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Here comes the sun | IFAM96/GBI25 | March 2021

As the words which George Harrison (or Steve Harley if you’re of my generation) sang all those years ago resonate with us, it’s certainly been a long, cold lonely winter across the UK this year. The impact of lockdown has kept us only leaving home for essential purposes and we’re all feeling the effects from being largely cut off from face to face human contact other than with our immediate families and bubbles. So should we be getting our hopes up? Is the end in sight?

AND I SAY IT’S ALRIGHT

At least meteorological spring is finally here and days are getting longer. With some welcome sunshine to lift our spirits, news of the stunning success of the NHS’ vaccine roll-out and optimism from news that lockdown restrictions should shortly start to ease, things are starting to look up across the UK.

IS THE ICE SLOWLY MELTING?

Business optimism is rising too – albeit slowly – as leaders look ahead to the post-lockdown period and the expectation that the worst days are behind us. Stockmarkets have been in optimistic mood for most of the last 10 months as they anticipate the post-covid landscape and the boost to activity which is expected as the world slowly emerges from lockdown. The recovery in share prices from the March 2020 trough has been nothing short of dramatic. But what can we expect now? Are we set for a correction? The world of financial planning is also looking ahead – although there’s the ‘small’ matter of the tax year-end to deal with first. This year it will be a tax year-end like no other, with advisers and paraplanners working from home and connecting with clients virtually across one of the busiest times of the year. As this month’s GBI Magazine highlights, EIS portfolios look set for an exciting season as we look at the growth possibilities and tax opportunities offered by this exciting asset class and why they remain an attractive and effective financial planning tool.

BACK TO BUSINESS

It’s impossible to know how many of us will return to our offices when restrictions allow. For us at IFA/GBI Magazine the switch to working from home has been a big success and we’re set to continue doing so for the foreseeable future. But, despite its advantages, working from home is just not the same as office life. I was interested to talk to Stefan Fura of Financial Planning firm Furnley House recently, to find out all the ways in which they’ve been supporting the needs of their team as they switch to working from home throughout the Covid pandemic. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about our discussion later in this magazine.

There’s also plenty more to get your business thinking cap on across the following pages. Whether it’s conducting productive remote performance reviews, securing the digital age by taking a stance on cybercrime, planning for exit of helping clients going through divorce, we hope you find practical ideas which you can utilise.

We also take a broader perspective to look at how you can get ready for the rise of millennial investors, at the importance of ESG investing and also sustainable multi-asset investment. As always, we’ll sign off for now with a big thank you to all our contributors this month.

Sue Whitbread
Editor
IFA Magazine

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