A season of new optimism

    23 May 2015

    How long will the post-election rally last before the next round of market jitters kick in? Whether it’s ‘Grexit, Brexit, even Scoxit’, as Tim Price says in this issue, there are bound to be upsets over the next two years, perhaps even from directions we have not yet foreseen.

    But for now, the biggest uncertainty that has hung over the UK economy for the past year — the threat of an anti-enterprise Labour regime with a penchant for higher taxes — has been lifted. The continuation of business as usual in Downing Street and the Treasury comes as welcome relief for investors, entrepreneurs and prospective home-buyers. As Chris Blackhurst writes, business leaders can now draw up an agenda of what they want a new Conservative government to deliver. We can all now turn our attention to investment decisions that were left on hold during the long election campaign.

    Looking to the future, this issue of Spectator Money takes an in-depth look at the energy sector: Matthew Lynn and Robin Andrews assess what’s to come for oil and gas stocks, large and small. For savers pondering their own long-term prospects, Laura Whitcombe and Neil Collins weigh up the pros and cons of Sipps, Isas and ‘auto-enrolment’ in company pension schemes. And by way of variety, Christopher Silvester discovers fascination and value in rare postage stamps.

    If we have learned anything from the 2015 UK general election, it is that expert predictions can be embarrassingly wrong. The same is true in investment — but with that caveat, and in this season of renewed optimism, I hope you find the Spectator Money menu of ideas richly stimulating.