The roadmap to easing the current restrictions is slow paced but a welcome relief to us all and with the relative success of the vaccine roll-out, it means that we can begin to think about a new dawn.
That said, markets have remained range bound in the UK with continued uncertainty surrounding a possible global recovery. This leaves a challenging environment when it comes to investing, with the spectres of inflation and subsequent rising interest rates on the horizon.
But in the interests of remaining positive, I would like to share that JM Finn has recently passed a significant milestone, with funds under management and administration exceeding the £10 billion mark for the first time. This is an exciting landmark for us, made more so by the fact that the UK market significantly underperformed global equity markets in 2020.
This also coincides with the firm’s 75th anniversary, which we are celebrating this year and to mark the occasion, we are delighted that a former colleague, Charles Beck, has written a comprehensive history of the firm, charting our origins back to our namesake, John M Finn’s acquisition of stockbroking firm Kenneth Carr & Co. We have, with kind permission of Charles, shared the synopsis of the book which can be found here, that gives a sense of the rich history on which today’s firm is based.
As we look ahead, I hope you, our clients will continue to share your financial concerns with us, so that we can help. Continuing the development of our wealth planning capabilities is a priority for us as more and more clients turn to our experts for advice across a range of subjects. These can be broadly put into two categories: wealth transfer and retirement planning. At the time of writing, how the Treasury plan to restore the country’s finances is unknown but we expect there to be a range of measures put in place that could have consequences for our clients. I would therefore encourage anyone looking to assess their financial position to contact their investment managers about our wealth planning services.
With investment income significantly down on historical levels due to the pandemic, there is a good opportunity to review how you might draw returns from portfolios. In our General Interest article, we present an argument for adopting a total return approach to your investments, which, by reducing the focus on income, could provide greater flexibility. This might also give rise to conversations about those stocks that carry a capital gains tax liability and, if the tea leaves are correct, this might be the opportune moment to address those, as seemingly this tax rate is only going in one direction.
I trust I haven’t put a commentator’s curse on the arrival of spring and that we can continue to look ahead with hope as, despite all the headwinds, out of chaos comes opportunity. I believe we have a strong foundation that will help JM Finn thrive for another 75 years whilst allowing us to continue providing a top quality service for future generations of investors.
Hugo Bedford CEO