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Seasons Greetings

We would like to wish you and yours the very best of health and happiness in the year ahead.  2020, here we come ……………..

December – ‘Santa Rally’ – Fact or Fiction?

Many readers will recall previous articles that discuss the Fact or Fiction of the so-called ‘Santa Rally’.

A long-standing superstition sometimes unfolds where the investment markets rally and bounce in value on the run-up to Christmas.  (2018 was certainly an exception!)

Yuletide Greetings, good cheer, Christmas decorations, along with Wham, Slade, Band Aid and Mariah Carey’s – All I want for Christmas, create positive psychological messages of ‘good times’ where sales across many sectors are strong at the end of the year so there is a basis for the ‘adage’ in a ‘theory’ that often unfolds.

As the Conservative Party delivered a landmark majority markets react positively.  It seems the Election result is likely to be a key factor in determining the ‘close’ of the markets at year end in 2019.

With the Conservative Party winning a large majority UK assets jumped on Friday.  The FTSE was trading at 7412.35 (up 1.91%) at noon on Friday; with the All Share up by 2.29% at the same point.

Sterling surged to 1.35 against the US Dollar as the exit poll was announced Thursday night and maintained the gain at the point of writing (noon on Friday 13th).

Investment Construction

For investors, the most important point is to make sure that their investment portfolio is well balanced, risk adjusted, holding a mixture of quality assets and sectors, so that when investment markets behave badly no unexpected nasty shocks are experienced.  Investors must always remember that volatility (the ups and downs of markets) is a constant when investing.  We very much feel and point out to investors that they should know what risk they are exposed to – making sure the risks are suitable to comply with their risk capacity to suffer capital loss and their personal (sleep easy) tolerance to investment market volatility.  We know that our investment results have delivered exceptional performance (Risk adjusted) but when markets fall, capital invested in our portfolios suffers also; we aim to ‘beat the market and peers’ but unless in cash assets investors must understand that other asset classes become impacted.  Cash is impacted by inflation (buying power) over time.


2019 started as 2018 ended, with a year of messy politics, with the economic policy of the major central banks changing focus, following a previous year of low investment volatility.  (Interest rates were expected to gradually rise – instead, due to uncertainty, rates were cut).

The main UK index started the year at 6734 on 1 January 2019 – rallying to 7401.90 at the end of the Tax Year, following interest rate cuts and a reduction in trade tensions.  Bouts of volatility developed mid year, although the main UK index touched 7686 on 28 July 2019 to slump to 7171.70 on 5 August 2019 on further trade concerns.

Political uncertainty, leading to economic worry, has paved the road to this point where on 3/12/19 the FTSE 100 closed at 7167.81.

As previously stated, the UK’s main market index bounced to 7412.35 at noon last Friday following the Conservative Party winning the ‘Brexit General Election’ (which was the point of writing the Newsletter).

Financial Planning Time – Make 2020 a year of clear financial vision

The end of the year and the start of a new year is often a good time to consider your financial plans for the coming year (like any business, planning is made for the year ahead).  So, why don’t you set aside time to consider your position, gathering expert advice from Best Price FS?  Often there is no need to make radical changes but a ‘remain on track review’ is essential in our view.

Make the Christmas/New Year break a focus for setting some time aside to consider your position and engage with a professional review in 2020 (with our clear 20/20 vision!).

We produced an article – published on 1/7/2019 which remains with the same with focus today.

Good Financial Habits

Financial habits to live by
Financial Advice – Producing Quality Consumer Outcomes

Click the link below to read the article:


We very much recommend you take time to read the article above if you missed it previously.

2020 Outlook

No one has a crystal ball  (that works to predict market results) so investment markets cannot be predicted with accuracy and they are certainly unpredictable, which is why as a professional advisory business we direct investors to a balanced, diverse range of quality asset holdings, aligned to their risk tolerance, capacity and goals for the medium to longer term.

Short term predictions are guess work, although we recognise that current political uncertainty is doing ‘no good’ for investment decision making.

Maybe a new Parliament with a healthy majority will deliver improved stability, let’s hope so ……

A quality article has recently been produced by Vanguard – Economic and Market Outlook.

20  – The new age of uncertainty

Click the link and watch the video presented by Dr Peter Westaway, Chief Economist and Head of Investment – https://www.vanguard.co.uk/adviser/adv/vanguard-economic-and-market-outlook?cmpgn=ET1219UKTLRZC0017

The views and outlook are, of course, subjective but based upon current politics and economic concerns.

We must add the views are not a recommendation, the views are to help support thinking and express the need for a review, once one’s needs are established.

As always, we are here to help so simply get in touch as I am sure we can do better tomorrow than you did today.

Financial Education should begin at secondary school

For many school children of a certain vintage, the wisest investment of their youth was made for them.  Buried away in their time capsule, some will still have a battered bankbook or Post Office account, into which a small amount was regularly deposited.

Come the final day of Senior School a wide-eyed child might find a few hundred pounds, or more, at their  disposal.   However, for many, this was as close as they came to a family discussion about the foibles of money and dealing with it.

Today, children are aware of the power of money at a much younger age than their parents.  Apparently, money talks, which is lucky because most of us don’t like to talk about it.  At a 2003  financial planning  conference in the United States, psychologist Bill Nixon provided an intriguing assessment of how money is tied up in our psychology.  ‘When adults were asked to define how they felt when the topic of money came up in their childhood, the most common words used included worry, anxiety, stress, panic, greed and need’,  Nixon said, before listing five hidden truths about how the issue of money is entrenched in our psyche.

Money’s hidden truths.

1. The meaning of money is a private matter and is kept  buried by most of us.

2. We carry emotional scars from childhood money matters that directly affect our adult money attitudes and behaviours.

3. We have a predisposition from developmental experiences in childhood to be givers or takers, savers or spenders.

4. Secrecy about our money attitudes is so ingrained we don’t even talk about the fact we are defensive about it.

5. Income level makes little difference to the other four.

A 2011 study attempted to define the psychological issues related to money that may be contributing to individual and family problems.  Using a sample of 422 individuals who identified their level of agreement on 72 money related beliefs, this study identified four distinct money belief patterns:

Money avoidance:
Money avoiders believe that money is bad or that they do not deserve money.  Money stirs up fear, anxiety or disgust.

Money worship:
These individuals believe an increase in income and/or financial windfall would solve their problems.

Money status:
‘Money is status’ believers associated self-worth with net worth.  These people can become locked into a competitive stance of acquiring more than those around them.

Money vigilance:
For many people, money is a deep source of shame and secrecy.  People who are secretive with their money may be developing financial behaviours that are unhealthy for their financial future.

Do these sound familiar?

Whether such attitudes have been passed down from parents, acquired from peers or you just happen to  possess some  mutant financial DNA, it’s important to take a step back and consider how these attitudes are  impacting your life, and the lives of those around you.  For instance, when household finances are discussed in an age-appropriate and calm manner,  children learn to be confident in managing their own money.  When parents convey  stress while discussing  finances, children learn to associate money with fear, and feel unable to handle their own finances later on.  And if you need a prop to get the conversation started, it might be time to dig out that old primary school savings account book.  As a New Year’s resolution, it may be a  consideration to start planning and educating your children and grandchildren about the various aspects of money, economies and financial responsibility.  We are here to help—just call if you require assistance.

We can assist with a logical, practical approach to support families with a solid financial plan.  We can also provide access to tax effective products so putting some money aside enables a disciplined approach and outcome in the future.

Compliments of the Season to you and Yours.

We would like to take this time again to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We thank you for placing your trust in Best Price FS and assure you of our best and focused attention in the year ahead.

2020 – let’s work together to gather the best outcomes.

Warmest Wishes.

Richard, Sian and the Best Price FS Team