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The Latest News and Views from Ascent Wealth Management

Happy New Year !

Welcome to 2019.  I hope that it will bring prosperity with peacefulness for you and your family.  Coming back from the Christmas break, the world economy has started the recovery from the falls we saw late in 2018.  We've seen company profits surprise on the upside in the US with some slowing still evident in China and throughout the EU.  The UK still can't seem to decide what type of Brexit it wants- Prime Minister, Theresa May is still short of the needed parliamentary majority to ratify her Bexit deal and it appears that an extension of executing Article 50 (the procedure for a staged exit from the EU over the coming 2 years) is likely. We will end up with a either a "hard" Brexit (full and immediate exit from the single market and customs unit), or a "soft" Brexit (allowing some concessions at borders such as Ireland and having the UK remain closely aligned with the EU). Another option could be a "Breversal"-another popular vote and ultimately remaining.  Whatever happens, the attendant volatility these negotiations are causing is seen as likely to result in up to a 1% reduction in UK GDP this year.  While there are some positives in the world, the turmoil in Europe is also having an impact.

Our first article is an economic appraisal from ThreeSixty research which expands on the impacts on the world economy.  The article explores the slowdown happening in a number of economies and extrapolates the likely next steps.  Bob Cunneen then shares a chart showing how the short and long term fixed interest rates (the relationship between duration and interest rate) are converging.  In the past, when yields in the near term exceeed those for the long term, this has been seen as predictive of recession.  There has been some concern that we are about to go into a negative yield situation.  The key point is that while this chart has predicted recession in the past, there are other factors that need to be considered.  Negative yield is just one factor to consider.

Next, as we move into a new year, it's time to revisit your money goals for the year ahead, and beyond.  We look at five big tips to improve your chances of success.  Importantly, the role of someone to keep you accountable cannot be understated. We also examine how couples share the responsibility for finances.  Is it best for people to keep their money separate, or is "all in together" the best solution.  The answer depends on the dynamic and the couple and their situation- the next article explains what couples should look out for and why.

Lastly, we've had a number of people who have commenced their retirement over the past few months.  While we have been involved in making sure they are in the best position to meet their financial objectives, and thus improving financial fitness, it is also important to look after health and fitness when no longer working.  Our last article this month provides eight tips to assist in boosting your physical fitness to help you toward a well rounded retirement.

Thanks for your continued support.  If there is any further information regarding the above that is required, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Until next month,

Steve and Katrina