Personal Finance: We've seen it all before
Sunday 17 January 1999
Readers who can remember as far back as, er, last summer, will recall something similar: a global crisis, yo-yo markets, the recovery.
But if you ignored the strife and stayed invested in the UK stock market you would have done pretty well out of 1998. A lump sum of pounds 1,000 invested in Legal & General's All-Share tracker fund on 1 January 1998, for instance, was worth pounds 1,139.38 at the end of the year.
Just over 11 per cent (tax free in a PEP) is a good annual return when interest rates are on their way down. By comparison, the average unit trust rose 10 per cent during 1998 and investment trusts went up a rather less exciting 4.5 per cent.
So 1998 ended on an upbeat note but what should the normal, non-finance genius do in apocalyptic 1999? Are shares really a good idea when some City people are telling us we are entering a new type of finance crisis, a global experience that may be unstoppable?
It's disconcerting to watch the markets swing wildly, but even the most cautious must take some chances to generate anything like the amounts of cash we will need for our old age. And that means buying some shares.
Take a deep breath and chant "calm" every time you see some overpaid pundit pontificating from the trading floor. What's the worst-case 1999 scenario? A global meltdown in the financial markets, combined with the Y2K bug shutting down almost every business in the world - and then your microwave packs in.
Face it - if that happens you will have more to worry about than whether or not your PEP is doing well. Hold on to your shares, stock up on baked beans and just hope for the best.
If you have spare cash, you should take a long view and consider buying extra shares. Read our Motley Fool investment column on this page for a unique and irreverent view of the stock market and shares in the news.
Remember you have a pounds 3,000 single-company PEP allowance as well as a pounds 6,000 general PEP, and that right will be lost in April.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
From rainforests and reefs to beaches and boat trips
The Silicon Valley awards which treat scientists like rockstars
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
North Korea: First Kim Jong-un orders execution of uncle - now it emerges that victim's wife was involved in decision to execute him
Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
Woman who miscarried in private prison 'made to clean up after herself,' court told
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- 1 Italian court annuls prison sentence for elderly paedophile after 11-year-old victim tells investigators in Catanzaro that she loves him
- 2 Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 3 Woman who miscarried in private prison 'made to clean up after herself,' court told
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Support Analyst (Back Office, CRM, Sharepo...
£800 - £875 per day: Harrington Starr: Programme Manager, (OTC Trading, CMMI, ...
£500 - £525 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Intelligence Consultant/Develo...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading prov...