Professional investment advice is invaluable when it comes to managing uncertainty
Many world investment markets performed strongly in 2017 only to falter in the first part of this year on the back of concerns about US President Donald Trump’s proposal to impose trade tariffs on a number of countries including China and the members of the European Union.
As I write, some market stability has returned and the oil price has surged on President Trump’s further announcement of the USA’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement that was finalised by his predecessor. Although it is perhaps still too early to determine the longer-term consequences of this development, it has so far proved positive for the United Kingdom equity markets and shares in some FTSE100 oil companies have benefitted.
For the UK as a whole, Brexit uncertainty remains, due in part to continuing political problems concerning the Irish border and in establishing an acceptable customs arrangement. Economically, the UK remains at the lower end of the growth scale compared with other developed nations and, as inflation is showing signs of falling, the scope for multiple interest rate rises this year seems limited.
Investors who depend on income can expect only moderate upward movement in interest rates on cash deposits – if you are in a position to invest capital for more than three to five years, the investment markets could continue to represent an attractive alternative.
Professional advice is essential when it comes to deciding how much risk you want your investment strategy to take on board – it is vital to review your portfolio regularly in order to take account of changing events, and it is important to maintain a balance between easily-accessible funds for emergencies and locking your money away for the longer term.
But choosing the right investment advisor is not always easy. Always check whether the firm’s advisors hold professional qualifications and, ideally, are members of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. Find out how much experience an individual advisor has and how frequently you would receive a report on your account – and remember to ask how the firm’s advisors get paid. If the firm does not charge a fee for its services, it is likely that your advisor is paid exclusively by commission on the investment products they recommend and in this case clients should be wary, while the charging structure for any up-front fees should be explained clearly.
John Atkinson. Chartered Wealth ManagerBusiness, General, George Ide, Investment, News