Mystic Rob's Predictions

And so, we enter a new year and hopefully it will be happy and profitable for us all. But what can you expect from 2015? Here are 'Mystic Rob's' predictions!

The big issue affecting stock markets as 2014 drew to a close, was the falling oil price, and this doesn't seem to be something that will go away any time soon. In fact, we could be seeing a significant change in the global economy, which has been dominated by oil for the last 30 years or so, with the balance of power switching to industrialised consumers.

This could have significant ramifications for the Russian economy, which could weaken significantly, as well as those of the Gulf States. Inevitably geopolitical tensions will result. We could be in for interesting times.

In terms of our business, the big event of 2015 will be the new pension rules, and all that they entail.

We are already seeing significantly more money going into pensions and the development of new income options, such as guaranteed drawdown, will continue as people look at how best to make the most of the new freedoms.

There will also be a big spike in the number of firms having staging dates for the new auto enrolment pension schemes, although we continue to be surprised by how many employers have taken no action so far despite the hefty fines for non-compliance.

I also anticipate that continuing low interest rates (and these are likely to be with us longer term if oil prices remain low, as inflation could well drop to below zero in Europe) will result in more people looking at alternatives to cash investment, with structured products becoming increasingly attractive for those wanting guarantees.

All of the above are, of course, opinions, but one thing that I can be certain of is that there will continue to be a strong need for high quality, independent financial advice, and that we at Nurture will be working hard to ensure our clients get the very best!

Robin Sainty APFS M.A. (Cantab)