22-04-2022

Interest rates vs Inflation - Is it time to review your finances?

Now’s the time to ensure that your savings and investments are truly working for you. Jillian Thomas, partner of Banner Jones Wealth Management, outlines some of the key financial considerations that are currently unfolding.

LET me begin by stating the blatantly obvious - we are living through truly unprecedented times.

Pivotal to these unfolding events are steep increases to the cost of living, which is rising at the fastest rate witnessed for three decades.

Increases in petrol, diesel and energy bills are some of the largest drivers of rising inflation.

When it comes to inflation, a host of factors are at play - from the horrific war in Ukraine to supply chain issues and recruitment challenges, and more besides.

Many of us were unsurprised when the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently revealed that inflation has soared to 7%.

What's more, the Bank of England (BoE) has predicted that inflation will rise further still to 8% later this year.

When it comes to inflation, there could be even worse to come, and the perfect Storm is brewing.

What's being done… And what we must all do

In March, the BoE raised the base interest rate from 0.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent.

This, in theory, should help bring the rate of inflation down.

The BoE has also asserted that increasing interest rates should also help ensure inflation falls back towards its 2% target within the next two years.

But - as we're all acutely aware - two years is a long time...

Many of you will have previously heard me stress the importance of having a financial budget in place - and this has never been more resonant than it is now.

Now's the time to make adjustments to this plan to reflect the impact of increased inflation on our monthly utility, grocery and fuel bills.

Separately, deposit rates have been at historically low levels since the financial crisis of 2008 and - despite all the talk of increased interest rates - this continues to be the case.

That patently does not mean that investors should accept a real terms inflation-adjusted reduction in their value as the default position.

Financial planners have access to cash platforms which can provide higher rates of return, than can be obtained including well-known high street names. Now be be a really good time to take a look at what your financial advisor can offer you.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if we can help with this on 01246 560 570.