I hope you’re keeping well and I hope all of us enjoy much better days ahead for the rest of this year. Few people could have predicted last year that we would have war in Europe, Sinn Fein the largest political party in Northern Ireland, and government ministers including the prime minister being fined for attending parties. The one consolation is that we appear to be much less concerned about Covid and the infection numbers do appear to give cause for optimism at this point. Most people feel like passive observers while amazing events on food both internationally and locally. Unfortunately, China seems to be attempting the impossible trying to eliminate the virus completely from their country. Apparently, they have worries about a collapse of their health system if they do not persist with this very difficult policy. This move has taken further production capacity out of the already backlogged global supply chain. However, they have been aggressively devaluing their currency which will help to keep prices down and ameliorate inflationary pressure.

We have been adjusting our portfolios to avoid certain investments that are vulnerable to rising interest rates throughout 2021 but have not needed to make changes in 2022.

While we wait for the geopolitical and economic situation to improve, there are a few things that are worth considering and taking action on if relevant.


Most people have made a will but it is something that we would advise to keep under review. This is particularly the case if it is not a simple will with everything being left to a spouse. Wills that have any degree of nuance are more exposed to the risk of becoming obsolete. That would apply particularly if money is being left directly to grandchildren. The amount of money can become irrelevant due to the impact of inflation and it is important to review the age at which they become entitled to the money and also the people who were at as trustees if there is only one parent.

Power of Attorney

In many ways this is more important than a will. This has a direct impact on loved ones who will carry the responsibility of handling your money in the event of you not having capacity. Generally, there should be at least two people who have this power. Once a power of attorney has come into effect significant gifts cannot be made. If you were considering making a large transfer of wealth you should take into account, your age and state of health. If you have capacity to make such a transfer it would be better to think about it sooner rather than later since it cannot happen easily, if at all, post the power-of-attorney coming into effect. The relevant point is the point at which it actually comes into force not when is being agreed. Some people get confused about this point, but it is only when a medical certificate has been issued to confirm as the person does not have capacity that the giving of gifts is largely terminated. It is also very difficult to change a will after this point. 

Cash ISAs

The interest rates on cash ISAs have become relatively uncompetitive. The local banks do not try to compete with interest rates, but it is possible online for achieve a return of up to 1% with such banks as Saga or Marcus. However, the rates offered with accounts which have no tax benefits can be higher. Atom Bank is currently offering 1.3% for instant access savers. Remember that basic rate taxpayers can earn £1,000 per year interest before paying tax and higher rate taxpayers can earn £500 per year before paying tax. The vast majority of savers would therefore be better off in a normal account.

Personal Allowance Transfer

If you are married and either you or your spouse is a basic rate taxpayer while the other is in non taxpayer, it is possible to transfer the unused allowance from the non taxpayer to the taxpayer. Furthermore, if no claim has been made in the previous four years it is possible to backdate the amount to cover the whole period. The tax benefit could be up to a maximum of almost £1,257. The process to make a claim is very simple and it is a small tax benefit which is not widely publicised. 

 To apply, please click on the following link:


As I am sure you are aware, the markets have experienced a higher level of turbulence than has been present in over a year. Although it is unusual to have as many factors influencing markets at the same time, none pose an unprecedented challenge to future growth. For this reason, the majority of analysts agree that all investments will continue to be volatile over the short term before “normal” growth resumes.