International Day of Happiness: 5 reasons to be optimistic

Posted on

Saturday 20 March is the International Day of Happiness.

After the challenges of 2020, we could all use something to make us feel a little more cheerful. Yet, despite doom and gloom dominating the headlines, there are reasons to be optimistic about this year and the future. Here are just five reasons to smile.

1. The vaccine programme is rolling out

It might not seem like it now in a third national lockdown, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s getting nearer.

Almost a year since the first lockdown began, the situation has changed hugely. Several vaccines have been developed and a programme to give vaccinate the most vulnerable is being rolled out across the UK. To do this in just a year is a massive achievement and demonstrates what can be done when various organisations and people work together. Over the coming months, more people will be vaccinated, offering us a chance of normality.

It’s expected that most of the adult population, some 21 million people, will have received the vaccine by autumn. Hopefully, it means we can celebrate the 2021 festive period in a very different way to last year when strict social distancing rules were in place. We all hope that soon we will be able to visit family, enjoy days out, and catch up with friends.

2. Covid-19 has brought communities together

While Covid-19 has meant spending time apart physically. It has brought communities together in other ways. Amongst the negative headline, there have been positive ones too.

From neighbours taking time out of their day to check on each other to networks of people ensuring that the vulnerable receive shopping delivered to their home, it’s served as a reminder that we are part of a wider community, something that’s easy to forget when we’re going about our day-to-day lives.

The pandemic also put a spotlight on those raising money for charity and the creativity of coming up with challenges and events. Of course, when it comes to fundraising, the hero of 2020 was Captain Tom Moore who raised a staggering £32 million when celebrating his 100th birthday by doing laps of his garden.

3. We appreciate our green spaces more

There has been a growing focus on the natural world as topics like climate change and biodiversity rise up the agenda. However, the events of 2020 have meant many of us appreciate the environment far more on a personal level too.

With lockdown limiting social contact and how often we could go out, heading outdoors for fresh air and exercise became part of daily routines for millions of people. It means you may have explored your local area far more than you have before. Green spaces close to our homes have become a valuable part of our lives and are appreciated far more. It’s a move that could boost overall wellbeing and support the wider environment.

4. Health and wellbeing are becoming priorities

Covid-19 has been a stark reminder of the importance of health and taking care of ourselves. While the pandemic has led to a tragic loss of life, it can hopefully mean that improvements are made and health is a priority. During the first months of lockdown, families stood on doorsteps to clap for the NHS and the hard work of the staff during the pandemic. With a renewed gratitude for the NHS and all that it does, health could improve across generations.

It’s not just our physical health that’s set to benefit either. Last year led to more open discussions about mental health and overall wellbeing. It’s a step that could remove the stigma of mental health problems, encourage people to share, and lead to better care.

5. There are signs of an economic recovery

Much like the end of lockdown, a recovered economy can seem a long way off. But there are signs there that provide some hope. While things do remain uncertain, predictions suggest that the recovery will come. During a speech in November 2020, chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed the Office for Budget Responsibility predicted that GDP would grow 5.5% in 2021 and 6.6% in 2022, when it will reach pre-pandemic levels. It’s a long road to recovery, but we are on the right track.

The volatility and uncertainty of 2020 aren’t completely behind us. Remember that your financial plan was built with short-term volatility in mind and with your goals driving decisions. Historically, markets do recover.

We’d love to hear your reasons for being optimistic too.

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.

We aim to keep our clients up to date on interesting and relevant financial news.

You can sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter by email, even if you’re not yet a client. Sign-up using the form below.

Client testimonials

I have always found Black Swan to be caring and understanding of my quirky lifestyle. I always feel they try to get me the best returns while respecting my current needs.

Sally Muir

A client since 2011

We would be very happy to recommend the support and service we receive.

Valerie Locks

A client since 2010

I have always been completely useless regarding finance - thankfully our financial adviser is not! I've retired with far more than I ever expected and investments continue to grow safely. So - thank you!

Bernadette Jane Warner

A client since 2000

Very happy with the professional service I have received and feel a lot happier now with my finances put in order.

Martin Field

A client since 2011

Julie Cooper was recommended to me by a work colleague. She has been very helpful, professional and has explained everything well. I would definitely recommend her services to anyone else who are interested in a financial review.

Steven Rooke

A client since 2018

…Service has been first class.

Hugh Fells

A client since 2012

My face to face meetings with Rob Young and Jessica Lyons have always been very open and understandable. My questions have been answered clearly and I have left feeling that my financial matters are in good hands.

Sandra Jack

A client since 2000

[A] safe pair of hands in a complex financial world.

Gary Middlehurst

A client since 2003

A reliable company with good communication skills and good knowledge of the financial markets.

Alan Evetts

A client since 2014

Maureen Pembridge is a long-time trusted advisor to our family. The market might fluctuate but her attention to detail is consistent.

Linda Burnard

A client since 2000

I am pleased to recommend Julie as a trustworthy financial advisor. She explains financial jargon in plain language, and always listens carefully to my particular financial needs and has helped me make the best of my savings.

Carolann Samuels

A client since 2010

I have always been satisfied with the way that Black Swan has handled my account. And I have always found the staff very helpful whenever I need to call the office.

Robert Anthony Matthews

A client since 2012

An excellent personal service from a person I know and trust.

Michael Dalton

A client since 2010

I am getting a very good services from Black Swan, they have got my investments sorted out which was in a bit of a mess.

Roy Jakens

A client since 2012

A good, efficient team providing clear ideas to shape a winning strategy.

Adrian Michael Levenstein

A client since 2011

Black Swan is a company to be trusted, with friendly staff and professional advisors.

David Brian Jennings

A client since 2017

I have been with Black Swan for many years. I have never wished to change anything. They give a good straight forward service.

Martin Barrett Brooks

A client since 2010

Andy Peters has been invaluable in firstly combining several pension pots and then giving excellent investment advice. It has given us a great deal of comfort to know that our financial affairs are in such good hands.

James Guillum Scott

A client since 2014

I find my financial advisor easy to talk to and feel that she understands my lifestyle. She is always available for help when I need her and explains in words that I can understand.

Margaret Ena Glasgow

A client since 2000

Andy is a first rate Director, excellent communicator and leader.

Ross Perry

A client since

Black Swan Financial Planning and Andrew in particular, are very clever at working out how risk averse we are, and coming up with solutions that we feel comfortable with. We are happy in the knowledge that we can continue to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Andrew Peters is a very, very friendly person who is great to chat to and easy to deal with. He explains things very clearly in layman’s terms, and if we still don’t understand, he explains it until we do!

Alan & Jane Dyer

Clients since 2012

We have always found Rob [Young] to be very approachable and knowledgeable. We have every confidence in the advice given and feel comfortable with the decisions we’ve made. There are certain opportunities that we wouldn’t have known about if Rob hadn’t brought them to light, which makes the advice good value for money as far as we’re concerned.

Peter & Pauline O’Halloran

Clients since 2013

Rob [Young] is extremely knowledgeable. I knew nothing about the different types of trusts which will not only secure my income in retirement, but also leave a legacy for my children. I’m glad that I sought his advice when I did.

Sarah Wilson

A client since 2015

I am extremely happy with the service afforded to me by the company and my adviser Julie Cooper.

Geoff Coxell

A client since 2010

My wife and myself have been dealing with Black Swan for a number of years. We have met with different representatives from the company over the years and have found all very helpful in their own way. We met with James [Anderson] a few years ago and found him very helpful and knowledgeable. He keeps in contact with us on a regular basis. We find the Company information very helpful and we feel very secure with our finances.

Andrew Kirchen

A client since 2015

I have always found my adviser to be easy to contact, very professional in his approach, yet friendly and understanding. I have a sense of an experienced company behind him, really on the ball financially and with good standards.

B McBean

A client since 2011

Partner with the most reliable and experienced team of advisers

Enter your details & we'll be in touch to discuss your needs.
Alternatively, contact us directly and speak to a member of the team.

    Subscribe to our newsletter