The new year provides an opportunity to take stock of your finances, and not only if Christmas has blown a hole in them. If you are lucky enough to have nest eggs, at the start of a new decade especially it is worth checking that you’ve got them in the best baskets.
The 2010s, as Duncan Weldon explains, represented a decade of disappointment for many western economies, but that doesn’t mean investors did badly. The cheap money policies that were used to keep the broader economy on the road also pushed many asset prices up. One big change with a decade ago, as every month’s Prospect affirms afresh, is that political uncertainties are now compounding economic anxieties. That makes it likely that interest rates will remain close to historic lows for a while longer, which creates new opportunities. This is true even in the housing market where, as Paul Wallace explains, the fact that prices have now gone up and up for decades on end does not necessarily mean they will soon have to crash back down.
There are interesting openings, too, for those willing to dabble in more exotic things than bricks and mortar, including—for those with more money to play with—the Venture Capital Trusts that Andy Davis highlights. And if your New Year’s resolution is more about doing the right thing than getting the best return, Iona Bain describes a burgeoning range of ethical vehicles that promise to use your funds not only to achieve a profit, but also do something for people and the planet.