A review of personal finance in 2020? The temptation to move swiftly on is immense. As we move from a year we’d rather forget into an uncertain 2021, I’d like to pause for reflection before we do so. It’s always important to learn, and 2020 is no different. So, here’s my review of the year, as seen through the prism of my blogs.
No Review of Personal Finance in 2020 can avoid the C-Word
Of course, COVID-19 has hit us all. Some more than others and disparities in income are widening consequently. I’m not going to go into that but instead remind you that investments are long term by nature, if they’re to succeed. 4 days into Lockdown 1.0, I reminded readers that ‘Hang on Tight’ was my general advice then, as it remains now. The impact of COVID-19 on investments was quite dramatic – down then up during the year.
For business-owners we also looked at the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, which I’m pleased to say have been extended beyond their original expiry date of November.
Big Decisions Were Not Put On Hold
Whatever’s going on around us, sometimes we have to make important decisions about our personal finances. They can’t be deferred. This was a topic discussed in January when I looked at whether to overpay the mortgage, save or invest. As ever, there’s no right or wrong, you need to consider personal circumstances at the time. Property decisions were also under the spotlight in my review of the buy-to-let market, mid-year.
Other decisions concerned pensions for many of us. Whether to reduce drawdown during tough times, for example. The rather technical factor of pound cost ravaging should play a part in these decisions. I looked at that in August. Or if not retired already, when should you? That was a subject considered in September’s blog.
And on the subject of pensions, were you aware of pensions awareness week? Few were it seemed, despite its good objectives.
If you need help with big decisions of a financial nature, of course, contact me.
Optimism Rules, in the Long-Term View
Although some days it’s difficult, I do remain optimistic about stock markets, as I did in May. Although with Brexit still in the news and COVID-19 still with us for a while, at least until enough of us are vaccinated, we remain in uncertain times. I believe there’s still reason for a degree of economic optimism.
So, in summary, my review of personal finance in 2020 ends on a note of cautious optimism. Have a great, if socially distanced Christmas and let’s hope for calmer times in 2021.