Until the 3rd of January 1984, the main UK share index was the FT30. The FTSE100 was introduced as a more comprehensive illustration of business prosperity in the UK, and was given an initial base level of 1000. 2013 saw a rise in value of the FTSE of 14.4%, closing at 6749.09 on 31st of December 2013, from a closing level of 5897.8 in December 2012. This is the strongest year for the index since December 1999, when it closed at an all-time peak of 6950.6.
The history of the FTSE has been one punctuated by major events: the miners’ strike of 1984; market deregulation in 1986, the Black Monday crash of 1987 and the recent financial crisis of 2008. In particular, the last five years have been a turbulent time, suffering a 31.3% drop in 2008 with the onset of the financial crisis, recovering with a record one day rise of 9.8% on 24th of November 2008. Since then, recovery has been sporadic, with the lowest point in the last five years where the index hit 3529.7 in March 2009.
Investing in shares isn’t without risks, as can be seen from the highs and lows mentioned above.
But equities remain an important element of an investment portfolio, depending on your attitude to risk. The UK stock market can be accessed in a number of ways; some popular ways include tax efficiently through a Stocks & Shares ISA or for long term growth through a pension. The value of an investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount