I’ve not written a blog for months, in fact the last one I wrote was a bit “woe is me” piece about my home improvement problems.
You will be pleased to hear that the house has finally been completed and we have re-installed our kitchen and have a new floor laid after our flood. It was stressful and the insurance claim is a protracted and painful process that has still not been 100% resolved.
However today I’m going to move away from home improvement and touch on some other areas I have been lucky enough to learn about in recent weeks.
The nice people at HSBC for intermediaries invited me along to a seminar at the end of October which was very interesting. It was held at Mercedes Benz world, which was great even for an anti-petrol head like me.
One of the things I like to mention in Blogs over the years is the Bank of England interest rate. I have made many predictions and I’m quite pleased to say I’ve been pretty accurate so far. The main factor I like to draw your attention to is wages. Once wages are outstripping inflation for a sustained period of time then you can expect a rise in interest rates.
Wages in real terms are actually less than they were in 2007. I do think this is changing, slowly but surely and this will point towards a rise eventually.
However there is an unknown variable that has cropped up, sorry to bring this up, Brexit.
It is this matter that brings me back to HSBC, the nice chap giving a presentation mentioned this in his analysis (as well as lots of other stuff), and said that their prediction was no further interest rates would happen until 2021.
This is backed up by the proliferation of really competitive five year fixed rate products available right now. With the right equity/deposit you can secure a five year fixed rate at under 2%. That is cheap money.
Another presenter who intrigued me was talking about technology and in particular API’s. This stands for Application Programming Interface. We use them all the time without knowing it. Loads of apps on your phone will use API’s. The point the presenter was making was that soon you will be able to apply to mortgage companies with the help of API’s taking information from other apps (personal information) and pre-populating a mortgage application. This isn’t really available right now and having done a bit of research myself I see it is a little way off yet due to all the lenders being quite defensive over their own then you can expect a rise in interest rates.systems. Plus there is the data protection issue so I think we should watch this space and see what happens.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised and inspired by a number of life insurance companies and their enthusiastic business development managers. Legal and General, Royal London and Vitality Life all have hit home with some remarkable statistics and some really good products.
In particular I have been struck by Vitality Life and how they are encouraging healthy lifestyles. So inspired was I that I have signed up for a policy. They offer a premium discount up front and if you “engage” with them by being active you will continue to receive that discount You can also get offers and discounts on various goods such as fitness trackers, apple watches etc.
In my world very few clients see the benefit of insurance and yet we all have it in one form or another. The cat is insured, the TV is insured, the car is insured but very few of US are insured. Have a think about what would happen if you couldn’t work for a year. What would you give up? Have a look at this old blog from 2016 for a bit of useful information.
If you would like to discuss what insurance and protection policies are best for your individual circumstances, please get in touch. Or if you have a question about any of the above, leave a comment in the box below