Stock market turmoil affects us all

OVER the last two weeks the world's stock markets have been in turmoil with massive falls in share prices followed by significant recoveries.This can sometimes seem a remote issue to those of us who do not have a collection of share certificates at home or who are not involved in the financial services industry.

OVER the last two weeks the world's stock markets have been in turmoil with massive falls in share prices followed by significant recoveries.

This can sometimes seem a remote issue to those of us who do not have a collection of share certificates at home or who are not involved in the financial services industry.

But the fact is that the activities on the finance markets are of vital importance to anyone with a private pension, an endowment mortgage, or savings in many forms of accounts.

And the stock market activities also have a major bearing on interest rates and through them the housing market as a whole.


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At present the situation on stock markets is so volatile that it is very difficult to work out exactly what is going to happen to the economy as a whole.

The problem was sparked with some American homeowners defaulting on their mortgages - and the knock-on effect on this side of the Atlantic is that some British lenders are likely to make it more difficult to get mortgages.

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That could have the effect of putting a brake on the housing market, ironically making it easier for first-time buyers. But whether the benefits of a slower rise in house prices will be outweighed by a squeeze on credit remains to be seen.

One thing everyone should remember is that pensions, endowments, and share-related savings schemes must essentially be looked at as long-term investments. The markets may be in turmoil this month, but people should not panic over fluctuations which may only last a matter of days.

IPSWICH-based band Rosalita have built up a strong following throughout the region with their impressive shows over the last few years, but this weekend really hit the big time.

They are opening the V Festival at Chelmsford tomorrow in front of the biggest audience of their careers so far.

This is a major coup for Rosalita which now has a well-earned reputation as one of the best unsigned bands in the country, and hopefully their performance will encourage talent scouts who are bound to be at the festival to make them an offer.

Many fans of the band will be hoping that tomorrow's performance is just the start of a glittering career for this talented group of musicians.

BEN Gummer was brought up with politics in his bloodstream with his father John serving as a cabinet minister under Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

Now he has taken a major step towards following his father into the House of Commons after being selected as Conservative candidate for Ipswich.

It won't be an easy fight for this enthusiastic 29-year-old, Chris Mole has a 5,000 majority and the seat is not seen as a key marginal by the Tories.

But fighting it will be valuable experience for Mr Gummer junior, and his selection is bound to ensure an entertaining campaign next time around.

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