A few dates for your calendar

1st January 2015

The first half of 2015 promises to be an interesting and potentially volatile time for investors

Have you completed that chore of updating the new calendar that hangs in the kitchen listing dental appointments, hairdresser visits and the other trivia of life? If not, you might like to add the following to the menu for the first half of 2015:

January Lithuania became the 19th member of the Eurozone at the start of the month. On 22 January Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, could finally announce the start of quantitative easing (QE) in the Eurozone. Then, three days later, Greece could take its first step towards leaving the Eurozone as a snap election due on the 25th may well see Syriza, a far left anti-austerity party, top the polls. By the end of the year a similar situation could occur in Spain, where a new left wing political party, Podemos, is leading the polls.

March The Budget will be on 18 March, but much of what Mr Osborne says will be election-contingent because Parliament will dissolve 12 days later. The first Finance Act of 2015 will is therefore likely to be an uncontroversial affair.

May The UK general election will be on 7 May. To judge by the Scottish referendum process, investment markets are due a last minute bout of volatility that could last beyond polling day if, as seems likely at present, no one party gains an overall majority.

June/July There will almost certainly be a second Budget in 2015, the precise timing of which will depend upon how long it takes to establish a new government. If Labour take the lead, Mr Balls has promised a mansion tax will be top priority. However, the likelihood is that whatever the colour(s) of the new government, the post-election Budget will contain the type of measures that do not get covered in the pre-election rhetoric. For example, there have been suggestions that if Mr Osborne remains in post, he may do as he did in 2010 and increase VAT.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Related Articles

Making a Will during COVID-19

Thinking about how well we are prepared for our futures As coronavirus (COVID-19) leaves many of us working from home surrounded by our families and loved ones, it is inevitable that we start to think about how well we are prepared for our futures.

Read more

Bank of Mum and Dad

Make sure you can afford it and understand any tax implications Parents have always supported their children in lots of different ways. These days, growing numbers of parents see their adult children struggling to build up enough in savings to put down the deposit on a house or to afford to move up from a first home to something larger – but does this mean parents should help financially?

Read more

Festive Financial Gifts

Deciding on the right investments for the children in your life As the festive season approaches, have you thought about gifting your children or grandchildren something different this Christmas? Giving them a good start in life by making investments into their future can make all the difference in today’s more complex world.

Read more