Autumn somehow crept up on us as Brexit, Covid and the US Presidential election shenanigans dominated the headlines. As the nights draw in and the temperature gets a bit crisp, we hope this new season sees you wrapped up warm and in good health and spirits.
Though government Covid requirements remain fluid, we have continued with our quest to make greater use of technology so we can provide you with greater choices in communicating with us. We rolled out our online Portal over the past month, so if you provided us with your email address, you will have received an invite. Do take full advantage of this additional service which provides sharing of documents, secure messaging and access to your information and plans all with high levels of security and encryption. Sometime in early November, we will look to introduce an Open Banking facility within the Portal which will allow you to link to your bank accounts, if you so wish. More detail on this will follow closer to the launch. If you cannot find your invite, please let us know as although we have a fantastic response there are many more of you who are yet to take a look.
With various factors driving financial markets, these remain uncertain times. We’ve had favourable feedback from those of you who have engaged in our Cash Flow Planning offering. Some of your comments mentioned, ‘giving you peace of mind’, ‘better perspective’, ‘food for thought’, ‘confident in your financial wellbeing now and in the future’. There are of course no guarantees, but running scenarios tailored to your goals is insightful and for many who find numbers difficult to comprehend, a picture can paint a thousand words.
We’re also having more discussions with you about passing on your wealth, and that discussion should go hand in hand with educating our next generation to help them manage their financial journey. We’d be happy to facilitate these conversations, but as a starter, we thought this might help to provide a basic understanding to those who are in the early stages of their financial journey. Please do share with your family and friends:
One of the key aspects to any good financial management strategy is ensuring that you have enough cash in place. Reasons include maintaining a sufficient emergency fund, short term capital expenditure or simply for those who do not want to take investment risk with all of their capital. It is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain interest which can hold a candle to inflation, especially in an easy access environment. A good option has always been National Savings & Investments income bonds which are instant access and not restricted by the same £85,000 protection limit that applies to most banking institutions. In addition, they currently pay a very competitive 1.15% per interest rate per annum and some of you will have funds in this account. For a while, the expectation has been that NS&I would reduce this rate in the near future. However, the recently announced drop in interest to 0.01% is quite staggering. On a holding of £100,000 your annual interest goes from £1,150 to £10 (a 99% reduction in income)! This reduction takes effect from 24th November 2020 and we are sure that those of you who hold such funds will be looking elsewhere for income. For those looking for alternatives within a pure cash environment, websites such as moneyfacts.co.uk or moneysupermarket.com enable you to search different terms across a range of institutions. If, however, you need guidance or are looking for alternatives to holding cash, please contact your adviser.
As for financial markets, both sides of the Atlantic are feeling the effects of economic pressures and uncertainty: Brexit at home and the election in the US are the next big unknowns. We provide more detailed market commentaries, and these can be reviewed on our website:
These have been particularly hard times for charities and charitable causes. Who knows what Christmas and the holidays will look like this year, but it will no doubt hit hardest for the least advantaged. We continue to support local charities and our Lockdown quiz money was split between Step by Step and Alton Foodbank. Our mortgage adviser, Jonny Woods has also been working hard with ‘Alresford Pigs’ to help those in need and will be dressed as a penguin in December supporting Santa distributing gifts to those in need. Our usual team charity fund raising event was put on hold this year but given the very tough times charities are having, we aim to do something soon, so will be relying on your kind generosity then.
As always, thank you for your continued support and feedback. So many of you have been in touch to tell us about your positive experiences and this is really very heart-warming. Wishing you the very best of health, from our team to you.