The Bank of England continues to walk the tightrope of maintaining higher interest rates for long enough to further reduce inflation, while simultaneously trying to avoid a recession. 

In response to this ongoing balancing act market returns have remained inconsistent – this August alone, the FTSE 100 has traded between 7699 and 7258 – a reminder that while short-term blips in the performance of stock markets and investor portfolios are inevitable, it is important to keep a cool head and take a long-term view when investing. 
When making investments for the future, pensions should be the bedrock of any retirement plan – and maximising one’s pot is often a key objective. In addition to a private pension, we should all be due a state pension upon retirement, subject to the required National Insurance being paid during one’s working lifetime. The deadline to top up missing years in National Insurance records has recently been extended to April 2025. Here, Rebecca Dawkins, a member of our wealth planning team, covers the key points on making voluntary contributions to potentially boost retirement income from state pensions. Our wealth planners specialise in pension and retirement planning, and are on hand should you require any advice in this area. 

Developing and maintaining strong relationships with our clients has always stood at the heart of JM Finn’s ethos, and our agenda of exclusive client events around the country present a great opportunity for clients and investment managers to get to know each other better in relaxed and informal settings. In October, we will host two private receptions for clients at The Affordable Art Fair in Battersea, London – which offers artworks priced from £50 to £7,500. Following the success of our partnership with Art For Cure in Suffolk, JM Finn is sponsoring Art For Youth North in York, an exhibition that supports the charity UK Youth though the sale of art – we will hold a drinks reception at the gallery in October. To round off the year, in December the Celebration of Christmas concert and reception will be held at the beautiful Winchester Cathedral to get everyone into the festive spirit.

Our longstanding industry commentator, Brian Tora, retires this month after a 60-year career in the square mile. I first worked with Brian back in the early 1990s at James Capel and have always been impressed with his clear and balanced analysis. In his final piece for Prospects, Brian reflects on the extraordinary shifts seen in the investing world during that time, and speculates that this rapid pace of change could well be set to continue. 

As Brian leaves, so younger members of our team are stepping up. The eagle eyed among you may have spotted JM Finn investment directors Lucy Coutts and Freddy Colquhoun making TV and radio appearances recently, including on Sky and the BBC. They continue to have regular slots on the Wake Up to Money show on BBC Radio 5 Live and Today on Radio 4, and we wish them well as they continue to represent the Firm in the future. 

Finally, thank you to the many of you who completed the survey included with copies of the summer edition of Prospects – your feedback is greatly appreciated and helps us to continually strengthen and tailor our communications to our clients’ needs. We are currently collating the results and will give an update on the survey highlights in the next edition of Prospects.

Hugo Bedford, CEO signature

Hugo Bedford CEO

Understanding Finance

Helping clients understand what we do is key to building relationships. To explain some of the industry jargon that creeps into our world, we’ve pulled together a section of our site to help.

Managing your wealth

Managing your wealth

Also in this issue