News, Insight & Opinion

Helping to make sense of the complex world of financial and later-life planning.

Will you outlive your retirement pot?

The most important question to be asked is ‘How long will you live?’ ...

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HMRC repaid record £198m on flexible pension withdrawals

A record £198m was repaid on flexible pension withdrawals for the tax year 2023/24, latest HMRC data shows....

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Lifetime ISAs - Why basic-rate tax-payers under 40 should consider them.

Lifetime ISAs were created to help people under 40 save for a house deposit. But are they any good as long-term savings if you do NOT buy a house?...

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Life Boat Drills

If you have ever been on a cruise, you will be aware that the crew will carry out lifeboat drills either in harbour or shortly after leaving. ...

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Why our fees are competitive

I was recently shown the pricelist of St James's Place, a FTSE100 financial advice firm. I nearly fell off my chair....

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Company Pension planning options

We regularly look at the company pension funds of prospective and existing clients....

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Reduction in tax allowances

General Investment Accounts (GIAs) are subject to Capital Gains and Dividend tax but have had some fairly generous annual allowances until recently, when the Tory government started taxing aspiration....

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Am I on track to retire comfortably?

Clients often ask me if, for their age, they are on track to retire comfortably....

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Diversification versus Asset Allocation

There is a lot of confusion, even amongst financial advisers, about the difference between diversification and asset allocation....

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KISS

KISS stands for "Keep it short and simple"....

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Inheritance Tax

An article recently appeared in the financial press about how estates were getting hammered with Inheritance Tax penalties for failure to pay the tax within six months of the death of the deceased....

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Is your financial plan on track?

Many of us save for years via pensions and investments but do NOT know whether we are actually on track to meet our financial goals....

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Where to invest in global equities?

There is a big world out there, with lots of investment opportunities. We thought we would share a few facts with you....

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Your Company Pension

Company pensions are becoming a more and more important part of your financial plan....

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Market predictions are a waste of time

Warren Buffet said "I have never met anyone who can forecast the markets. Forecasts tell you more about the forecaster than the markets"....

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Paying Inheritance Tax when someone dies

People often ask me, when do I have to pay inheritance Tax and how do I pay it?...

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Lifestyle Funds - They need a health warning!

We are often asked to look at a client's company pension arrangements, as these will often be a major bedrock of their retirement plan....

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The 60:40 Portfolio - A recipe for disaster

For decades, both advisers and investors have regarded the default portfolio for a balanced investor to be a 60:40 portfolio....

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THE NEGATIVE EVENTS WORLD SERVICE (The News)

Misery sells newspapers. Good news does not....

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Sideways Disinheritance

People often worry about their children losing their inheritance due to the costs of care fees. However, whilst this does happen in some cases, the real killer is “sideways disinheritance”. What is this, you may ask? ...

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Reviewing your company pension funds

Auto-enrolment (where employers and employees have to pay into a company pension) has been in place for quite some time now and seems to be a success. ...

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Market Timing

The economy cannot be forecast nor the market timed....

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Intra-year returns

Did you know that in any given 12-month period, the gap between the highest and lowest valuation point of equity indices is around 14%....

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Beware of Greeks (Investment Companies) bearing gifts

As interest rates increase, investment companies are increasingly marketing investments which promise attractive levels of income....

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Changes to Care Fees Planning

Changes were announced a few years ago which would mean you can keep more of your hard-earned money, if you need to go into care....

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Inheritance Tax and Care Fees

Gifting money to save Inheritance Tax (IHT) and surviving 7 years is one method of mitigating Inheritance Tax, but..........

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The Rules of Intestacy

The statutory limits are changing on 26th July 2023...

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Alternative Investments

I am often asked by clients to look at a prospectus of some "alternative investment" provider, that typically offers guaranteed returns....

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A reminder about our investment charges

Intial charges on lump sum and regular premium contributions can have a big impact on long-term returns....

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Cash as a long-term asset class

As interest rates have increased, cash savings have understandably become more attractive. But the annual return is still less than half of that achieved by global equities over the long-term. ...

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How to minimise Inheritance Tax in your lifetime

Inheritance tax (IHT) could be considered as a voluntary tax....

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Are pensions rubbish?

I often meet people who say that pensions are rubbish. On asking them why, they say it has not grown in years....

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Market Volatility

A lesson in the volatility of the Stock-market. Since November 2021, the market has "bobbed along", not doing much to be honest, either up or down. This creates neither euphoria nor panic....

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Why you should embrace volatility

Some people consider large fluctuations in their investments and the chance of losses distressing to think about. Others will be more relaxed....

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Time in the market, not timing the markets

Investors are always asking "when is the best time to invest"....

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Will you outlive your money...or will it outlive you?

A typical couple spend 30 years in retirement and the biggest threat to their financial dignity is running out of money....

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Care Navigators

Arranging long-term care is daunting to say the least....

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Lasting Powers of Attorney

Covid-19 has created a renewed interest in LPAs, as well as Wills....

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Putting your affairs in order

One of the consequences of Covid-19 has been a huge spike in public demand for creating Wills....

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Cutting through the noise – How can we help?

‘Stock market closing at an all time high’; ‘The bubble’s burst’; ‘The stock market is crashing’; ‘Shares have gone through the roof – how could they go any higher?’; ‘House prices plummet by 30%’; ...

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Talking about your Will – don’t be one of the 93%

A national saving and investment survey has shown only 7% of people have spoken to their parents about inheritance. One of the most important parts of planning to leave an inheritance is to talk about it....

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Automated Savings

Saving regularly is one of the most important ways to increase wealth and achieve financial independence. ...

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Using a Solicitor as your Executor

The Times, dated 4th November 2017, reported that a couple were faced with an exorbitant legal bill of £115,000 which was “removed” from a modest £300,000 estate. ...

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