This December we hope that you find that all of us will have something to smile about. Many of us will be breathing a sigh of relief that alongside the news of Tier systems and the need for caution over the Christmas period, we are seeing reports of the vaccinations starting across the country and by December 16th, 137,897 doses had been administered across the UK. The beginning of the end of the pandemic and good news about one of the three main worries for investment markets as 2020 was drawing to a close.
Winston Churchill once said “The English know how to make the best of things. Their so-called muddling through is simply skill at dealing with the inevitable”. Brexit and the prospect of “no-deal” may look almost inevitable, and M. Barnier may be unlikely to appear on Mr Johnson’s Christmas list, but we need to remember that the EU has form in last minute horse trading and the negotiations may well carry on into 2021.
The 3rd big worry, alongside Covid 19 and Brexit, was the US election and although we don’t think Donald Trump has formally conceded yet, we know that there will be a new occupant in the White House in January 2021 and that has been well received by the markets.
Working from home through 2020 was something the Acumen team was able to do without difficulty although there is no doubt we all missed each other’s company. The investment we had made into technology, especially in 2019, was game changing for us. When lockdown arrived it was a case of “business as usual” and we were very proud of the way our team responded, delivering the high quality service that is part and parcel of what we do, despite the inevitable hold ups due to Covid issues along the way.
We launched the Acumen Portal too – ideal for messaging, sharing confidential documents, updating your own personal record (and free-of-charge) it is a leap forward, putting Acumen at the forefront of the financial services world. If you’ve not registered, let us know and we will get you set up.
It has been an eventful year for our team; congratulations were due to Sarah Shingler who became Mrs Sarah Jump. Switching off off our computers for a while, we headed off to beautiful Sefton Church to watch – it was a welcome day of sunshine, celebration and smiles for everyone!
Our Apprentice Daniel Frampton not only qualified as an IFA but was also the winner of the prestigious Lancashire Business View Apprentice of the Year. Daniel has become Acumen’s 9th IFA and has already achieved excellent results for the clients he’s been working with. As if Daniel’s success wasn’t achievement enough, Sarah Jump was a worthy finalist in the under 36-year-old Employee of the Year in the same competition. What a year for both of them – we are very proud of their achievements.
We were delighted to contribute to Radio Merseyside’s programmes on the economy, the investment markets and the pandemic. Angela guested on Roger Phillips’s show and Daniel appeared on Jessie Aru Phillips’s Saturday morning show. Jon has been quoted many times in the local and on-line business press with wise advice for investors during this tumultuous year.
More than ever though, as 2020 draws to a close, we wish you the very best for yourselves and your families. We will be taking a break for the Christmas holiday period, closing the offices from 3pm on 23rd December and reopening, refreshed and raring to go, at 9am on 4th January.
Here’s to a healthy and happy New Year and we will all look forward to being of assistance to you in 2021.
Angela, Jon & the Acumen team at Burscough & Pilling.