Capital Eyes On The Market: 7 Days to Friday 4th October 2013

S e w e l l B r y d e n G u n n ViewPoint: PENSIONS, AGAIN!        Last Week I discussed the apparent lack of interest people seem to have in making a serious commitment to saving for retirement. I have left last week’s comment below so you don’t have to go back and check it – but of course I’d be delighted if you did!!

However, those that do take this kind of thing a bit more seriously and actually have the odd legacy pension fund in place may still not be reviewing their investment for retirement regularly enough to see if the scheme or plan invested funds could be managed more efficiently with lower management charges and better investment oversight. Generally for workplace  based arrangements, the larger schemes appear to be run better with a more professional approach. However, a considerable proportion of scheme members may well be invested in “default” funds because the member did not make an active choice where their own or their employer’s contributions should be invested. These funds tend to be designed for the “average member” and in addition assume a more cautious management style – for example: the “balanced managed fund” and this is reflected in their performance!

The Office of Fair Trading has recommended that the Department for Work and Pensions consults on the treatment of auto-enrolment schemes that penalise members who stop contributing or who wish to make transfers out of the scheme . Perhaps an equally pressing point is the need to bring legacy pension arrangements into line with the more modern and cost efficient structures of today’s pension arrangements.

As we see pension plans and schemes morph from “optional financial product” to “part of the plumbing” essential/mandatory consumer commodity, it should be hoped that more transparency about costs and charges will help differentiate between the good the bad and the ugly…..

[From Last week: Keep an eye on your future – your horizon – your financial independence. For many, the date when they become financially independent is at the point of retirement. However, increasing numbers of people may find this date slipping further into the future as they realise they have put by insufficient funds over their (working) lifetime to provide a satisfactory income in retirement (normally in the form of a pension or annuity). A recent report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) indicates that active membership of occupational pension schemes dropped from 8.2m in 2011 to 7.8m in 2012 – this excludes Group Personal Pensions or Group Stakeholder Pensions. So basically it appears that more people have not been saving enough for retirement. Perhaps the government’s auto-enrolment programme will reverse this trend. Certainly there are now more people saving into a pension. However, there is still a large gap between ideal saving rates and the levels currently taking place.]

This Viewpoint by Neil A Sewell, Chartered Financial Planner, Investment Analyst & Pensions Specialist at SewellBrydenGunn.

If you are not sure if you are putting enough aside for retirement, or even if you think you are – is important to get all this reviewed.

Any queries – please do not hesitate to contact us.

Over The Past Week: Snapshot View of the Markets: Below are closing numbers as at Friday 4th October 2013.

For more discussion about how the financial markets may affect your own personal or business financial situation, protection, pensions or investments, why not get in touch?: 01276 471083 OR

Market Numbers

FTSE 100                              6453.88         -0.90%    on the week

FTSE All Share                     3437.93        -0.85%    on the week

Brent Crude $ per barrel       109.46         0.76%     on the week

Gold $ per troy ounce pmL  1309.75        -2.33%     on the week

Silver $ per troy ounce pmL     21.65         0.19%     on the week

Copper US$ per tonne lme3  7180.00       -1.31%     on the week   (LME 3 months)

Wheat Futures CBOT            687.00          0.59%     on the week   (US$ per bushel – Contract 5000 bushels/136 tonnes)

Palm Oil US$ per tonne        827.50         -0.30%   on the week   (eg CMEGlobex – trading unit 25 tonnes – mirror and settle to Malaysian ringgit benchmark)

MPC Base Rate  %               0.50  (Bank of England Base/Repo Rate) since 05/03/2009

Euro Repo Rate %                0.50  since 02/05/2013 (previously 0.75)

US Libor %                            0.10130   last week : 0.10930

Euro Libor %                         0.04571   last week : 0.04286

GBP Libor %                         0.47125  last week : 0.47375

Euro Euribor 3 mnths %     0.23   last week : 0.22

Sterling CDs 3 mnths %       0.52  last week : 0.48

RONIA  %                            0.4328  l wk : 0.4158 (Repurchase Overnight Index Ave Rate)

SONIA   %                            0.4315  l wk : 0.4286 (Sterling Overnight Index Ave Rate)

HFRX                                    1201.04           0.16%  on the week  (Global Hedge Fund Index)

Tesco [}{]                               361.50            -0.30% on the week

Sainsbury                               389.80           -1.24% on the week

BT  [}{]                                   350.90            1.30% on the week

BP  [}{]                                   438.25           -0.65% on the week

Rexam                                    484.50            -0.02% on the week

ARM Holdings  [}{]                £9.83            -2.67% on the week

HSBC  [}{]                              677.30            -0.06% on the week   xd

RBS  [}{]                                 373.20             1.83% on the week

Standard Life                         354.10             0.74% on the week   xd

WPP                                       £12.54               -2.18% on the week

10 Year Government Bond (Gilt) Price     £95.77      Yield    2.74%

15 Year Gilt Yield Index. 15th of the month approx.  Yield    3.29%

One Pound will buy 1.6074 US Dollars

One Pound will buy 1.1823 Euros

CPI Inflation stands at 2.7% as at August 2013     Currently the old Gov’t measure of inflation

CPIH Inflation stands at 2.5% as at August 2013   Currently the new Gov’t inflation measure

Retail Prices Index (Carli):  3.3% – July 2013  No longer a Gov’t measure of inflation

Retail Price Inflation RPIJ – Jevon’s formula – NEW:  2.6% as at August 2013

Inflation Target expected to stay in place: 2.0%  based on the Consumer Prices Index (CPI)

The Chancellor confirmed in his Budget Speech Wednesday 20th March 2013 that the 2% Inflation target for the Bank of England would stay in place.

The Government’s Inflation Target is announced each year by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the annual Budget statement. The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee has as one of its aims, the aim to set interest rates so that over- or under- inflation can be brought back to Inflation Target over a reasonable time period without creating undue instability in the economy. Inflation Target is not a permanently fixed level and may vary depending on prevailing economic and fiscal conditions.

KEY to Important Indeces:

RONIA – Repurchase Overnight Index Average Rate – Launched June 2011

Changes to Method of Calculating Inflation Measurement Index – March 2013

pmL Metal and Precious Metal Pricing used in Market Numbers 

lme3  – London Metal Exchange 3 months

[}{]  –   Denotes a Stock or Share of a FT Global 500 company

xd    –   Denotes a Stock or Share price quoted as ex-dividend

Please ensure you read and take note of the disclaimers mentioned here.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy of the above information, this cannot be guaranteed and cannot be relied upon to be free from errors, omissions or inaccuracies.

This information update is provided for convenience and interest only and is not intended nor does it constitute any form of regulated or other advice and no liability is accepted, nor does any information provided here constitute nor is it intended to be any form of invitation or solicitation or recommendation to buy sell or hold in any capacity and no liability is accepted. You should not use this update as a basis for making decisions.

SewellBrydenGunn (business name and trading style of SCM Finance) and or any of its members employees partners proprietorship or other stakeholders (we) from time to time may or may not have an interest in any items contracts stocks shares securities or other instruments mentioned here. For your own safety and convenience you should always assume that we may have an interest or position in any of the above and consequently you cannot rely on it to be impartial information.

You should confirm independently any information you wish to rely on to make any decisions – in any case you should seek and take appropriate and timely independent financial legal or other advice including full and proper discussions about the level of financial legal or other risk involved before deciding on any action transaction or inaction.

Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. The value of investments and any income from them can go down as well as up and you may get back less than originally invested.

“Secure” “investments” such as Cash on deposit, can provide relative safety to the amount invested or held in this way and can be expected to offer relatively low growth over the medium to long term. They cannot fall in actual value, but can fall in “real” value due to the effects of inflation.

At the other end of the risk scale, “Adventurous” investments (more volatile Equities – Stocks and Shares) carry a relatively much higher risk of capital loss but with the potential for relatively much higher capital growth over the medium to long term. They may be subject to a considerable level of fluctuation in capital value. They do not offer any guarantees.

At the extreme end of the risk scale – Aggressive/Specialist/Highly Speculative – are investments such as leveraged contracts, derivatives, options and futures. Directly investing into these investments carries a very high risk of capital loss, but with the potential for a higher return (or severe loss) over the short the medium and or the long term. They are very volatile and are only suitable for investors who can afford to, and are prepared to, risk the entire capital value and for some investment contracts, risk substantially more than the original capital value, as well as being prepared to take a very active role in managing their investment throughout the day, every day. These types of investment are definitely NOT suitable for the majority of investors since most investors are “passive” once they have made their initial investment – ie they expect to review their investments from time to time but without being actively involved on a daily basis. These investments do not offer any guarantees.

Photo Credit: SBG PhotoStock

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