11/01/17Welcome to sorry..2017!

Happy New Year!!!….we all said 10 days ago..yup 10 days have flown by already..Kids back at school, diets have started and ended, fitbits make for a nice bracelet addition…The grey sky punched with holes of blue….

January, statistics tell us, is not our favourite month. For some, its the longest month without income, as traditionally, some employers pay wages before Christmas, then revert to their normal pay period (last Friday in the month for example) in January. Solicitors tell us it’s the busiest time for Divorces, though I can’t see how the festive period alone can be responsible for this..or is it the in-laws?!! and we all feel pretty gloomy having had a good few days rest at home before beginning the commute to work, not helped by London Underground and Southern Rail train strikes.

Financially, as I’ve already mentioned, January is tough. Christmas presents, the food, wine etc all put on the credit card, will be saying ‘hello’ again in the form of a credit card statement. Perhaps you bought a nice sofa, or large TV that too, will be saying hello..over and over again as it will take 4 years to pay it off and to cap it all, we will now see those holiday adverts, that remind us how hot it is somewhere else, especially when we’re wrapped up and the heating is on full blast!

January therefore, is also a good time to take stock of expenses, from checking your utility bill costs on comparison websites, to looking at the food and brands you buy and where you buy it from? Is it cheaper to ‘Batch cook’ rather than buying ready made meals? Can you make your own bread for less than it costs to buy a loaf? my dear old mum used to say “take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves” and Tesco’s tell us “every little helps.” With regards to car insurance, don’t just renew with the same provider, ask if they can do it cheaper, or better still, google a new quote, then you can go back to your existing provider with evidence. If they can’t match or beat it, then you know what to do.

Life assurance policies can also be re-priced, but before doing so, just check you’re not losing valuable benefits by changing. Comparison sites may look good, but its worthwhile seeking advice (not only will you be dealing with a professional, but also someone who is responsible for the advice given) and you know someone who can help you with this?!!!

You might also have a pension, or an Investment that hasn’t been looked at in a while-what does 2017 have in store?

Well if I knew the answer, I would be writing this blog from a hot and sunny beach somewhere as that’s where I’d be living! what I can say, is pretty much the same as I said in January 2016-its going to be bumpy.

President elect Trump takes office soon, and as I blog, I’m reading about the infiltration of Russian Spies on Donald Trump and they say, they have ‘information’ which he waves away as fake, which may unsettle the USA, however, its financial markets are doing well and so far, ‘the glass is half full’ as far as US markets are concerned…..

Here in the UK, we have stood firm since the Brexit Vote. We still don’t know what life after Article 50 will look like, but I think we all accept there will be ‘ups and downs.’ This has been highlighted by the latest industrial output data, which states the UK turned a 1.1% deficit in October, into a 2.1% positive in November (ONS Jan ’17) Exports were up £27bn (record increase), however, our imports rose to £39bn (all time high)

Against that set of figures, we can see that costs of imported goods will start to rise.

Elsewhere in Europe, elections loom and in France in particular, there has been a swingshift from Marine le Pen, who if elected, would have encouraged France to leave Europe and indeed, congratulated the UK on it’s vote, has now said she believes France is better off in Europe and my own view, is that Europe will play out it’s elections (Italy, Germany, Spain and The Netherlands), how David Cameron wanted the UK to play its own-a big enough vote to leave to cause the EU some discomfort, but the majority to vote to Remain.

Further afield, Emerging Markets/ Far East will replicate the USA, in so far as, if the US does well, then so does the far east, however, interest rate rises in the US will hurt the far east and it remains to be seen as to whether Trump decides to trade more with Russia and less with China and the far east and the effect that may or may not have on that part of the world.

Once again, I leave you with familiar words “Fasten your seatbelts, know where the exits are and enjoy your flight”


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