Rising wages and overheads mean companies are having to pass on costs to consumers, dampening spending in some discretionary sectors in the UK. Against this backdrop of turbulence in markets and the wider economy, our investment approach remains steadfastly the same: to invest for the long term in good companies with solid balance sheets. Despite the gloomy conditions, there are some positive signs: energy prices and inflation are gradually waning, potentially leading to falling interest rates in the new year.

Many of our clients may have had a number of jobs throughout their working lives, all with separate pensions. It can be very difficult to keep track of all the schemes currently held, let alone monitor their performance. A solution to this problem can be to consolidate pensions, which has been a key area of focus for our wealth planning team this year as more and more clients choose to take advantage of the simplicity and flexibility afforded to them by consolidating their individual pots into a SIPP. Full details of the process and what to expect are here. For those approaching retirement, there can be a dizzying array of options. Annuities are often a source of confusion, yet they have become potentially more interesting in recent times due to the correlation between annuity rates and interest rates. Michael Law of our Wealth Planning team explores the topic here.

Many of our readers will have recently received a link to our biennial client survey. This affords us a huge opportunity to gain insight into how we are perceived by our clients and what you, our clients, need from us to help you meet your financial challenges. In addition, our industry regulator has let it be known that they are looking to become increasingly data driven and direct client feedback is one area they are looking to focus on. I hope you found the survey a chance to share your views and thank you to those who took the time to respond.

Thank you also to those who participated in the Prospects survey that we included with the summer edition of the magazine; your response is invaluable in helping us to shape Prospects and other communications to your needs and I am delighted we got such positive feedback. Details of the survey results can be seen here.

2024 will undoubtedly be an interesting year for investors, with elections in the US, for the European Parliament and, most likely, in the UK. With polls predicting a change of government here, it could well be a year of substantial change. We don’t anticipate too much concern in the markets but changes to personal taxation levels could well be on the cards, so it might be prudent to run a health check on your finances ahead of time, which we would be happy to assist with.

Finally, I announce that our Chairman Steven Sussman is retiring after many years at JM Finn. Steven has led the firm in various capacities for over 25 years, for which we are incredibly grateful. He will be replaced as Chairman by Luc Bertrand, who has been a non-executive director of JM Finn since 2011. I would like to personally thank Steven for his outstanding contribution to the firm, more of which can be read about here.

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