It’s been a busy year and an interesting one from a political and market perspective. However, the investment returns have been good and, dependent on your risk profile, you will have seen investment returns ranging from good to excellent over the last year.
Unless we see an unusual finish to the year, investors should be able to contemplate their position over the festive holidays and feel a sense of satisfaction.
You might think that, given the backdrop of political and global events, the markets have been relatively calm. This is the case as the underlying fundamentals, low inflation, low interest rates, low unemployment and corporate earnings growth across a lot of the globe have been favourable.
One of the areas we focus on is the Budget. This appeared to be quite well balanced and we saw no real change impacting on advice. The Lifetime Allowance for pensions increases to £1,030,000.00 in April 2018. A step in the right direction.
My Christmas wish is for the politicians to leave pension legislation alone. We have seen enough legislative change recently for pensions (and most of it has been favourable) but I’d like to see the status quo maintained for stability in this area as we fund pensions for the very long term, 30, 40 or even 50 years and we need to have faith in pension legislation to give us confidence to fund for the long term and to be able to plan our retirement.
The consensus outlook for 2018 (I’ve been doing the rounds in seminars listening to economists, fund managers and strategists), is for growth but with higher volatility. This again is based on strong underlying global fundamentals. Investment returns are not likely to be as good as for 2017 but they should be fair.
We are obviously subject to shocks in the market (as ever) and this could impact your investment returns if we suffer a significant setback.
Let’s hope we have a peaceful 2018 with less war, conflict and terrorism.
Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year!