17th December, 2021
A Review of 2021…
Well, 2021 went by in a flash! In my closing blog last year, I thought the central case for this year would be one of significant improvement on a number of fronts. From a COVID perspective, while I do think that’s true in some ways; billions of people have been vaccinated against COVID-19, so the world is somewhat closer to normal; the improvement hasn’t been as dramatic as I’m sure we would all have hoped. Nonetheless, I think one thing that’s clear from our client planning meetings is that there is a belief we remain on the road to normal, and for many people they now have a much clearer view on what is important to them and how they might want to live their lives moving forward. Having a sharpened focus on what you want from life can only be a good thing and is certainly something worth reflecting on as we move into 2022.
The team at DB Wood have had another excellent year. We have enjoyed another record year for inflows into our portfolios. This in itself is testimony to the hard work of the team and the outcomes they drive through their excellent financial planning and investment management skills. At the time of writing, all of our portfolios are on target to hit their respective return expectations for the year, and we have set up more new financial plans this year with clients than ever before. There is nothing more rewarding than developing a financial plan and helping to ensure it is delivered over the years ahead.
We have increased our support for charity this year, and in particular for Cancer Research UK, where we hope our new ideas and the sponsorship of fund-raising events makes a positive impact. We are also the new lead sponsor for the Newark Half Marathon, hopefully securing the future of the event for the next three years and helping to raise thousands for all manner of different charitable causes. Its absence over the COVID period has been clear, so it will be great to get that show back on the road.
Back to the DB Wood team, we have had two retirees in Krystyna Peace, who retired in March after 12 years with us, and Julie Burrows who retires today after 25 years of service. I would like to thank them both for their excellent work over many years. As is so often the case, as one door shuts another opens, and well in advance of their retirement we have also welcomed Alexandra Ashley and Amy Dennis who have both settled in really well and already feel very much part of the DB Wood family.
In terms of our financial planning program our investment into new software in Q3 2020 has proved a big hit with clients, with positive feedback across the board. Moreover, for clients taking income, our Dynamic Planning investment strategy has continued to deliver positive results and should continue to do so, particularly if investment markets remain volatile.
As our scale increases, we are increasingly able to reduce costs to our clients. We expect to be able to announce a further reduction in our overall annual cost structure early in the New Year. As always, the focus will remain on quality and not cost, though there is no doubting our objective of delivering value to our clients where we feel it is achievable without compromise.
To close I would like to thank our team for their continued commitment, and of course our clients for your wonderful support, input and feedback into what we do and how we do it. It really is a team effort here at DB Wood, and our clients remain central to all that we do. We hope that the year ahead brings you the context, perspective, and ideas you need to navigate our changing world. We look forward to helping you move ahead with confidence.
Have a restful Christmas and let’s raise a glass of hope and opportunity towards 2022.