So, another year has come and gone and as always, plenty to review and discuss. Of course, the year has been dominated by the ongoing debates around the precise form that Brexit will take, as well as the never ending ‘click bait’ headlines flowing from President Trump’s twitter feed!
The good news was that with most of parliamentary time taken up with discussing Brexit issues, there was little available time to spend on tinkering with tax, pensions or investments. Thankfully it was a quiet year on that front for which we are all grateful.
After almost 10 years of strong returns, investment markets around the world paused for breath and we experienced negative returns for the first time in a long time. This is entirely normal as stock market returns are, on average, positive in 3 out of every four years and an occasional negative year is the ‘price of admission’ to benefit from all the positive years.
Earlier in the year we requested to have our portfolios reviewed by leading independent analysis company Asset Risk Consultants (ARC). The analysts at ARC analyse performance data from the leading investment advisers and private banks in the UK. We were delighted to learn that our portfolios were within the top 10% in terms of investment returns in comparison with our peers and some of the smartest investment minds in the country. It was reassuring to know that our approach to investing on your behalf continues to work very well, regardless of the economic or market conditions.
In other news, Capital enjoyed our status of Chartered Financial Planning Company of the Year 2018, the highest possible accolade a financial planning firm can have. We used it to promote the benefits of having a personal financial plan.
As the firm continues to grow, we brought in two new members to the team, Elliot Smith and Sarah Watts. I am delighted how well they have slotted into the team and really embraced the Capital ‘clients first’ culture. If you haven’t already, hopefully you will meet at least one of them in 2019.
We were thrilled that a number of new client families agreed to work with us this year. We warmly welcome them to the Capital family. Sadly, several clients passed away, reminding us of the importance of making the most of the precious time we have.
As I look forward to the new year and beyond, I don’t need a crystal ball to see that 2019 will be a monumental year for the UK. A ‘No Deal’ Brexit, a People’s Vote, resolving the Backstop, whatever the outcome, our newspapers and TV screens will be consumed with analysing every move and there’s no doubt we’re in for a roller coaster ride.
Regardless, of what the year holds, the team at Capital is now the strongest it has ever been. The team will be working hard to ensure that your interests are protected, and you can remain on track towards achieving your personal goals in the short and longer term.
Being trusted with the careful stewardship of your family wealth is a privilege and one we always take very seriously. We are grateful for the trust you place in our team and thank you for your loyalty.
Finally, I would like to wish you and your family a very happy, healthy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.