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March 10, 2022

Patience is rewarded

As the terrible events continue to unfold in Ukraine, it is hard not to feel unsettled. The scale of human suffering and the destruction of a European country so close to home, is covered in graphic detail across all media sources.

The resulting stock market volatility inevitably compounds this feeling of uncertainty, as global markets react to a conflict that barely seemed possible only a few weeks ago and has no clear outcome or end point.

The FTSE 100 has fallen by circa 7% since the start of the year, the S&P 500 (US stock market) has fallen by 9.4% and the MSCI World Index 10.26% (up to 07.03.22, source FE Analytics, 08.03.22).

In response, you will have recently received notification from your investment and pension providers that your invested capital has fallen by at least 10% in the current reporting period.

Reporting in this way is an FCA requirement but it is likely that you will not receive any further communication within the same reporting period if there are any further decreases of a similar level.

Remember that you can access the value of your investments and pensions through our Client hub, online directly with the corresponding provider or by contacting us directly by phone or email.

It is really important that you feel you can access this information as and when you want to during these uncertain times.

“The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient”, Warren Buffet.

When faced with falling investment values, it is in our human nature to want to take action, to react, to fix things – but past experience has taught us that doing nothing whilst in the “eye of the storm” is often the most sensible course of action.

However uncomfortable we may feel just now, it is important to remember that current stock market conditions are temporary, not permanent.

Investment rewards patience.

Taking action now risks “locking-in” losses that have been sustained over a very short period of time, in reaction to a very unusual event.

Tax year-end checklist

For some clients, the current level of market uncertainty represents an opportunity to invest, typically phased-in over a period of months as opposed to a single investment, to try and take advantage of the volatility.

With inflation increasing, clients are conscious of the need to make their savings more productive over the medium-term.

This comes at a point when we are approaching the end of the current tax year, so although it might not be the right time for everyone – we thought it might be useful to highlight some of the annual allowances that can be used before 5th April.

ISAs

Have you taken full advantage of this year’s £20,000 ISA allowance? This allows you to invest tax-efficiently. Don’t forget that you can hold a cash and investment ISA concurrently within the same tax year (subject to the annual limit).

JISAs

There’s also the £9,000 Junior ISA (JISA) allowance. JISAs present a great opportunity to help give children a financial head start. Contributions can be made by parents, grandparents and even family and friends (although it can only be applied for at the outset by a parent or legal guardian). The funds are locked-in until the child reaches 18 – at which point it can be converted into an adult ISA and enjoy the same tax advantages.

LISAs

Lifetime ISAs (LISAs): were introduced back in April 2017 to help people save either for their first home or for retirement. You must be aged between 18 and 40 to open one, and the government will give you a bonus worth 25% of what you pay in, up to a maximum of £4,000 per tax year. You can continue to pay into it until you reach age 50. If you don’t use the LISA for your first property purchase, it can be accessed without penalty from age 60.

Pensions

Most UK taxpayers get tax relief on their pension payments based on the rate of income tax they pay. In total, within this tax year you can contribute up to the lower of either the value of your annual salary, or the Annual Allowance (£40,000).

Carry forward
If you haven’t used your annual allowance in the last three tax years, you might be able to pay more into your pension by ‘carrying forward’ unused allowances before 5th April. This might be a bit more complex, so we would always suggest you speak with your adviser on this one.

A final thought…….

We think it is important not to lose sight of the fact that behind all of this discussion around market uncertainty and financial planning implications, there lies a huge amount of human suffering.

There are many charities offering help, and many of us will have already helped with the crisis efforts in our own way. However, in case you have wondered how and where you might donate, we have shared a link below to John Lewis’s support of the Red Cross. They’re offering to match donations made by customers and staff of up to £150,000. You can donate here.

 

March 10, 2022