News

 

Brexit & Exchange Rates

It’s predicted that the pound could slide further against the euro because of Brexit. But if you look back over the past decade of exchange rates between the two currencies, the reality is a little different than some headlines would have you believe.

December 14, 2018
 
 
 

Taking Stock: Brexit and the markets

There’s been a lot of economic modelling in the news lately as the Brexit debates roll on. Steering well clear of any politics, what’s the potential impact of next week’s vote in parliament on the markets and our investments? The possibilities outlined by Mark Carney were stark – but it’s important to remember he was talking about the worst-case scenario, the extreme that might occur according to his modelling.

December 4, 2018
 
 
 
 

Christmas markets aren’t the only ones to watch

If you started getting financially organised using my book this year, then you should have set yourself some outcomes in January. Those following the plan should have financial foundations in place, including a will, lasting power of attorney and an emergency reserve of cash. Some people will be in the phase of paying down their debt; others will be considering investments and saving for the future, which often means investing in the stock markets.

November 28, 2018
 
 
 

NHS Pension Scheme to permit voluntary scheme pay

The NHS pension scheme has made a change to the scheme rules to permit voluntary scheme pays. Which schemes offer voluntary scheme pays has been brought to the fore because of the impact of the tapered annual allowance and the need for the individual to have to meet the annual allowance charge personally, in line with the self-assessment deadlines.

November 16, 2018
 
 
 

The Return of the Probate Fiasco

Cast your mind back to February 2016, when the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) published a consultation paper proposing a complete change to how probate fees will be charged. Now, a week after a Budget which made no mention of inheritance tax reform, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice has issued a written statement on increases to probate fees in England & Wales.

November 9, 2018
 
 
 
 
Money management for kids

I’ll Help you to Save Scheme

The government have just launched a new savings scheme called “Help to Save”.  It allows you to save upto £50 a month over four years (up to a maximum of £2,400) and receive a 50p bonus for every £1 you save. Find out more about the benefits on this scheme along with how you open an account.

October 19, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Financial planning for couples

Common tragedy clause in a will / charitable legacies

The death of Richard Cousins, a 58-year-old widower who perished in a tragic sea plane accident on New Year’s Eve 2017 along with his two sons, his fiancé and her young daughter, has brought the subject of wills and charitable legacies to the forefront of media and public attention. Richard Cousins was head of the…

September 14, 2018
 
 
 
LISA house

Help ‘me’ to Buy my first home ISA!

According to a recent Government press release, more than 1.2 million people have opened a Help to Buy ISA account. The latest Government statistics show that: the average Help to Buy bonus claim has reached £800, a new record; and 146,753 property completions have been supported by the scheme, which has helped to finance properties worth £25.3 billion…

September 12, 2018
 
 
 
 

Buy to Let continues to slow

In recent weeks there have been rumours, originating initially from The Sun , that the Treasury is contemplating a fresh increase in stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on buy-to-let (BTL) properties. The idea comes at a time when SDLT receipts are showing signs of flagging.

August 28, 2018
 
 
 

Capital Gains ruling on your main residence

In the recent case of McHugh v HMRC, the First Tier Tax (FTT) Tribunal were asked to consider the question of whether private residence relief from capital gains tax (CGT) should be given in respect of any part of a three-year period of ownership that preceded the taxpayer’s occupation of the property.

August 27, 2018
 
 
 
 
 

IR35 – the recent tax case of Christa Ackroyd Media Limited and the Commissioners for HMRC

In a recent tax case, Christa Ackroyd Media Limited and the Commissioners for HMRC, Christa Ackroyd (the taxpayer) lost her appeal against HMRC’s decision that she was caught by IR35. This is the first of what’s expected to be a number of high-profile appeals involving television presenters and IR35. Do you run a personal services company? …

March 11, 2018
 
 
 
 
Office public Guardian

Lasting Power of Attorney Refunds

I often shout the need for Powers of Attorney – for everyone!  Not just the elderly. Now, if you have listened and if you have registered a Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) between April 2013 and March 2017 then you may be due a refund! The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is issuing partial…

February 11, 2018
 
 
 

FTSE 100 Review

The FTSE 100 has undergone its latest quarterly review. FTSE Russell, the providers of the FTSE 100 and related UK indices, has announced the results of its quarterly review.  This was based on market values on 28th November and will take effect from Monday 18th December. As far as the FTSE 100 is concerned, there are three…

December 8, 2017
 
 
 
 

How long will you live?

A million-pound question!  When will I die? If we knew when our final day was, it would be so easy to plan, so easy to know how much we can spend now verses save for retirement, where we would holiday, when we would have our last kiss and when to say our last good-bye. But…

October 2, 2017
 
 
 
Lexo

Keep investing simple

Legendary music producer Quincy Jones has loaned his name to a new ETF tracking companies involved in any aspect of ‘online streaming of entertainment’.  There are plenty of other ‘niche, thematic’ ETFs currently available such as; Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index – This ETF has grown to $82.9m, despite a comedown from its’ high. Millennials Thematic…

August 22, 2017
 
 
 
Women rertirement age

The effect of raising the female state pension age

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has issued a working paper examining “the effect of raising the female state pension age on income, poverty and deprivation”. It offers a variety of interesting and sometimes counter-intuitive insights to the reform, which was originally set in train by the Pensions Act 1995. For example: Between 2010/11 and 2015/2016, the…

August 5, 2017
 
 
 
Tax year end

More Over 50’s Setting up Businesses

ONS (Office of National Statistics) data shows that as at the end of 2015 there were 4.6m self-employed people in the UK – up from 3.8m in 2008 – and the over 50’s account for 43% of those that start their own business.  In addition, the number of self-employed people aged 65 and over has…

July 28, 2017
 
 
 
Personal Pension

Half Way Point of 2017 Check In

The first half of 2017 is over, where did that time go!  The last 6-months marked the end of another politically turbulent period in the UK. The view across the six months belies the upheaval that took place: the most widely quoted yardstick of the UK stock market, the FTSE 100, nudged up a little…

July 19, 2017
 
 
 

Care and the Conservatives – General Election 2017

With the General Election looming over us and the election polls ever-shifting, nobody knows which way the scales will tip on 8th June.  However, there have been some interesting topics for discussion raised in the recent weeks. As many will have seen in the recent press, care and the ‘capping’ of care costs is a hot…

June 7, 2017
 
 
 
AYMs

50 years of ATMs

50 years ago on 27 June 1967, Barclays installed the world’s first cash machine (ATM) at its Enfield branch in north London, but how have payments changed since then? In 1976 you could withdraw no more than £10 at a time using a special voucher and a personal six-figure code. Last year we withdrew £129…

June 1, 2017
 
 
 

It’s that time of year again…… Budget 2017 Update

Hard to believe it’s 12 months already since George Osbourne delivered the ground-breaking 2016 budget, complete with its not-at-all-embarrassing disability benefit u-turn. What goodies does Philip Hammond have in store for us this year? If you really want to do so, you can check out the speech in full, or find the headline tax and…

April 13, 2017
 
 
 

The New £1 Coin

With the excitement surrounding the issue of the new one pound coin, I wondered how much I would have today, if I had invested 10,000 of them into the FTSE All Share index when the pound coin was first launched. The one pound was introduced on 23 April 1983, when Lady Thatcher was Prime Minister,…

March 29, 2017
 
 
 
AYMs

Key points from today’s Budget

1. The economic forecast Growth in the UK economy picked up through 2016. Employment has reached a record high of 31.8 million people. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now forecasts that the UK economy will grow by 2% in 2017. The OBR also forecast that the economy will grow at a slightly slower rate in 2018,…

March 8, 2017
 
 
 
 

Recent Articles

 
 
 
 
 

Get Help With…

Your 5 Steps of achieving your financial freedom and living your dreams is a click away