As you may have observed there were significant downward movements in US equities yesterday and markets have opened negatively this morning in most regions. As we have alluded to in recent communications, the threat of a pull-back in stock markets has been hovering over us for some time and the catalyst was one that we had been watching closely. The initial source of worry was the stronger-than-expected US employment and wage growth data at the end of last week. While this sparked concerns of higher inflation and, consequently, more interest rate increases than anticipated, the driver of much of the volatility in markets was largely due to the increased volume of trading in Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) and by high-frequency traders, which exacerbate severe market movements. As ETFs make up nearly 20% of US trading volumes markets can move very quickly on these sort of unusual movements.
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Each year, the directors of Gibbs Denley Financial Services invite the staff to nominate a shortlist of charities, and then vote for the charity they wish to support for the year.
2017 has been a phenomenal year for fundraising at Gibbs Denley Financial Services, as together with Gibbs Denley Insurance Services, we have raised a whopping £2,301.63 for our Charity of the Year, Arthur Rank Hospice.
This money was raised throughout the year through a combination of:
- Monthly Dress Down Days
- Internal raffles and a Baby Photo quiz
- Sponsored events, including Star Shine Stroll and the London-Cambridge Bike Ride
- Corporate Christmas Cards – we cut back on the number of cards we sent and donated instead
Arthur Rank Hospice Charity have been our Charity of the Year several times since we first supported them in 2009, and we are thrilled to say that our total fundraising over the years comes to £8,964.96.
A huge congratulations and thank you to all the staff who have taken part throughout the years, and to all the people who have so generously sponsored us.
This year we are launching a new image and style for the discretionary investment management side of our service. As a result of this, you will notice that your Market Review & Outlook has a new look to it. You can also view it as a video, or listen as a podcast, below.
For the second year running we have been positively surprised by the resilience of markets, with near record low levels of volatility across asset classes, as well as indices at or near all-time highs. Although valuations appear lofty, we still see positivity in many areas including Europe, Japan and Asia.
Chris started working for Lloyds Bank in the late 1990s, where he got a taste for learning more about how we should manage our personal finances. He began studying for the Financial Planning Certificate and applied to work at a local office of Standard Life. From there, he soon got his first job at a financial advice firm.
In early 2017, after hearing about Gibbs Denley Financial Services as a company that employees rarely left, he applied for a job across both our Bury St Edmunds and Chelmsford branches. Chris’ expertise lies in more technical areas, such as the use of Trusts and cashflow planning. He also spends a lot of time on retirement advice – one of the most important areas of most peoples financial plans, and one that can require the greatest advice. [click to continue…]
In the case of Brenda*, we were able to look at our client’s financial situation and come up with a strategy that has given her peace of mind knowing that she isn’t leaving any nasty surprises for her children.
Brenda, in her early 70’s, is in good health and a non-smoker. Sadly, she lost her husband a few years ago. She has a good level of retirement income, in excess of £50,000p.a., which is more than adequate for her current lifestyle needs. Additionally, Brenda has investable capital that she is happy to have tied up in long-term investments.
However, the assets that she holds are in excess of the 2017/18 Inheritance Tax threshold of £850,000 (when Brenda’s husband passed away, his ‘nil rate band’ of £325,000 passed fully intact to Brenda. When combined with her own nil rate band of £325,000 and the new residence nil rate band, which was £100,000 per person in 2017/18, this totals £850,000). [click to continue…]
For the second year in a row, Gibbs Denley Financial Services have been named as one of New Model Adviser magazine’s Top 100 IFAs in the UK. The award recognises prominent leaders and outstanding achievements in the UK financial advice community.
The Top 100 are selected based on a variety of aspects including their approach to financial advice, their success within the industry, their commitment to exceptional standards of knowledge and service, and overall business planning.
Siobhan joined the financial services industry at Old Mutual in South Africa after talking to a friend who worked there and realising that it sounded like exactly the sort of career she was looking for. When she moved to the UK a year later she knew that she wanted to remain working in financial services. Although the legislation was different to South Africa, the fundamentals of forming client relationships was very much the same, and she quickly brought her knowledge in line with UK regulation. [click to continue…]
As we entered Autumn, investment markets took some serious international threats in their stride. September proved the least positive month of the quarter as worries mounted, but economic data remained solid in most places, with the exception of the UK where cracks are beginning to appear.
Tax reform, or other stimulative policy, from the US has yet to appear but stocks are holding up well despite this. Earnings are solid across most sectors, but valuations provide very little margin for disappointment.
Investors’ appetite for risk seems to have held firm and they have increased their inputs into riskier investments, such as emerging markets where growth is very strong and inflation is under control. Interest rates rises are back on the horizon as far as developed markets are concerned but we remain cautious on how far these will go in the short term.
With the UK’s most recent economic figures showing a likely slowdown in expansion and the US potentially moving toward the same, investors might be forgiven for looking elsewhere for returns. Even China, the current ‘powerhouse’ of global growth in recent years, has lower growth targets now as the country has matured enormously over the last decade. Against this backdrop,
The Power of People
Possibly the most potent force behind the Indian surge is demographics. Boasting a population size second only to China, India will have 900 million people of working age by 2020, and should reduce an already impressive unemployment rate of just 4.9%. Assuming Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues his current popularity, his reformist and business-friendly government will preside over projected growth of 6-8% per annum. For an economy whose stock market has historically outperformed its economic growth, the case for investing into Indian equities is compelling. [click to continue…]