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Recession makes 2009 a year of opportunity for GPs

Another year begins; January is traditionally a month of reflecting on what has passed and making resolutions with the best intentions and breaking them shortly afterwards!

Another year begins; January is traditionally a month of reflecting on what has passed and making resolutions with the best intentions and breaking them shortly afterwards!

2008 was certainly a difficult year for many reasons. The collapse in the banking sector took everyone by surprise, however in hindsight was an accident waiting to happen. This led to a catastrophic fall in the stock markets, which affected all those with our investments, pension funds and endowment policies.

The wider impact of the "credit crunch" is as yet unknown however a deep and potentially long-term recession seems almost certain. The government has ploughed billions of pounds into the banks and wider economy and in the short term this may lessen some of the pain, however longer term this is likely to cause increased taxation and a widening of the budget deficit.

So what happens from here?

Well for many it really is all doom and gloom, manufacturing jobs are likely to be lost in the hundreds of thousands, and retailers are struggling. However for doctors life shouldn't be so bad.

For those with a degree of certainty in their career and income this can be a very good time and a time of opportunity. Interest and mortgage rates are at an all time low, making many people's mortgages very affordable and freeing up money for saving.

House prices are falling – this is good news for those looking to move or upgrade and should be of limited concern for those happy where they are. For those with buy-to-let portfolios, as long as rental yields cover mortgage payments people shouldn't be too concerned. Most landlords enter the buy to let market for the long haul. For those looking to invest, buy to let is looking appealing with a buoyant rental market and interest rates from as low as 3.49% if there is a decent deposit available.

Equities have fallen by 30% over the last few months, certainly bad news for all of us who are currently invested, however an excellent opportunity for new investment money. The markets will almost certainly remain low for the next few months; however significant growth is expected by the third quarter.

It really is a time to get into the equity markets, as they present an excellent opportunity, with volatility in the markets also reducing. The alternative for most with capital is maintaining money on deposit with little or no interest being paid.

So, in conclusion, although this is a difficult time for the economy as a whole, for those who have certainty in their careers and incomes 2009 should be a time of investment opportunity.

41216741Best buy-to-let mortgages Simon Dickerson, Medical & Financial

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