Fuel prices will come down – eventually

petrol pumps
Fuel prices have gone sky high in recent weeks

With the cost of filling the average family car with fuel now £100 and the price of a litre of petrol predicted to hit a record £2, it is having a huge impact on everyone.

Public transport and alternatives such as cycling to work may appear green and a good solution, but for many here in North Devon that is simply not practical.

Many families need their cars daily to get to work or take children to school and as much as they might wish they could use buses or trains (what trains?!), the transport network simply doesn’t exist.

We believe fuel prices will come down again, but when is another question. The oil price has been rising inexorably. The country can’t control that and it has a big bearing on imported inflation.

It is near to its highs and a further small push will breach the peaks seen in 2008 before it plummeted. It will fall again but it takes time to change the supply and routes for the fuel.

Sustained high prices will impact the global economy and will affect things even such as the (casual) holiday trade where people will feel it is too expensive to travel far.

UK Natural gas prices have plummeted by nigh 70 per cent since the winter peak but of course, big suppliers forward-buy to avoid being caught. Falls will feed through in due time however.

We don’t think the Chancellor’s latest packages to help with energy bills are best targeted either – they mainly don’t affect inflation by cutting costs and are simply handouts.

If you are looking at investments, maybe it’s time to buy some Aramco shares to balance your portfolio, up a third since November… we don’t plan that however, but spivvy oil exploration stocks which do strike it rich could be worth a fortune now! However, something connected to the US Shale Oil industry may be a good hedge in the short-term.

Say hello to LISA

Please get ready to soon welcome an addition to our team – LISA. After a long process, we will be the first independent LISA manager in the area! We are now just waiting for an administration system update.

This is a Lifetime Savings Account. Those aged from 18 to 40 will be able to open one and save up to £4,000pa (until age 50!) and the taxman will give them a 25 per cent bonus on subscriptions.

They are designed for your first home, or if you don’t qualify for that, can be withdrawn from age 60 for any use.

If you take funds outside that, then you lose 25 per cent (so more tax than the bonus you enjoyed but you should have had tax-free gains on the tax rebate anyway!)

The house must cost under £450,000 and with a mortgage. If you maximise a LISA, then you can only contribute £16,000 to a normal ISA that year.