Here’s your September update from Team DFP. This month’s edition brings you the latest news from the world of finance, some useful tips on protecting yourself against fraud, and the importance of cost and value when considering your long-term financial investments.
Long-term investments: The importance of cost & value…
As a country, we’re still coming to terms with the financial fallout caused by COVID-19. The inevitable impact that reduced income and furloughed employment have had on peoples’ everyday lives has been profound, and the pandemic’s legacy is likely to linger even as infection rates reduce.
In this challenging period then, it’s important to consider the value of financial prudence and long-term planning. For instance, do you have investments, Individual Savings Accounts, or pension plans? If so, do you know how much you’re paying and what exactly you’re getting for that money? In our considerable experience, many investors simply don’t know the answers to those questions.
So, we’ve taken a look at the things you should be considering when it comes to investing your cash, long-term. Take a look, here.
In the news…
If you work in a shared office, or if your tasks can be completed on a laptop or personal computer, the chances are you’ll have experienced remote working - at least for a short period - during the last few months. Like most things, there are both pros and cons to working from home, or away from the office. Whilst you may miss your colleagues, or resent the greater reliance on technology to stay connected, you might at the same time relish more peace and quiet, and the cutting of your commute.
Either way, whether you like it or not, for many of us, flexible and remote working is here to stay. Employers in towns and cities across the UK are embracing flexible working on a scale we’ve never seen before. Here’s tech entrepreneur, Jo Wimble-Groves, on how her company operates flexible working, and the positive impact it can have for both employee and employer.
From those in work, to those who no longer work, now, as triple lock state pensions have also been in the news. The triple lock guarantees a state pension increase every April of either 2.5%, average earnings growth, or the price of inflation - whichever is highest.
Inflation is currently stuttering and earnings are likely suffer when the government’s furlough scheme ends in October, so if, as some predict, there is a ‘V-shaped economic recovery’ thereafter, triple locked state pensions could increase by as much as 21.3% over a two-year period. This would be a big financial hit for the Treasury.
So, rumours are surfacing that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is looking to announce in his Autumn Budget the temporary suspension of the triple lock - despite reported opposition from the Prime Minister.
Sunak recently told a Treasury Select Committee: “Your committee on the triple lock has had evidence from others which has pointed out the anomaly in the way that it might work, depending on the very particular trajectory of earnings declines and the rapid rises over the next few years.” You can read more on this, here.
Elsewhere, in light of the pandemic, personal savings have taken on greater significance. According to a recent survey though, only 3% of UK savers have actually consulted a financial planner about their post-COVID concerns. This is despite 31% of those surveyed saying they were ‘worried about their finances’. It just doesn’t add up.
If you were concerned about a certain aspect of your health, you’d seek the professional opinion of a doctor. If you were concerned about loose tiles on your home, you’d speak to a roofer. So, why are savers who are worried about their finances not consulting a specialist, independent financial advisor? Find out more about the survey, here.
This Month’s Featured Article…
Earlier in the year we brought you some important advice from the FCA on how to protect yourself against investment scams, as well as useful tips on how to find out if you’re dealing with a reputable, authorised firm.
The significance of this message cannot be overstated; with investment scams on the rise, vigilance is essential. As the BBC’s Personal Finance Reporter, Kevin Peachey, writes, ‘fraudsters have been intercepting people’s attempts to make their money go further during lockdown’, with ‘fraud attempts up 66% in the first half of the year’. Read more, below:
On a lighter note…
COVID-19 has hijacked the spring and summer months and, for many, trips to the continent and beyond have been strictly off limits. With travel restrictions being imposed at the drop of a hat and quarantine rules putting people off holidaying abroad, a staycation may be your best chance to get away with your family or friends this year.
Taking into account the budget constraints many are wrestling with, here are 40 of the most unique staycation spots in the UK - all for £100 a night, MAX: