Great expectations for the year ahead

Given the challenges of the past two years we could be forgiven for focusing on life’s trials and tribulations as a new year dawns. However, while concerns about supply chain disruption, new COVID variants and rising inflation may be disconcerting for investors, all the signs are that the coming 12 months will be a time of opportunity as well as risk, as we move towards a postpandemic future.

Recovery continues

In its final 2021 assessment of economic prospects, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted a continuation of the global recovery in 2022, with the world economy forecast to grow by 4.9% this year. The international soothsayer did, however, acknowledge that the degree of uncertainty surrounding future prospects has risen with policy choices becoming more difficult and increasingly complex.

Inflation-proof your wealth

In particular, concerns surrounding global supply chain issues and rising inflation have created a policy dilemma for central banks. These twin concerns have also heightened the need for investors to employ careful and considered strategic thinking in order to reposition their portfolios to take advantage of new growth opportunities while ensuring their wealth is inflation proofed.

Beware investment scams

Although the spectre of rising inflation is expected to see central banks tighten monetary policy as the year progresses, deposit-based savings rates are forecast to remain at historically low levels. Such meagre returns have prompted many savers to shift their money into investments, with research1 suggesting over half of all adults have done so. This move though has raised concerns that unrealistically high return expectations could leave some investors susceptible to investment scams.

Advice remains key

While the coming year is sure to present ongoing challenges for investors, the key to successful investing will remain the adoption of a carefully considered strategy based on sound financial planning principles. Attractive investment opportunities are likely to present as 2022 unfolds and, with our help and careful repositioning of your portfolio, you should be able to make the most of these as and when they arise.

1Aegon, 2021

It is important to take professional advice before making any decision relating to your personal finances. Information within this newsletter is based on our current understanding of taxation and can be subject to change in future. It does not provide individual tailored investment advice and is for guidance only. Some rules may vary in different parts of the UK; please ask for details. We cannot assume legal liability for any errors or omissions it might contain. Levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are those currently applying or proposed and are subject to change; their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor.

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated. If you withdraw from an investment in the early years, you may not get back the full amount you invested. Changes in the rates of exchange may have an adverse effect on the value or price of an investment in sterling terms if it is denominated in a foreign currency. Taxation depends on individual circumstances as well as tax law and HMRC practice which can change.

The information contained within this newsletter is for information only purposes and does not constitute financial advice. The purpose of this newsletter is to provide technical and general guidance and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation or advice.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate advice on deposit accounts and some forms of tax advice.

What’s on your playlist this year?

Over the years, several studies have proven that investors can enter emotional relationships with the stocks in which they invest. Research has reinforced the concept that equity prices are not only driven by analysis of a company’s prospects but also by external factors which can directly impact investor mood. For example, correlation has been found between improved stock market performance on sunny days or poor performance after a country loses a crucial football match.

One recent study introduces a novel measure of investor sentiment, which it suggests captures actual sentiment rather than shocks to sentiment2. A significant correlation has been determined across 40 national stock markets between weekly equity returns and the emotional content of that week’s top 200 songs on Spotify. The findings suggest that stock markets perform better when a country is listening to happier songs!

‘In our main findings, we document a positive and significant relation between music sentiment and contemporaneous market returns, controlling for world market returns, seasonality's (sic) and macroeconomic variables. Music sentiment also predicts increases in net mutual fund flows and absolute sentiment precedes a rise in stock market volatility. Our study provides evidence that the actual sentiment of a country’s citizens significantly affects asset prices.’

Whatever’s on your playlist in 2022, you can rely on us to take the emotion out of your investment decisions.

2The London Business School, 2021,