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A grocery shop would cost just 45p in 1940s when the first supermarket opened its doors

Visiting the supermarket to pick up a few items or do your weekly shopping is so common it can be difficult to imagine life without this convenience. Yet, it wasn’t too long ago that the first supermarket was opening its doors in the UK. And looking back offers an interesting insight into how money and shopping habits have changed.

The London Co-operative Society opened its doors for the first time in 1948.

It offered a very different service to other shops of the time. Shoppers were used to chatting with the shopkeeper while an assistant picked the items for them. In fact, shoppers wouldn’t have handled the goods at all until they paid.

So, walking into a “self-service” supermarket – where customers picked up their items themselves and took them to a till – was a very different experience. On top of that, there were all kinds of goods under one roof and competitive prices. It’s easy to see why supermarkets became popular. 

Today, there are thousands of supermarkets across the UK, from the “big six” to independent stores. And “self-service” has gone one step further with many shops installing checkouts customers can use themselves.

In the 75 years since the first supermarket opened, how we use money, the value of it, and shopping habits have changed enormously. Looking at inflation and how it’s calculated offers a glimpse into this transition.  

£1,000 in 1946 has the same value as almost £34,500 today 

The UK first started tracking retail prices a year after the first supermarket opened. It shows how prices have changed over seven decades. 

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) demonstrates how inflation influenced prices between 1947 and 2023. While there have been times retail prices have dipped, overall, it’s been an upwards trend. 

Source: Office for National Statistics 

In fact, according to the Bank of England’s inflation calculator, £1,000 in 1946 would be equivalent to almost £34,500 today.

The ONS measures inflation by tracking a “basket of goods”. This basket is filled with common goods and services to understand how the cost of frequent purchases changes. Currently, there are around 700 representative consumer goods and services in the basket. As well as groceries from the supermarket, it also includes items like clothing and electronics. 

The items are regularly reviewed. So, not only does it track prices, but trends and spending habits. 

When the first supermarket opened, rationing was still in place. In the post-war era, the ONS included items like condensed milk, which was often used to make rations stretch further. Condensed milk remained in the basket until 1987 when fresh, pasteurised milk became more widely available. 

Fast forward to 2023, and new additions to the basket include frozen berries and free-from products. 

3 interesting comparisons that show the power of inflation

1. The average salary was 126 shillings, 9 pence 

Before the government introduced decimalisation in 1971, there were 20 shillings to a pound and 12 pence to a shilling. According to the House of Commons library, the average worker earned 126 shillings, 9 pence a week in November 1946. 

Inflation means the average earnings in April 2023 are significantly more. Data from ONS shows the average weekly salary is £603, excluding bonuses. 

2. A weekly grocery shop was just 45p 

According to the Northumberland Gazette, the average person needed just 45p to pick up a week’s worth of groceries in the 1940s. In today’s money that would be less than £20. 

However, food inflation and changing habits mean the average adult spends around £44 a week on food in 2023. 

3. A property “boom” led to prices quadrupling in some areas

Soaring property prices are often discussed in newspapers today, and it’s not a new phenomenon. 

A 1947 article in the Guardian states there was a “boom in house property prices”. In 1939, houses went for around £500. Just eight years later, aspiring homeowners could expect to pay up to £1,500, or even up to £4,000 in select residential districts. 

Over the next seven decades, house prices outstripped inflation. The Halifax House Price Index suggests the price of an average house in June 2023 was more than £285,000. 

Have you considered how inflation could affect your finances? 

Since the first supermarket opened its doors, inflation has affected the value of money. This is something you may need to consider when managing your finances.

For example, if you’re planning for retirement in 20 years, how will the income you need to maintain your lifestyle change? How can you grow your assets to keep up with the pace of inflation?

A financial plan that incorporates inflation could help you understand how it may affect your wealth and the steps you might take to protect it. Please contact us to arrange a meeting to discuss your financial plan. 

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

Investing 101: What you need to know about tax efficiency and your investment options

Investing may provide a useful way to grow your wealth, but getting started can be overwhelming. There are some important decisions to make when investing that could affect the outcomes and the tax you’re liable for, and we’re here to offer support. 

Last month, you read about investment risk and what to consider when creating a risk profile. Now, read on to discover what your options are if you’re ready to start investing.

Shares v funds: What’s the difference? 

Investing is filled with terms that can seem confusing. When you’ve looked at investing, you may have come across options like investing in shares or through a fund.

You may want to consider both options and understanding the differences is important. 


When you purchase a share, you’re investing in a single company. When you hold a share, you essentially own a very small portion of the business. You can then sell the share at a later date and, hopefully, make a profit. 

The value of shares is affected by demand. A whole range of factors can affect demand, from company performance and long-term plans to global economic conditions. 

If you purchase shares, you’re in control and can decide which companies to invest in and when to sell them. 

It’s normal for the value of shares to fluctuate, even daily. It can be tempting to try and time the market by buying when the price of a share is low and selling when it’s high. However, consistently timing the market is impossible. For most investors, buying shares to hold them for the long term often makes sense. 


A fund pools together your money with that of other investors. This money is then used to purchase shares in a range of companies.

A fund is managed on behalf of investors. So, you wouldn’t make decisions about which companies to invest in or when to buy or sell shares. 

There are lots of funds to choose from, so you can select an option that suits your risk profile and goals. 

Funds can be a useful way to ensure your investments are diversified. As your money is spread across many companies, it can help create balance. When one company performs poorly, the success of another could balance this out. So, the value of your investment in a fund may be less volatile than individual shares.

However, the value of your investment will still rise and fall, and investing with a long-term plan is often advisable. 

2 tax-efficient ways to invest and reduce your potential tax bill

When you sell certain assets and make a profit, you could be liable for Capital Gains Tax (CGT). This includes investments that aren’t held in a tax-efficient wrapper. 

For the 2023/24 tax year, individuals can make £6,000 of gains before CGT is due – this is known as the “annual exempt amount”. If profits from the sale of all liable assets exceed this threshold, you could face a CGT bill. In 2024/25, the annual exempt amount will fall to £3,000. 

The rate of CGT depends on your other income, but when selling investments, it can be as high as 20%. So, CGT may significantly affect your profits. 

The good news is that there are tax-efficient ways to invest that could reduce your bill, including these two:

1. Invest through a Stocks and Shares ISA

ISAs provide a tax-efficient way to save and invest. For the 2023/24 tax year, you can add up to £20,000 to ISAs. The returns made on investments held in a Stocks and Shares ISA are not liable for CGT.

There are many ISAs to choose from. They can hold shares or you can invest in a fund through one. Usually, you can access your investments that are held in an ISA when you choose.

2. Use your pension to invest for the long term

If you’re investing with your long-term wealth in mind, you may want to consider pensions. Pensions are tax-efficient for two reasons.

  • First, you could claim tax relief on the contributions you make. This provides a boost to your contributions, which may grow further too, as tax relief would be invested alongside other deposits. 
  • Second, your investment returns are not liable for CGT when held in a pension. Instead, you could pay Income Tax when you start to access your pension once you reach retirement age. 

In 2023/24, you can usually add up to £60,000 (up to 100% of your annual earnings) into a pension while retaining tax relief – this is known as your “Annual Allowance”. 

If you are a high earner or have taken an income from your pension already, your Annual Allowance may be lower. Please contact us if you’re not sure how much you can tax-efficiently save into a pension. 

Before you start investing in a pension, one key thing to consider is when you’ll want to access the money. Usually, you cannot make withdrawals from your pension until you are 55, rising to 57 in 2028. So, your goals and other assets should play a role in deciding if investing more into a pension is right for you. 

Contact us if you have questions about your investment portfolio 

We can work with you to create an investment portfolio that suits your risk profile and goals. We’re also on hand to answer any questions you may have, from deciphering financial jargon to explaining tax-efficient options. Please contact us to arrange a meeting to talk about your investments. 

Once you’ve set up an investment portfolio, how often should you review the performance? Why is ongoing advice useful? Read our blog next month to learn about managing investments on an ongoing basis. 

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

An investment in a Stocks & Shares ISA will not provide the same security of capital associated with a Cash ISA.

The favourable tax treatment of ISAs may be subject to changes in legislation in the future.

A pension is a long-term investment, the value of your investment and the income from it may go down as well as up. Your eventual income may depend upon the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.

Revealed: A long-term investment strategy could be key to beating inflation

Over the last year, you may have been affected by soaring inflation, rising interest rates, and volatile market conditions. The good news is that research shows a long-term investment strategy could help you grow your wealth despite a challenging environment. 

Inflation has been high over the last 12 months, and it could have eroded the value of some of your assets. Take money held in a cash account, for example. Due to inflation, it’s now likely you can buy less with it than you could just a year ago. While interest rates have increased, they haven’t kept up with inflation. So, the value of your savings in real terms is likely to have fallen. 

While investment markets have experienced ups and downs, research suggests that a long-term investment strategy could be key to growing your wealth and beating inflation.

£10,000 invested in 1985 could have beat inflation by around £170,000

Research from Standard Life demonstrates how investing could help you grow your wealth over the long term.

If you invested £10,000 in the FTSE All-Share Index on 31 December 1985 and left it there until 31 May 2022, your investment would have grown to around £200,000 (growth does not factor in any charges). 

Even when you consider how inflation has affected your spending power, that’s a significant return on your investment. The research estimates the real value of £10,000 in 1985 would be around £27,000 today. So, investors would have beaten inflation and improved their long-term financial security by investing for almost four decades. 

Of course, between 1985 and today, there have been periods of volatility. And at times, the value of the investments would have fallen. 

For example, long-term investors may have been nervous during 1987’s Black Monday, the dot-com crash, the 2008 financial crisis, or the Covid-19 pandemic, to name just a few market events. Yet, those that had confidence in their long-term investment strategy could have benefited over the long term.

While there have been declines, including some steep ones that may have tested the resolve of investors, overall, the trend is an upwards one. 

Returns cannot be guaranteed, and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. However, the research shows why a long-term outlook is important when you’re investing.

If you’re worried about your portfolio’s performance after a difficult 12 months, reviewing the performance over years or decades, rather than months, could put your mind at ease. 

4 important investment rules to follow

1. Invest for the long term

The peaks and troughs of the investment market mean a long-term view is essential.

You should invest with a minimum time frame of five years. This means you have more time for markets to recover if you experience a dip. While returns cannot be guaranteed, historically, markets have delivered returns over the long term.

2. Don’t make knee-jerk decisions in response to short-term market movements

If you see the value of your investments falling or read about volatility in the news, it can lead to investment decisions you haven’t fully thought through. However, withdrawing money during a volatile period turns paper losses into actual losses, and means you could miss out on a potential recovery. 

Investment decisions should be carefully considered and reflect your goals. While it can be difficult, try to tune out the short-term market movements and focus on the bigger picture.

3. Create a balanced portfolio

Diversification in your portfolio could reduce how much volatility you experience. By investing in a wide range of assets and companies, losses in one area could be offset by gains or stability in another. So, building a balanced portfolio that reflects your goals is crucial.

4. Ensure your portfolio reflects your risk profile

All investments carry some risk, but the level of risk varies. It’s essential you understand what level of risk is appropriate for you and how to incorporate this into investment decisions.

Investing in shares should be regarded as a long-term investment and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

Your risk profile should consider a range of factors, from how long you’ll invest to other assets you hold. Please contact us if you have any questions about investment risk.

Get in touch to discuss how you could beat inflation 

Long-term investing could form part of your financial plan to grow your wealth and reach your goals in the future. Please get in touch to arrange a meeting with one of our team to create a bespoke plan that’s tailored to your circumstances and aspirations.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Investment market update: April 2023

High inflation continues to affect economies around the world. However, there are positive signs of recovery, and some surveys indicate that people are starting to feel more confident about the future. 

While many things can affect short-term market movements, remember you should invest with a long-term goal in mind. If you have any questions about your portfolio or investment performance, please contact us. 


The UK economy flatlined in February, official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows. Despite expectations of growth, GDP remained the same.

The 0% growth has been linked to strike action. According to ONS, 348,000 working days were lost to strikes in February. Around two-fifths of strikes were in the education sector and are likely to have had a knock-on effect on other industries too. 

The news led to Fidelity branding the UK the “weak link” among developed economies. The organisation predicts the UK economy will be stagnant for the rest of the year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also said the UK is on track to be the worst performing G7 economy. It predicts GDP will shrink by 0.3% in 2023. While this is an improvement when compared to the previously forecast 0.6% decline, it puts the UK behind other countries.

In addition, the IMF expects the national debt to continue rising over the next five years. It predicts debt will rise from 103% of GDP to 113% in 2028, putting one of prime minister Rishi Sunak’s key pledges at risk.

Despite the negative outlook from organisations, chancellor Jeremy Hunt remains optimistic. He claimed the UK would do “significantly better” than the IMF predictions. 

Inflation in the UK remains high. Despite hopes that the rate of inflation would fall to single digits in March, it was 10.1%. Soaring food prices are a key driver after they increased at the fastest rate in more than 45 years. 

Rising costs mean that workers are facing a pay cut in real terms. According to the ONS, regular pay, which doesn’t include bonuses, fell by 2.3% due to inflation. This could affect confidence and spending. 

High inflation is also affecting businesses. Soaring costs and weak consumer spending has been blamed for insolvencies increasing by 16% year-on-year in England and Wales.

Data from the S&P Global purchasing managers index (PMI) also indicates that despite exports growing, the recovery in the service sector is beginning to slow. 

While there have been challenges, there was positive news for investors too.

The FTSE 100 index posted its longest winning streak since 2020 in April. The index recorded eight consecutive days of increases due to hopes that interest rate rises may end soon.


In contrast to the UK, inflation is easing and there are stronger signs of growth in Europe.

Inflation in the eurozone fell to 6.9% in March. Again, food prices, which increased by 14.7%, are a driving factor for high inflation. 

PMI data also shows the third consecutive month of growth in the eurozone as demand for services picked up. Factory output also increased at the fastest pace in six months as supply chain issues are easing. The data could alleviate some of the concerns that the economic area will fall into a recession.  

However, figures for France demonstrate how high energy costs are still having a significant effect. While manufacturing bounced back in France in February, with an increase of 1.2%, energy-intensive industries have suffered sharp falls. For example, steel production fell by 25.9%. 


US inflation fell to 5% in March, the lowest it’s been since 2021. Despite this, the Federal Reserve said it’s still “far above target”. As a result, it’s expected that interest rate rises will continue in a bid to curb rising costs. 

A consumer index from the University of Michigan suggests that Americans are feeling more confident about the future. The Index of Consumer Sentiment found people are increasingly optimistic about the current climate and their economic prospects. 

However, PMI data suggests that the US service sector unexpectedly slowed in March as demand fell. The dollar weakened following the news.

Despite this, markets rallied in March and gave investors a reason to be optimistic at the start of April. In March, the S&P was up 3.51%, the Dow by 1.89%, and the Nasdaq by 6.69%. 

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

5 essential money lessons that could improve your child’s financial independence

Between 12 and 16 June, Young Enterprise runs a national campaign across primary and secondary schools with the aim to give children the skills and knowledge necessary to understand finances to thrive in later life. 

Taking place every year since 2009, My Money Week has already taught hundreds of thousands of young people how to budget, save wisely, and manage credit card debt. 

My Money Week is the perfect time to teach your children about money and improve their financial literacy. 

So, please continue reading to discover five helpful lessons that could improve your children’s financial independence and ensure they’re prepared for anything life throws their way. 

1. How to manage their money online

These days, most banking is done digitally, so there’s a good chance that the current generation will primarily manage their finances online. 

You could set up an online account for them to use and manage, such as a Junior ISA or current account. This will make it much easier for them to grasp the concept of digital money and how to look after it themselves.

As your children get older, you can set them up with a traditional bank account they can use for online purchases. Then, when you feel the time is right and they’re responsible enough, they can progress to a debit card they can use in shops or at ATMs. 

2. What is debt, and when it should be used

As you may know, it’s easy to feel snowed under when debt starts piling up. So, teaching your children how to manage debt could be a great way to prepare them for the future. 

It may be worth explaining the difference between “good” and “bad” debt. For instance, you should teach them that debt isn’t always bad, such as if they need a mortgage to buy a house that is likely to appreciate in value. 

Meanwhile, you can teach them that “bad” debt is when they spend outside their means, perhaps on non-essential items, such as a new TV or expensive clothing. 

This could also be the perfect time to warn your children about credit card debt and “buy now, pay later” schemes. You can explain that these forms of debt often have uncompetitive interest rates and that credit card debt that they don’t pay off quickly can soon spiral. 

To help your child distinguish between good and bad debt, you could teach them the difference between “wants” and “needs”. Encourage them to ask themselves: is it really worth getting in debt for this purchase?

3. The importance of saving early

Getting a child into healthy saving habits early can instil good behaviours for later life.

An easy way to start is to open a savings account for your child or buy them a piggy bank to keep their pocket money in. This could encourage them to save for things that appear expensive in relation to the money they receive each week or month, but affordable if they save over the long term.

This could also lead to helpful conversations about what to do with additional sums of money they receive – such as for birthdays or Christmas. Teaching your children the importance of early saving could help them develop healthy saving habits as they age. 

4. The power of compounding interest and returns

Einstein once reportedly described compounding returns as the “eighth wonder of the world”, and for good reason. As such, it’s worth teaching your children about the power of compounding returns and the effect on long-term savings. 

Granted, this can often be a tricky subject for younger children to get their heads around, so it may be worth teaching them in the form of a game. One such activity is the “bank of treats” game. Simply give your child a small amount of money, and tell them to put them in their “bank”.

After a short while of saving, you can add more cash to their “bank” to show them how delayed gratification could earn them more in the long run. When your child understands just how powerful compounding returns can be, they may be more eager to save.

While teaching your children about compounding returns, it may also be worth mentioning how high interest rates can quickly escalate debt levels on unsecured borrowing, such as credit cards. 

5. The idea of “earning to spend”

In many cases, to spend money, you first need to earn it. This is an unavoidable fact of life, so reinforcing this with your children as early as possible could be a great way to develop their financial literacy. 

You could get your child to help around the house with chores to earn some, or all, of their pocket money. By doing so, they could come to appreciate the value of money and hard work.

Then, when your child is old enough, you could encourage them to get a part-time job to increase the amount of money they save. 

Get in touch

Helping your child to improve their financial literacy can help them in later life. If you want to explore ways of building a fund for your child or grandchild, we can help.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

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