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The second quarter of the year was no less eventful than the first but markets were not quite as bleak.  Both stock and bond markets digested the reality of higher and rising interest rates as globally inflation is more prevalent than many had anticipated.

The falls in bond markets, led by interest rate rises in the US, have pushed the valuations of some assets in most regions to much more attractive levels, which we will capitalise upon in our next changes to some portfolios.  In stocks, overall levels of earnings remain strong in the US, UK and Europe, which is encouraging as potential recession draws near in those regions, and we have concentrated our equity exposure towards sectors that are less dependent on spending.

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A hedgehog climbing over a log.

From goldfinches to hedgehogs, you can spot a lot of British wildlife without having to leave your home if you create a haven in your garden. If you want to create a place where nature can flourish, a few simple changes to your outdoor space can have a huge effect.

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View of Auckland from Mount Eden.

For many people, travelling abroad has been put on hold for the last two years. As pandemic restrictions continue to lift around the world, you may be planning a city break to explore a new culture and escape.

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This summer the Queen will celebrate an incredible 70 years on the throne. Since her reign began in 1952, the world has changed a lot – who in the 1950s would’ve thought it’d be normal to carry a computer in your pocket that lets you make calls, access the internet, and a whole lot more?

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A group of protesters with a sign that says, “we need a change”.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a stark warning about the need to drastically increase steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if the world is to limit the effects of climate change. A report released by the organisation also identified a significant investment gap.

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A mature couple jogging across a bridge.

Do you have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place? If you don’t, it could leave you in a vulnerable position if you’re unable to make decisions for yourself, such as after an accident or illness.

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A man sitting behind a cake with “100” birthday candles.

When you’re nearing retirement there are a lot of big decisions you need to make. From when to retire to how much income to take from your pension, how long you will spend in retirement is a crucial piece of information. And it’s not something you should put off thinking about until you’re ready to retire.

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The first quarter of 2022 has been dominated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the large scale humanitarian crisis that it has caused.

The economic impact has been felt worldwide but particularly in Europe, where they are far more reliant on Russian gas and oil. There has been increased optimism lately that a deal between Russia and Ukraine could be reached, with Russia indicating that they will dramatically scale back its military operations in Ukraine.

Inflation has also been surging, led largely by fuel and energy price increases, but also affecting raw materials and consumer goods in a significant way. Central banks felt the need to act with both the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England raising interest rates by 0.25% at their March meetings, and more rate rises are expected in the coming months.

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British chancellor, Rishi Sunak, walking along Downing Street

Against the backdrop of the continuing war in Ukraine, the chancellor has delivered his spring statement.

The war has contributed to uncertainty in the global economy, with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) saying that, “given the unfolding situation in Ukraine, there is unusually high uncertainty around the outlook”.

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The 2021/22 tax year ends on Monday 5 April 2022. This is the date when many allowances reset, and it could be your last opportunity to make use of some of them.

Keeping track of how you’ve used your allowances can reduce your tax liability and help you boost your wealth. Reviewing your finances ahead of the tax year end could reduce the amount of tax you pay and improve your financial security in the future.

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