Westside Article – February 2016

Stockmarket volatility, your money, 2016 and beyond.

2015 certainly saw volatility in the global equity markets. With falling commodity prices we have seen falls in the price of oil and utilities in the UK. Where is the best place to be invested now? Is now a good time to buy into the markets and where is it best to invest?

How have recent events affected your investments? Well this depends on where your money is invested. Many investors have seen the value of their investments and pensions plummet in the last 12 months. Had you merely invested in a FTSE 100 tracker fund then you could have seen a fall in value of some 17.7% from the peak.

How would this make you feel? There is no right or wrong way of investing, it basically boils down to what you are trying to achieve. We all have short, medium and long term objectives and where to invest is closely linked to how long you can invest for.

In the short term bank deposits offer security but little interest. Different asset classes perform differently to worldwide events. In our opinion most investors would be best served by minimising the usual risks of investing fully in equities. Spreading your money across different asset classes reduces the volatility and protects value.

Markets may be volatile in the short term but, over the longer term, they are more prone to rise than to fall. Short term fluctuations can be bearable and, as longer term investors, we sometimes have to put up with short term volatility in order to achieve our objectives.

If you would like to discuss how we can protect your money from market risk whilst still delivering above average returns, call Jonathan Rowley, Director at Hamnett Wealth Management, on 0114 235 3500.

The success of our business is closely aligned to your success. As Independent Financial Advisers we can help you make the most of your money. And don’t forget that the 5th April is fast approaching so make sure you have used your full ISA and Pension allowances.

Westside Article – December 2015

Fossil Fuel Divestment

“The economic climate has suited ethical funds over the last year, carefully researched and low investment in China due to human rights issues, low exposure to commodities especially mining stocks, and very little exposure to fossil fuel investment have led to ethical funds performing well” says Graham Walton, Ethical Investment Specialist and member of the Ethical Investment Association.

One recent theme that has captured global attention has been the fossil fuel divestment campaign. Universities, companies, councils and charities have all been under pressure to move pension investments away from these carbon intensive industries.

The issues – a consensus of scientific opinion agrees that the world is warming and this is largely due to human activity, with global planetary temperatures greater than they have been for 11,000 years. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has identified a Carbon Budget, above which it would be difficult to avoid the worst effects of climate change. This has been defined as remaining within 2 degrees of preindustrial temperatures. By 2011 scientists estimate that the world had already burnt 65% of this allowable budget.

Here at Hamnett Wealth Management we have portfolios of ethical funds to suit different levels of risk. These portfolios mix ten different ethical funds. Four of the funds are fossil fuel free – Jupiter Ecology, WHEB Sustainability, Quilter Cheviot Climate Asset Fund, and Pictet Environmental Megatrends. The other six have no exposure to oil, coal, and non-conventional gas (fracking). They do however have some exposure to conventional natural gas. I would be more than happy to share these funds and mixes of funds with you, just call me on 0114 235 3500. These portfolios can be used for ISA’s, pensions, bonds, trusts etc. Which one is best for you depends on your situation.

I would be happy to speak with anyone who is considering ethical investments. I can highlight the differences between the more mainstream investment funds, and ethical or sustainable practices. Fossil Fuel Divestment is one theme, others include water scarcity, clean energy production, storage of energy, aging and growing populations, sustainable living, green transport, waste management.

Westside Article – October 2015

“If you are approaching retirement it is very important that you seek advice from a Professional Independent Financial Adviser” says Phil Smith, Director at Hamnett Wealth Management.

For people approaching retirement or supplementing their pension income from savings, times are tough. Interest rates have been at a record low for over 6 years. The amount of income available at retirement through traditional annuities for people who have diligently saved into private pensions is lower now than ever. Those people who have worked hard and done the right thing by building a nest egg are justified in feeling more than just a little hard done by at the moment.

However, help is at hand. At Hamnett Wealth Management our job is to help you get your money working for you. If you’re not happy with the interest you are getting on your savings we can see if you are getting the best rate available, don’t let your money add to the banks’ profits, let’s help it profit you. If you are not satisfied with the returns on your investments, take advantage of our investment review service, we will make sure your money is invested for your benefit and not for the benefit of poorly performing fund managers and insurance companies.

If you have a personal pension it is crucial you get Independent Financial Advice as things have changed dramatically. We will ensure you fully understand all your retirement options (and they are numerous), you don’t have to take the first offer from your existing pension provider, there is nearly always better value from the open market when considering annuities, and the new flexible pension income options need to be fully considered as well. You often only get once chance to get things right when retiring so take advantage of our qualified and professional advice to make sure the extra pounds are going in your pocket and not insurance company coffers.

At Hamnett Wealth Management we offer a free initial consultation.  Come and have a coffee and a chat and we will assess your individual needs and explain how we could help.  Call us on 0114 235 3500 to arrange a convenient time.