August was a rollercoaster month for international markets with interest rates, trade wars and Brexit contributing to a bumpy ride. Stock markets, as well as some family holidaymakers, experienced a rollercoaster August. The traditional holiday month proved to be anything but quiet on the world’s investment markets. As the graph of the major UK and US stock market indices shows, there were plenty of sharp lurches, up as well as down….
It is not only Chinese mainland shares which are now attracting investor attention. China is in the investment news again as Bloomberg opens its bond market index to mainland Chinese securities. Is it time to review your international portfolio? Over the past few years, the relevance of shares quoted on the mainland Chinese stock exchanges to global investors has grown considerably. China has opened access to its share markets via the Shanghai-Hong Kong and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock connect schemes.
Venture capital trust (VCT) investment is at a 10-year high. There may be opportunities early in the tax year to explore your options. Figures recently released for last tax year show the highest level of VCT investment since 2005/06. The Association of Investment Companies was quick off the mark after 5 April in announcing a near record level of fund raising for venture capital trusts (VCTs) in 2018/19. At £731m, 2018/19 VCT investment just beat the 2017/18 figure by £3m.
A brief dip in US Treasury securities yields illustrates the benefits of holding your nerve amid investment ‘noise’. On 22 March the US stock market caught a sudden – and brief – chill. One of the main reasons was the red line in the graph shown….
It’s the 20th birthday for tax-free investment in ISAs. With the deadline for contributions approaching, have you made the most of your allowances? The arrival of the new tax year on 6 April means that it is time to consider your Individual Savings Accounts (ISA) investments, which will celebrate their 20th birthday in April. Over the past 20 years, the maximum annual contribution has risen from £7,000 per tax year to £20,000 for 2019/20.
New year, new resolutions to break? Try our four financial resolutions with long term benefits. Have your New Year resolutions fallen by the wayside already? You know, the ones about eating better, drinking less and exercising more. The problem is they all require you to make a change to your lifestyle, which is never easy, particularly in the dark days of mid-winter….
The first six months of 2018 were unpredictable times for investors as global stock markets suffered a sudden bout of volatility. The unpredictability came as a major surprise after the general stability of 2017. Once the dust had settled there was a mixture of good and bad news. The UK markets were inevitably led by Brexit, with negotiations mainly at the intra- rather than inter-government level. The other perennial British topic, the weather, produced the Beast from the East, depressing economic activity in the first quarter.
November marked the first rise in the Bank of England Base Rate in over ten years. At the start of November, the Bank of England raised its base rate for the first time since 5 July 2007. Just over a decade ago, the previous increase was 0.25% – from 5.5% to 5.75% – this time around the increase was the same, but represented a doubling in the base rate!…
The September inflation rate was just low enough to spare Bank of England (BoE) Governor, Mark Carney, from having to write to the Chancellor and helped spur the first interest rate rise in a decade. Every year the Chancellor of the day gives the BoE an inflation target to meet and ever since Gordon Brown changed the inflation index used to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), that target has been 2%…
In the world of ISAs, cash ISAs have long attracted more contributions than their stocks and shares counterpart. However, new statistics from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) show that cash withdrawals from individual savings accounts (ISAs) are probably more than matching new contributions…