Category: News

What is the new Health and Social Care Levy?

To begin with, it is worth a quick reminder of the current social care position in England: (Wales, N. Ireland and, in particular Scotland, have their own variations on the theme): There is a £23,250 capital means test ceiling, above which all care costs must be met by the individual: the self-funding route. For those with wealth between

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What was in the money sections of the weekend’s papers? (09/08/2021)

Help tomorrow’s widows prepare for an income shock In this article for the Financial Times, former pensions minister Steve Webb summarizes why two alterations to the state pension mean widowed women might experience an income “shock” along with bereavement in retirement. Among many mathematical examples, he encourages no couple to make any assumptions about the assistance available to

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What was in the money sections of the weekend’s papers? (12/07/2021)

UK advertising watchdog to crack down on misleading crypto marketing The Advertising Standards Authority has informed the Financial Times it plans to pull misleading crypto advertisements. According to the agency, crypto is on a ‘red alert’ in financial advertising. Customers have usually been the ones to highlight potentially damaging adverts. However, the Advertising Standards Agency wants to

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (26/04/2021)

Financial advisers are putting your money in tracker funds – so why are you paying them? Financial advisers are facing pressure to justify their fees after putting customers’ money into tracker funds run by Vanguard. This is what this article in The Telegraph says. Vanguard, which launched its advice service earlier this month, runs £42bn of funds

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (12/04/2021)

‘I tracked down my £14k lost pension – before the Government seized it’ More savers are trying to track down forgotten-about pension pots before the government takes the money for other uses, according to The Telegraph. The Government said in January that pensions that had lain dormant for years would be used to fund “good causes”.

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (29/03/2021)

Neil Woodford scandal: What fund bosses knew but never told us The Woodford scandal continues to unfold. The latest comes from The Sunday Times, which says the firm overseeing the fund, Link Fund Solutions, knew of its risky holdings but did not warn investors of such risks. Several requests of information were sent by Hargreaves Lansdown, who

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (08/03/2021)

Death tax to catch thousands more in £1bn pandemic raid The Telegraph says grieving families are set to be hit with a £1bn “stealth tax” grab. This is after Rishi Sunak revealed in his Budget that the government would cash in on inheritances to support public finances. Speaking in parliament last week, Sunak revealed his five-year freeze

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What was announced in the 2021 Budget?

This is one of the more important budgets of recent times. So, what was announced? Income tax rates, thresholds, and thresholds For 2021/22 Personal Allowance increasing to £12,570, basic rate band to £37,700 meaning a higher rate threshold of £50,270 – but then these figures will be frozen until April 2026. No changes to dividend

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (01/03/2021)

Lockdown savings? Put them in an ISA while you can This article in the Guardian looks at how the Covid pandemic has bolstered many people’s balances. It also has some tax-efficient places for readers to put their extra cash. The piece mentions various investment ideas but for most, we believe bespoke advice is best. Rishi

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (22/02/2021)

NS&I blocks loyal savers from accessing their own cash Holders of savings bonds with National Savings & Investments could find their money locked away, according to The Telegraph. Previously customers could withdraw their cash at any moment with a penalty of 90 days’ interest. However, untouched savings are being automatically put into newer bonds which removes

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (01/02/2021)

Q&A: A basic guide to the GameStop squeeze The madness of the GameStop drama caught the full attention of the investment world last week. This Financial Times article asks how did millions of retail investors put big financial institutions under pressure with GameStop last week? This piece seeks to explain how the phenomenon, which began on a

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (25/01/2021)

NS&I boss apologises for customer service amid rise in withdrawals The Guardian covers how NS&I have apologised after low staffing levels left them unable to cope with “unprecedented” demand of savers withdrawing their cash. Savers pulled £26.5bn from the bank in the final three months of 2020. This came after it dramatically reduced the rates

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (18/01/2021)

How Covid-19 rebooted retirement If coronavirus has brought a positive, writes the Financial Times’ it has purred people to look at their retirement plans. The article talks to several financial planners who say the pandemic has encouraged people their clients to re-evaluate what matters most to them. It has also given them a taster for what retirement

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (11/01/2021)

Over-55s at the mercy of a new pensions ‘experiment’ next month Incoming investment pathway rules have been dubbed “fundamentally flawed” and “potentially dangerous”, writes The Telegraph. These new rules compel providers to offer people those without a financial adviser a default fund strategy based on their money plans when they hit the age of 55.

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (04/01/2021)

Our 8-point checklist to get your pension in order for 2021 Perhaps second-guessing a few people new year’s resolutions, The Telegraph has offered readers a checklist to get their pensions in order. The first two steps the newspaper suggests are tracking down old pensions and checking charges. On the first point, the article quotes Aegon’s Kate

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (14/12/2020)

Why ‘final salary’ pensioners should really fear a wealth tax Amid rumours of the Government imposing a ‘wealth tax’, The Telegraph warns those with sizeable defined benefit pension should worry. The tax, thought up by a group of think tanks, proposes to make individuals with more than £500,000 assets after debt pay 1% of their net worth.

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (30/11/2020)

Philip Green urged to plug pension gap before Arcadia administration Sir Philip Green is under pressure to use his wealth to make up the “huge shortfall” in the Arcadia’s pension scheme. This takes place as the group is expected to enter administration, writes The Guardian. Thousands of workers’ pensions could fall by 10% if the Pension

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (23/11/2020)

“Can you be sure of a comfortable retirement after the pandemic?” Financial security in retirement is something we can never take for granted. Naturally, Covid-19 and its effects have prompted savers to reconsider and review their retirement plans. The Financial Times asks how sure we can be of a safe retirement after the pandemic. Many made

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (09/11/2020)

The Lockdown 2 survival guide for pension savers While our portfolios recovered quickly from the market downturn earlier this year, some pension savers may still be reeling from it. The Telegraph looks at what they can do to protect their money from any upcoming turbulence. The piece offers some guidance, imploring people to stay invested and

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (26/10/2020)

Emotions cost investors dear, research finds The Financial Times contained an article explaining how research has found investors lose an average of 3 per cent a year in returns to emotionally driven investment decisions.  It also found the gap that widens significantly in times of steep volatility such as the current pandemic. These decisions can

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Can I get tax relief for working from home?

Employers can pay employees up to a maximum of £6 per week tax-free, to cover additional costs they may have incurred because of working from home. Where employers have not paid their employees the home expenses payment, individuals can claim this tax relief through a new online portal. More than 54,800 claims have been made

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Is pensions tax relief safe for now?

The Government has rejected the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)’s proposal that HMRC should evaluate pensions tax relief. The concern was HRMC did not understand the impact of some of the UK’s largest tax reliefs which includes pension tax relief. The committee called for a formal review, but the Government disagreed. They pointed to several recent consultations

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (05/10/2020)

FINANCIAL TIMES “Property sellers risk tax penalty amid housing ‘mini-boom’” Advisers warn of lack of awareness over shortened deadline for paying CGT. COMMENT: We looked at this in this post. “Investment trust boom in wake of Woodford liquidity concerns” Trust model helps managers control risks of a sell-off when holding unlisted companies. COMMENT: We do

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (24/08/2020)

FINANCIAL TIMES “‘Two companies to pay £10.7m to investors sold risky schemes” Avacade and Alexandra Associates provided investment services without being authorised by regulator. COMMENT: You should always check that your adviser is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Also, if you are advised to invest into something which offers high returns for low or

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (17/08/2020)

FINANCIAL TIMES “‘Dividends cut by 445 LSE-listed companies” Some yields still remain attractive even after changes, analysts say. COMMENT: You can find our thoughts on income investing here. “Pensions cash a temptation for silver job seekers” If you’re made redundant in your fifties, should you dip into your retirement funds? COMMENT: We always recommend to

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (03/08/2020)

FINANCIAL TIMES “Will superfunds come to the rescue of UK pensions?” Covid-19 adds to pressure on final salary schemes to consolidate. COMMENT: The guaranteed income these types of schemes offer is only as strong as the performance of the scheme’s investments and the ability of the company backing it to meet any shortfalls. Anything which

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (27/07/2020)

Financial Times “Dividends are not dead — but your strategy might need recharging” Covid-19 has merely “accelerated the inevitable”, as dividend cuts were on the way from a number of companies. COMMENT: You can find our thoughts on income investing here. “What are your rights if your bank account is frozen?” Rising reports of fraud

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Am I better off managing my portfolio myself?

DIY investors now have unprecedented access to investment information and markets. This has levelled the informational playing field between them and professional investors. Even though you may have the tools to do manage your own portfolio, should you go down the DIY route? What you need to be a successful investor Time and interest You

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Is Capital Gains Tax going to increase?

On 14 July it emerged the Chancellor had written a letter to the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) requesting it ‘undertake a review of Capital Gains Tax (CGT)’. Curiously, there was no announcement of the letter on the Treasury website. The tone of the correspondence is distinctly different from Mr Hammond’s letter requesting a simplification

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (13/07/2020)

FINANCIAL TIMES “Psychological traps investors should be wary of” Do you need an ‘emotional circuit breaker’ to prevent untimely investment decisions? COMMENT: You can find more about this here. We believe this to be one of the most important factors behind long term investment success. As such we believe a large part of our ongoing

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Can investing into a VCT help me?

Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) have always been viewed as highly useful when looking at someone’s tax planning. Over time VCTs have become more mainstream and for certain clients are just another way to invest tax efficiently. VCTs are publicly-listed companies which invest money in small UK businesses who are not quoted on the main stock

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (06/07/2020)

SUNDAY TIMES Paying your tax now will save pain in January Tempting though it is, delaying paying your tax bill this month means facing a double bill in six months’ time, accountants warn. COMMENT: We usually operate based on the assumption of “tax-deferred is tax saved”. Although it is correct that deferring means a bigger

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Could we have a wealth tax in the UK?

It is no secret the Government debt has reached epic levels. With interest rates being as low as they are, it is accepted that servicing the debt may not be as challenging as the size of the debt would (superficially at least) indicate. Low to negative yield Government Bonds (Gilts) are being bought by the

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (15/06/2020)

FINANCIAL TIMES “Coronavirus puts the squeeze on retirement hopes” Workers in their 50s may have to rethink their long-term plans. COMMENT: This article focuses on how the current downturn in the investment markets could affect someone who is about to retire. Whilst we can never predict when they are going to happen, downturns like this

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (22/06/2020)

FINANCIAL TIMES “Fine wine investment ages well amid volatile markets” The Covid-19 crisis is bringing tensions to a head in the market for Bordeaux’s ‘en primeur’ wines. COMMENT: This is another article about investing in non-standard assets. These include classic cars stickers, toys, and all sorts of collectables. We never advise our clients to bet

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (08/06/2020)

FINANCIAL TIMES “Wealth management faces fallout from coronavirus” Pressure on fee income and investment in tech has intensified during the pandemic. Comment: This story covers two trends in our profession. The first is where if fees are related to the performance of the markets then they will have fallen. The second is the development and

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What was in the weekend’s papers? (01/06/2020)

Please note that, due to copyright, we are no longer able to include a direct link to the newspaper article. FINANCIAL TIMES “Pandemic accelerates desire to pass down wealth” Fear over potential tax rises leads to a rise in people gifting assets to family members. Comment: We always recommend to clients, when it is relevant

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