property funds chose to suspend redemptions following huge amounts of withdrawals from investors. This led to many predicting a gloomy future for the funds, but as we move further on from the referendum, many are changing their predictions to one of positivity.
Origo, the technology provider taking the lead on developing an online pensions dashboard, has suggested that a fully operational platform could go live as early as next year. The company revealed last month that the back-end technology is now finished, meaning that only the front-end (the part users will interact with) needs to be completed before the dashboard can be launched.
By and large August was a good – but unexciting – month for the major world stock markets we cover in this commentary. There were no dramatic gains – Hong Kong was the star performer with a rise of 5% – and two or three markets did their best to do nothing at all, but there were no major falls.
Despite the fact that having a will in place is commonly accepted as the most effective way to leave details about your inheritance, the number of people who don’t have one is remarkably high. Charity will-writing scheme, Will Aid, has found that 53% of people in the UK don’t have a will in place.
The changes to inheritance tax that were introduced in the 2015 Budget will soon come into effect, with some becoming the law as early as April 2017. With less than a year to prepare for these changes, it’s important to ensure you know what to expect and that you’re doing everything you need to in order to ensure you aren’t caught out.
Since the result of the EU referendum was announced in the early hours of 24th June and the country discovered that Brexit was to become a reality, it’s been hard to keep up with the multitude of changes that have occurred in the weeks that have followed.
We try to produce a balanced, rational market commentary at the end of every month. The politicians do their best to turn it into a soap opera. Ah well, here we go…
Britain Takes Back Control. Or Does It? The Result ‘I declare that the total votes cast for Remain were 16,141,241. The total votes cast for Leave were 17,410,742.’
This time last month David Cameron was firmly in place as UK Prime Minister, facing the equally secure Jeremy Corbyn across the despatch box. Both of them were backing Remain in the forthcoming EU Referendum and – despite the occasional flurry of support for Leave – the UK looked set to stay a member of the European Community.
A recent study by Experian of over a thousand US couples has revealed that the majority of spouses had no real knowledge of their other half’s finances until after they were married. Almost a third admitted to being surprised by what they learned from their partner’s bank statements once they saw them.
Recently released data suggests that “The Bank of Mum and Dad” will lend out £5 billion this year to children looking to get on the UK property ladder. Parents will therefore be assisting in financing one in four of all UK mortgage transactions in 2016.
In times when economic stimulation is needed, Quantitative Easing (QE) is an unconventional policy, but one which can bring about the inflation needed to help the economy of a nation or region to grow. QE essentially consists of increasing the amount of money in the banking system overall, usually through the purchase of government bonds and other securities.
No matter what your personal feelings about those currently battling it out to be the 45th President of the United States of America, there’s no doubt that this campaign year will be remembered as one of the most unusual and unpredictable in history.
Advice is up to date and presented in a form that is understandable.Mrs S - Leicestershire