About Nicholas Grogan

Posts by Nicholas Grogan

Should I listen to predictions about the markets?

Many analysts are making predictions about the markets and the economy. However, it’s essential to be aware of the limitations of these predictions before making any decisions. The Psychological Urge for Predictability: People tend to rely on market predictions because they prefer certainty over uncertainty. This desire for order and control results from our cognitive

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Should I Invest 100% in Equities?

The traditional approach for most has been to have a mix of growth assets, such as equities (stocks and shares), and defensive assets, such as bonds, within their portfolio. New research is challenging this approach. What does the research say? The research looked at the returns of various assets from 1890 to 2019. It suggests

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Do you offer one-off financial advice?

We sometimes receive enquiries from people seeking one-time financial planning without ongoing management. While we are passionate about helping clients plan, we focus on delivering value exceeding our fees. Unfortunately, we have found that one-off engagements don’t align with this goal. Our real value is in continuous planning and review, which is essential for staying

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How do I exit my business?

Deciding to exit your business is a significant step in your journey as an entrepreneur. It is crucial to have a carefully planned exit strategy, regardless of the current stage of your business. However, given the multitude of exit options available, it can take time to determine the best course of action. In this context,

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What was announced in the Autumn Statement 2023?

Yesterday, the Chancellor unveiled the Autumn Statement, packed with measures to boost the economy. There’s a lot to unpack for those managing finances or working with a financial planner. Let’s dive into the fundamental changes and see how they might affect you. National Insurance Adjustments – Potential Savings for Individuals For Employees: The Class 1

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Why should I make a will?

Thinking about what happens after we’re gone isn’t fun, but it’s essential, especially for taking care of the people we love. That’s what making a Will is all about. It’s more than just a legal step; it’s how you ensure your stuff – like your house, savings, or other belongings – goes to the people

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What numbers will affect my financial future?

Entering the world of financial independence may seem daunting, but you’re not alone! Many have successfully navigated this path, providing us with a map to guide you. Think of it as a marathon. Maintaining a consistent pace, being patient, and staying optimistic are crucial to achieving your goal. It’s not just about running but also

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How can I create an income stream with my retirement savings?

Ensuring a steady income during retirement is a paramount concern for many. There are several strategies to address this concern, each with distinct characteristics. This post will explore three popular methods: systematic withdrawal strategies, dividend investing, and annuities. Systematic Withdrawal Strategies These strategies involve withdrawing a certain percentage of your retirement savings annually to provide

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What is the size factor when investing?

Building on the underlying concept of factor investing, we’ve already explored the Value Factor and now it’s time to look at the Size Factor. What is the Size Factor All About? Think of the investing universe as a zoo, where companies come in different shapes and sizes. Some are powerful lions, while others are nimble

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What is the value factor when investing?

Factor investing simplifies investment decisions by following golden rules such as Value, Size, Momentum, Quality, and Volatility. Let’s focus on the Value Factor and how it helps your money grow over the long term. What is the Value Factor? When shopping, you might see two identical items priced differently. If one is £10 and the

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How can factor investing help me?

Back in the ’70s, an academic called Stephen A. Ross figured out a nifty way to give your returns a bit more oomph. He studied at famous schools like Caltech and Harvard and wrote a paper that changed how we invest. What did the paper say? He popularised “factor investing,” which simplifies investment decisions based

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Why shouldn’t I opt out of the NHS Pension Scheme?

According to figures from Quilter, there has been a significant increase in the number of NHS employees opting out of their pensions due to financial constraints. In the last year alone, 66,749 individuals stopped contributing to their pensions, citing affordability issues or other financial priorities. Opting out of a workplace pension scheme may increase your

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Should I invest in AI?

Investors often lose sight of their long-term goals due to two main distractions: fear and hype. Fear, often brought on by global events or market downturns, can cause investors to focus too much on the short term. This can lead to hasty decisions that derail their long-term strategies. On the other hand, hype, which arises

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How will AI affect how I manage my money?

One topic on everyone’s mind is the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI). So, I’d like to dive into this fascinating topic: What exactly is the future of personal finance management in the UK with the rise of AI? What is AI? AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is the broad concept of machines being able to carry

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Should I buy an annuity with my pension?

If you’re planning for retirement, you may be considering buying an annuity. Annuities provide a guaranteed income for life, which can be a valuable source of security in retirement. In recent years, annuity rates have been on the rise, meaning you can now get a higher income from an annuity than you could in the

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Do I need to invest in complex investments?

Some believe they need to invest in more complex financial instruments to get higher returns. However, it’s important to evaluate whether these investments are necessary and will help you achieve your financial goals. What are complex investments? Complex investments are financial instruments that are more intricate in nature, come with higher risks, increased costs, and

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How do I top up my State Pension?

The State Pension is as close to a guaranteed source of income as you can get. If you have paid enough National Insurance for 35 years, you will receive the full amount, which is currently £203.85 per week or £10,600 per year. This amount will likely continue rising due to the triple lock guarantee, which

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How much do goals matter to financial planning?

A common question from clients pertains to the importance of setting goals in financial planning. The answer is that goals play a pivotal role in financial planning. Goals provide direction to financial planning. Individuals and families need to establish precise financial objectives to determine their priorities and aspirations. These objectives may vary, from immediate ones,

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What is home bias?

When providing investment advice, we may discuss the idea of home bias and its potential impact. Home bias describes the tendency for investors to put a larger portion of their portfolio into assets within their own country, like stocks and bonds. For example, a UK investor with a home bias would have a higher percentage

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What happens to my pension pot when I die?

If you have a defined contribution (DC) pension in the UK, it’s essential to understand what happens to your pension savings after you die. The good news is that the rules for distributing DC pension benefits after death are relatively simple. Can I control who gets my pension money when I die? When you die,

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How important is financial literacy?

A global financial literacy survey indicates that around a third of the UK needs help understanding the most basic financial concepts. There are many potential benefits of financial literacy. People with strong financial skills do a better job planning and saving for retirement. [1][2] Financially savvy investors are more likely to spread their risk and

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How much risk is right for me?

If you want to invest, a top priority is determining how much risk to take. Risk might sound scary, especially if you’re not a risk-taker elsewhere. More risk can mean higher returns when investing, but nothing is guaranteed. Is having too much in equities a bad idea? The chart below looks at the probability of

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What was announced in the 2022 Autumn Budget?

On 17 November, the fourth chancellor of the year delivered his Autumn Statement. Jeremy Hunt aimed to use the Autumn Statement to calm markets and reset public finances. Much of what was stated had been expected. Once again, there was a focus on so-called stealth taxes. These came either through the further freezing of allowances,

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How long do I have to invest for?

Many wonder how long they need to invest their money. Like many others in life, the answer is “it depends.” While no two circumstances are identical, understanding the behaviour of the investment markets can help you make an informed decision. History also shows that the longer you invest, you increase your chances of making money

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Why don’t you try to time the markets?

We all wish we could outwit the financial markets. Instead of trusting them to produce life-changing returns, we fool ourselves into believing that we can predict when the market will fall and then rise again. No one is immune to this temptation, but we can cure ourselves of the desire to act on it. With a

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Should I invest in commodities?

Our colleagues at Timeline, who manage the portfolios we recommend to our clients, have put together a paper on the investment case for commodities. We class commodities as ‘alternative’ investments. Unlike ‘traditional’ assets such as bonds and equities, commodities are physical assets that produce no income and may incur storage and transportation costs. This makes

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What was announced in the mini-budget?

Kwasi Kwarteng, in his new role as chancellor, unveiled his plans for growth, bringing down inflation, backing businesses, and helping households. Although much of its content was already known, it still contained a few surprises. What changes have been made to personal taxation? The mini-budget has delivered a variety of tax cuts, including: Income tax:

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Should I consolidate my pensions?

LCP, a pensions consultancy that counts former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb amongst its employees, has published a guide looking at the pros and cons of someone combining all their pensions in one pot. To a certain extent, the guide is aimed at those looking to consolidate their workplace pensions, but the points covered can

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What is factor investing?

Factor investing is a specific way to approach investing. This approach targets specific drivers of returns across asset classes and can help improve returns and enhance diversification. How does factor investing differ from traditional investing? When looking at investing styles, there are two ends of the spectrum. At one end, you have purely active managers.

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Should I look at topping up my State Pension?

Voluntary National Insurance contributions can help ensure you have enough qualifying years to get the full State Pension. If you have gaps in your record, you might be able to make voluntary contributions to fill them. In the past, you have only been able to fill the last six tax years. However, when the Government

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What can I do to close the gender pension gap?

New research [1] has exposed the staggering impact of the gender pension gap.  The study shows that women have smaller pension pot sizes in every age bracket, and the situation worsens the closer retirement gets. Worryingly, women, on average, retire with less than half the income of men. Reduction in amounts paid into pensions  The amount

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5 financial aspects to consider when divorcing

From 6 April 2022, no-fault divorce came into effect in England and Wales. No-fault divorce is a long-awaited revolution in family law, finally removing the need for blame as a basis for divorce. The result is that the only ground for divorce is that the marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’. No one enters into a

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What are the main parts of a financial plan?

Many initially seek financial advice because they want help with something like a pension or making intelligent investment decisions. However, pensions or investments are only a means to an end which is helping you pursue your goals. An advisor cannot manage a portfolio or create a robust financial plan unless they have a holistic view

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What is Relevant Life Cover?

Life insurance cover is a benefit large companies often offer their staff as a perk. The problem is that for small businesses, the cost of taking out a group insurance scheme may be too expensive. Relevant life insurance is a potential solution that works out much cheaper than taking out cover personally. What is relevant

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What is Business Property Relief?

Business Property Relief (BPR) is an Inheritance Tax (IHT) exemption applied to the assets of a private trading business when they pass from one generation to the next. Most shares in private trading companies, or interests in unincorporated businesses such as a sole proprietor, or partner, will receive 100% business relief from IHT after 2

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Is the default fund in my pension any good?

You might not be interested or feel comfortable in choosing where your retirement savings are invested. If this is the case, then it is likely you have the money in your pension invested into the provider’s default pension fund. We are never going to criticise providers for making it easier for people to invest their

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Should I buy an annuity at age 67?

A recent study promoting buying annuities has received some attention in the press. An annuity is where you exchange some or all the money in your pension for an income. The company you buy it off will pay this income for as long as you live. You can also have the income linked to inflation

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How can you spot a “dodgy” investment?

Earlier this week we highlighted a report looking at another case of investors losing vast sums of money. They had put money into investments that had little hope of producing the returns being promised to them. You should always be on the lookout for scams. However, the types of investments we are talking about here

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PFS Awards: Investment Advice Specialist of the Year

The Personal Finance Society, the largest professional body for individual financial advisers in the UK, held its annual awards ceremony last night. They recognise and celebrate outstanding individuals and firms who strive to deliver exceptional consumer outcomes within the financial planning profession. During these awards, I (Nicholas Grogan) am proud to have been named Investment

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