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Since starting this series of blogs back in September 2020, a lot has happened in the world of finance.

Amongst many other phenomenal events, or perhaps because of them, world economies have plummeted and recovered, businesses have collapsed while others have skyrocketed, and a great deal of people have decided to move into early retirement. 

Throughout this unprecedented time, we have been doing our best to keep our readers up to date and well informed on all things financial, from pensions, to stocks and investment portfolios, all the way to the current state of the world economy.

As we move into what we hope to be a very positive spring of 2021, we thought it prudent to provide our readers with another short recap on what we have been writing about over the winter period. 

This is a brief summary of Applewood Independent Ltd’s top five financial planning blogs of 2021 so far.

Feel free to read each one in more detail by clicking on the link in their titles.

  1. What Happened To The Markets In 2020 – A Recap Of The Highs And Lows (Parts 1 and 2), By Alex Pritchard

As we restarted these blogs back in January 2021 after the holidays, we thought it would be helpful to our readers to recap some of the key events of 2020 which have led us to where we are now. 

This two-part blog acts as a useful timeline for anyone who wants to better understand the financial events of an incredible 2020. In it, we highlight the highs and lows of the market and look at some of the stocks that managed to come out as real winners during this time.

We also dive into the state of the major global markets over a one-year period and point out that, in spite of all the losses, there were still some opportunities to be had. 

  1. What To Consider At The End Of The Tax Year, By David Pritchard

Last week, on Tuesday the 6th of April, the tax year drew to a close. For a lot of our clients and anyone else with ISA contributions, venture capital trusts and pensions, it was important that they understood that the start of April was their last chance to make contributions or top up their investments within the 2020 tax year.

That is why we published this article back in February. We wanted to provide people with some key information on how to think about their investments, with enough time to make the best decisions for their futures. 

This timely article looks at the state of the UK economy in the 2020 tax year and suggests that for anyone looking to maximise their opportunities, they may want to consult an independent financial adviser before the tax year ends, due to some potential changes in the tax breaks in 2021. 

We also look at some potential benefits of investing into the UK stock market early on, as certain events in 2021 may potentially offer up some new, lucrative opportunities to investors.

For anyone reading this back in February, the message was clear:

“The UK is potentially excellent value at the moment, so getting in now with your ISAs, pension contributions or venture capital trust investments might prove to be a very good idea!”

  1. Why 2021 May Be A Great Year For Investors, By Alex Pritchard

With all the negative news in 2020, it was all too easy for those with investments or pensions to become worried about their financial futures. And as we moved into a third lockdown in December 2020, things may not have looked like they were improving much.

However, at Applewood Independent Ltd, we have always looked for opportunities in the market during these times. That’s what led us to publish this article back in March 2021.

We wanted to shed new, positive light on the world of finance and show people that it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, if you look in the right places, 2021 may actually be a fantastic year for investors. 

This encouraging blog takes a detailed look at the state of the UK market over the last 12 months, from March 2020 (at its lowest point) to March 2021, and suggests that investment in the UK market is both cheap and potentially very profitable!

We will no doubt be publishing an updated version of this insightful article in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

  1. Why Green Energy May Be An Attractive Investment, By Alex Pritchard

Taking a slightly different turn from the usual current affairs blogs we like to post, we wanted to write about an emerging market that may become a huge part of an investor’s portfolio in the future – green energy.

In this blog, Alex discusses the future of the world’s dwindling fossil fuels and suggests that green energy will move in to replace it in order to meet the world’s demand for energy.

Looking at this emergence of green energy from an independent financial adviser’s perspective, Alex explains that this new demand for the likes of solar energy may create a new opportunity for early investors once green energy starts to replace our old, unsustainable sources. 

The message here is that not only may investing in green energy be essential for the future, but it’s also an excellent way to diversify your portfolio today.

  1. Why Flexi-Access Pensions May Be The Best Option For Your Future, By David Pritchard

We wanted to publish this article after seeing more of our clients over the last 12 months start moving into an early retirement. This meant that they needed to find new ways to make their pensions work as hard as possible to make this early retirement feasible. 

In this helpful article, David goes into detail about the major benefits of the new flexi-access drawdown pensions for anyone considering retirement.

He highlights how they work compared to the older style of pensions, and points out that they can make your life far easier and give you the peace of mind you need at this crucial time in your life. 

So there you have it! Our top five financial planning blogs of 2021 so far. To our old readers, we hope you enjoyed them, and to anyone who has just joined us, stay tuned. There will be more insights into the world of finance next week.

For any further information, feel free to email us at OR

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not constitute financial advice. Applewood Independent Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. For financial advice designed for you and your specific circumstances, please contact the author using the contact details provided in this article or, alternatively, contact the Applewood Independent Ltd office on 01270 626555.

The value of an investment can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

Accessing pension benefits early may impact on levels of retirement income and your entitlement to certain means tested benefits.