The latest quarterly Town Close Financial Planning Investment Committee Meeting took place on 22 March 2021.
The TCFP Model Portfolio remains unchanged.
For those interested, here are the notes from the meeting guest authored by Daniel Robinson, soon to be joining us as a Financial Planner.
Do not hold your breath, with Brexit and Trump in the past we were scrabbling for topics. The Scottish elections were the best we could do, not that there was much enthusiasm about them either.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccine rollout has been an overwhelming success and offers us a genuine path moving forward.
That means transmission rates are falling, which makes restrictions being removed more likely.
The UK’s relative success at vaccinating the adult population (50% at the time of our meeting), means that the UK’s economic outlook is pretty healthy.
And that is good for all of us emotionally and financially.
The pound has been bouncing back, which is a bit of a drag on performance but offset by cheaper imports and holidays.
There has been a natural rebound after the falls following the 2016 Brexit referendum (and ensuing political paralysis). And the successful vaccine rollout has helped strengthen sterling further as the UK is ahead of many others.
But this is probably a simple step up in the value of sterling for now. We expect it to bumble along about where it is for the foreseeable future.
A stronger pound should mean higher interest rate forecasts. As so it has been. 10-year UK Government bond yields have rocketed from 0.1% pa last August to a giddy 0.8% pa now.
Hold your horses, keep calm. 5 years ago, it was 1.6% pa, 3.7% 10 years ago and 5.1% pa 20 years ago. Behave.
We moved on to potential market falls. We know they will happen, but we do not know when or how much.
With the changes we made in January we feel set fair for the next couple of years as the recovery rumbles on. We have plenty of bond ammunition to take advantage of any decent drops in equity markets.
And we hope they do – it is then when we can work to get outsized returns.
We were running out of things to talk about by now. Then someone mentioned Scotland.
A SNP victory will have Nicola beating down Boris’ door politely requesting a referendum. With Brexit trade-deals not completed this could disrupt the recovery and therefore returns. But it is nothing of the order of Brexit or Covid or some sort of rich world military dispute.
In the end 8 million Scots versus 60 million non-Scots will tell its own story in terms of winners and losers. What is left of the UK will, ultimately be perfectly ok. As for the Scots? Who knows?
TCFP Model Portfolio
Returning to the TCFP portfolio, the immediate outlook for equities looks good. And we now feel we are in the right place at the right time leaning, as we are, towards smaller companies in developed countries and emerging market companies.
We await a market correction with bated breath but are equally happy with steady as she goes.
At this point we concluded the meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for June 2021. Possibly in a pub.
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