2021 by Directors Ben Allen and Michael Crisp

At the time of writing, a positive end to the year has been overshadowed by the emergence of the Omicron variant. Markets are reflecting a balanced reaction to the news, having sold off sharply initially, unfortunately the outlook will remain unclear until there is certainty on the severity of the infection and the efficiency of the existing vaccines. Sectors that benefitted most from the “reopening trade” bore the brunt of selling, especially Travel and Leisure.

Inflation remains a concern with current periods of higher inflation remaining more stubborn than had been predicted by the majority of economists and central banks, as has labour markets with many individuals either retiring or not yet being willing or able to return to work owing to Covid-19. Furthermore, energy prices have spiked higher thanks to increasing demand for fossil fuels against a background of tight supply.

Despite this, global equity markets remain close to all-time highs. GDP growth is still expected to remain above the pre-pandemic trend in 2021 (5.8%), 2022 (4.4%) and 2023 (3.5%). It is important to note that headline inflation levels have risen to more than 6% in the United States and over 4% in the UK, so good investment management and diversification is key, especially with savings rates so poor.

Although the COP26 summit in Glasgow was a little lacking in firm action, there has definitely been a popular shift in perception and awareness of ethical and socially responsible funds, something which we feel will come to market hugely in the forthcoming years.

A huge thank you to all those who entered and supported the annual Charity Golf Day at Heacham Manor, Norfolk on Friday 17th September 2021 . I am pleased to say we raised £4,500 in total for the Stroke Unit at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Cancer Research UK and Norfolk and Waveney Mind. We also have sponsorships with local grassroots sports, believing that all children should have the opportunity to participate in an outdoor activity, providing them with lessons in teamwork, rewards for input and valuable leadership opportunities, all fantastic skills to prepare them for adult life. Allen Tomas & Co currently sponsor Pelicans Juniors Hockey Club, Heacham Minors Football Club and Mortgage Adviser Rachael Smith’s girls football team in Oundle. Adult team sponsorship comes in the form of Dersingham Football Club and North Runcton Cricket Club. The sponsorship allows kit to be purchased along with any necessary equipment.

We could not be happier with the growth of Allen Tomas & Co and the personnel within the Company, who all share values of progression, knowledge, good client outcomes and care. The qualifications attained by staff members in 2021 has been outstanding in particular Jenny Belham who has now become a Chartered Financial Planner & Fellow of the PFS, with designatory letters, FPFS and Chloe Drew has now achieved her Diploma in Regulated Financial Services (DipPFS) and Certificate in Advanced Mortgage Advice (Cert SMP).

2021 has also been the year of the Apprenticeships with Kia Henson attaining a distinction in her Financial Service Administrator Apprenticeship end point assessment, Josh Green commencing his Mortgage Adviser Apprenticeship and Sam Phillips commencing his Financial Service Administrator Apprenticeship.

In April 2022, we will be opening an office in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, this will be in addition to our Dersingham and Fakenham offices. More on this to follow in the new year, but for now from us all at Allen Tomas & Co, we sincerely wish you a happy and healthy New Year.