What was in the weekend’s papers? (04/01/2021)

Category: News

Our 8-point checklist to get your pension in order for 2021

Perhaps second-guessing a few people new year’s resolutions, The Telegraph has offered readers a checklist to get their pensions in order. The first two steps the newspaper suggests are tracking down old pensions and checking charges.

On the first point, the article quotes Aegon’s Kate Smith, who is also the newspapers ‘pensions doctor’, who says: “One resolution worth making and sticking to in 2021 is finding out as much as you can about your pensions. Consolidating these older-style pensions into modern lower charging pensions with online access could help to make it easier to manage your pensions as well as giving a fuller picture of your retirement savings.”

One of the first things we do when looking at a client’s financial situation is looking at whether their pension and investment plans are fit for purpose. There is no sense in paying high charges and getting little back for it.

Bitcoin tops $34,000 as record-breaking rally resumes

The Financial Times covered how Bitcoin climbed above $34,000 for the first time on Sunday, extending a record-breaking rally in the volatile cryptocurrency that quadrupled in value last year.

“Even the most bullish of bitcoin advocates could not have foreseen such a meteoric rise in price in such a short space of time,” said Marcus Swanepoel, chief executive of Luno, a London-based cryptocurrency platform. History suggests a small pullback could follow, he added. “But the pattern we’ve seen in the build up to this milestone — a consistent increase, rather than one sharp spike — sets bitcoin up extremely well for this year,” Swanepoel said.

He added that “something approaching the $100,000 mark before the year’s end” was possible. The rally has fed concerns that bitcoin is set to repeat the events of three years ago, when a bull market dramatically collapsed. When the cryptocurrency set a record high in November, economist Nouriel Roubini called it a “pure speculative asset and bubble with no fundamental value”.

We do not explicitly include Cryptocurrencies in our portfolios. We believe the discussion is like the one surrounding investing in gold. We may put out a longer post in the near term expanding on this.

Property prices jump 7% in 2020 as experts predict bumper year ahead

Another one from The Telegraph, which says house price growth hit a six-year high in December and experts are predicting rises to continue on next year. The Telegraph quotes a statistic from property website Zoopla, which expects annual price inflation of around 5% a year in the first few months of this new year, decreasing to 1% towards the end of 2021. Prices jumped 7% in 2020.

Radstock Property’s George Franks tells the newspaper: “Overall, the property market has shown itself to be remarkably resilient during 2020’s unprecedented trials and tribulations and it’s hard to imagine 2021 will be any more challenging.”

He adds: “Though rising unemployment levels are an obvious threat to property values, demand should remain relatively strong as it still costs less to own than to rent and lending is about as cheap as it gets.”

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