Martin Aitken & Co Ltd News & Developments

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An unexpected first quarter

Despite the numerous shocks that occurred in the first quarter of 2022, the world’s share markets held up surprisingly well.

Cast your mind back to the start of the year. The world was coming to terms with the latest Omicron variant of Covid, which was supposedly proving less serious than its predecessors. The latest available UK inflation figure (for November 2021) was 5.1% and the Bank of England had delivered an early Christmas present of a 0.15% rise in interest rates to 0.25%. Across the Atlantic, US inflation was higher at 6.8%, but the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, had delayed its first increase in interest rates. Investment markets had enjoyed a generally good 2021, particularly in the US, and while interest rate rises were expected in 2022, the post-pandemic investment outlook was reasonably sunny.

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Quantitative tightening: A reversal of fortunes?

One of the defining financial strategies of the last 13 years – quantitative easing – is about to go into reverse.

The Bank of England will slowly trim its £9 trillion portfolio throughout 2022, but only time will tell when it comes to the impact on personal investments.

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Lessons from rising inflation & interest rates

As 2021 drew to a close, inflation finally forced the Bank of England’s hand. What will higher rates mean for you?

The November inflation figures, released in mid-December, once again exceeded the Bank of England’s expectations. At the start of November, the BoE had said that CPI inflation was “expected to peak at around 5% in April 2022”. Six weeks later, and the tune has changed: “Bank staff expect inflation to remain around 5% through the majority of the winter period, and to peak at around 6% in April 2022”.

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Dividends wobble with 40% cuts

Recent dividend announcements have been an unwelcome reminder for some investors that peaks also have downsides.

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981 Hits

Financial & Tax Acuity Winter 2017-18

Our regular update on financial, investment and tax developments for investors, company directors and private clients.

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1586 Hits