Investors would be easily forgiven for exhibiting elements of fear and trepidation when it comes to investing in stockmarkets. History has taught us that investing, in particular the equity genre, is laden with episodes of crises, crashes and volatility.
Although many investors have heard of the tax-efficient Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS); many will be less familiar with Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). SITR was introduced by the UK government in 2014 after extensive consultations with stakeholders in social enterprise. The overriding objective of these investments is to support social initiatives seeking external finance, by providing tax relief to private individuals who invest in them. Thereby, helping to fill the ‘funding gap’ for social enterprises.
People in the UK are living longer than ever before. This is good news, but it brings with it a multitude of problems. The Alzheimer’s Society report that there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. With these eye watering figures in mind, it is becoming increasingly important that you make clear what should happen in the event that you lose capacity to manage your own affairs.
With increasing challenges facing many millennials, the desire for parents and grandparents to provide financially for their children/grandchildren’s future is becoming more important. This should be a relatively simple exercise, but in practice there are several issues and investment vehicles to consider before deciding on the final solution.
We are currently looking for a junior administrator/receptionist to work alongside the adviser support team, providing administration across the firm. This is an opportunity for a motivated individual to progress within the company.
The ideal candidate will be a university graduate, although this is not essential, with a genuine desire for a career within the financial services industry. The candidate must be a presentable, team player who is readily available to deal with different tasks throughout their working day.
- Meeting & greeting clients
- Answering telephones
- Dealing with inbound & outbound post
- Ordering office supplies
- Preparing for client meetings
- Maintaining client records and updating database
- Providing general support to the various teams within the company
For more information and to apply, please contact Emily Winn: firstname.lastname@example.org
MIFID II is the latest re-incarnation of European-wide legislation aimed at increasing transparency in markets and providing improved client protection. It becomes effective on January 3rd, 2018. The main areas in which clients will see a change in the way that they invest, and how Holden & Partners addresses these issues are as follows:
- Record of conversations – whenever your adviser has a conversation with you regarding your investments or financial planning strategy, a recording of that conversation will be made and retained.
- Transaction reporting – financial planning firms will be required to make a report of all transactions made by clients that fall within the scope of the new legislation. To do this all investors will need a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI).
For individuals, this will normally be a National Insurance Number (NINO). Where, for any reason, a NINO is not available, there are prescribed alternatives that can be used. Should it be necessary, Holden & Partners may contact clients regarding any further information that is needed to generate a personal LEI. Any clients who are not contacted may assume that no further information is needed.
For trusts, companies, pension funds, charities, or unincorporated bodies, clients will need to obtain a LEI from the London Stock Exchange. Certain clients may have already received communication from a product provider, or obtained a LEI but, regardless, Holden & Partners will be contacting all clients individually to ensure that they such an identifier before January 2018 and to offer assistance to obtain it, should it be needed.
The first half of 2017 continued in a similar vein to the latter stages of 2016; an extremely supportive period for markets in which numerous global equity indices reached all-time highs. Investors witnessed robust gains in Q1 especially, driven by a raft of positive economic data and the perception of a stronger global recovery. Further advancement was seen in Q2, although movements in the latter stages of the period became more nuanced as investors distinguished between improving corporate earnings and economic data in Europe, and a slight disappointment in expectations in the USA. In contrast to recent years, political and economic surprises were not accompanied by an increase in market volatility – in fact, the VIX index (measuring the volatility of the US equity market) reached its lowest level since 1993, perhaps suggesting that investors are now focusing more heavily on underlying economic growth than the instability created by specific events.
2017’s pro-equity environment started with President Trump’s inauguration in January, as markets were buoyed by the administration’s plans to cut taxes, reduce the regulatory burden on companies, and increase infrastructure spending, alongside the expectation of higher GDP growth and inflation. Nonetheless, the so-called ‘reflation’ trade started to lose momentum within a few months as little progress was made on implementing the reform agenda, with the failure to pass revisions to healthcare legislation in March demonstrating Trump’s inability to deliver on many of his policies. With this came the realisation that a large boost to economic growth was unlikely, and the subsequent unwinding of the rally in value-orientated stocks which had surged since the election result. That being said, equity valuations continued to rise on the back of positive economic data, although this became softer in Q2 as several leading indicators disappointed. The Federal Reserve (Fed) looked through low inflation readings to further tighten policy with a 0.25% interest rate rise in June, whilst the dollar weakened due to a lack of conviction over the success of fiscal expansion and the expectation of other central banks around the world withdrawing monetary stimulus.
In the post Brexit environment and with the next general election up to 3 years away, Phillip Hammond could, in his first budget, afford to disappoint those expecting the economy to receive a fiscal boost from new spending initiatives.
The circumspect tone of the 2017 budget seemed to blend with the caution most commentators express regarding the prospects for the UK economy. The absence of clear exit terms as the UK transitions away from EU membership into an unknown and uncertain trading entity, make his caution understandable. Perhaps he is also frustrated by the lack of a clear post Brexit agenda.
The backdrop to this edition is one of all change. Changes at Holden & Partners, on political stages and in investment markets.
In the face of change, there is no shortage of material on which to inform and provide commentary. The newsletter containing a diversity of articles from Brexit, through to new technology at Holden & Partners.
We hope you will find plenty of interest and please if you are minded, provide us with your feedback.
Politically Correct Investment Strategies
Both written and unwritten constitutions are under threat with the pillars supporting them under attack, as populist forces gather, chipping or pulling apart conventions and traditions embedded across Western democracies. Looking back at periods of calm, today’s investors are being challenged in a way unimaginable a decade or so ago.