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What’s the biggest threat to your investments? (Hint: it’s probably not what you think it is)

If we asked you what the biggest risk to your investments were, how would you answer: Inflation? Trump? Stock market crashes? War? Recessions? Brexit? Oil prices? Global warming? If you answered “yes” to any of those you would, we are afraid, be wrong. The answer is you. Ok, before you take offence, maybe not you, at least if you have listened to us, but investors generally, and more specifically the decisions they make. Markets, by their very nature, rise and fall in value. The natural…
16th May 2017

Eight things to do in the years before you retire

We all have different reasons for calling time on our working life, or at least slowing down. Maybe you want to see the world, experience new things or spend more time with the grandchildren. You might just have had enough of the 9-5 grind; it’s not only Dolly Parton who was looking for a change! Whatever the reason, retirement is probably the biggest financial decision of your life. It needs to be planned carefully, a process which should ideally start many years before you decide…
16th May 2017

How has Inheritance Tax changed?

George Osborne proposed, well before he became Chancellor in 2010, that the Inheritance Tax nil rate band be increased so most people would never pay it on their main residence. A few weeks ago, that started to become a reality. Of course, the irony is that Mr Osborne is no longer Chancellor and a promise that started before he got the job only became reality (in part, at least) after he had left. How do the new changes work? We each have a nil rate…
9th May 2017

Pension and dividend tax changes dropped as election looms

Confusion reigned this week as the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, revealed that two measures previously announced in his Budget will not go ahead. For now, anyway. Mr Hammond’s Budget, delivered in early March, will be remembered for the proposed National Insurance rise for self-employed workers. A few days later, following protests and a media backlash, he changed his mind. It now seems that two other measures, which would have affected pensioners and shareholders, will now not go ahead. Contribution cut Prior to the Budget, the Money…
27th April 2017

Why a pension of £1 million might not be enough to retire on

Does a pension pot of £1 million make you rich? Better off than most for sure, but rich? That’s probably a debate for another day. What is certain though, is that building up a large pension triggers several problems. Many of which you might not be aware of. Here are three which spring immediately to mind, and the solutions. Problem 1: A tax on your pension fund One of the key reasons pensions are attractive is their tax-efficiency. Contributions qualify for tax-relief and the growth…
21st April 2017

How will it affect your personal finances?

The answer to that question depends on two things; the outcome of the election and how you react to the inevitable instability it will cause. At this early stage, the most likely outcome seems to be a Conservative victory, with an increased majority. At least that’s what a certain Mrs May, of Number 10 Downing Street, has gambled on. Logically, if this is the case, Mrs May, and the Chancellor Philip Hammond, will be emboldened to drive through changes to domestic policy, whilst negotiating Brexit.
20th April 2017

Considering transferring your Final Salary pension? The two things you must do before you transfer

The financial hot topics at dinner parties used to be house prices. Now though you’re as likely to hear people talking about final salary pensions and whether, or not, to transfer out. By the way, final salary pensions are also often called defined benefit pensions. For simplicity we’ll continue to use the final salary term for the rest of this article. Why the chatter? Three key reasons: Pension Freedoms, which have now been around for two years, have given people far more flexibility in how…
14th April 2017

Can you afford to open the bank of mum and dad?

Many of our clients have been homeowners for decades, but for their children getting on to the housing ladder isn’t as simple as it once was. Sure, in the 70s, 80s and early 90s interest rates were far higher than they are today; you may recall October 1989 when interest rates hit 15%. They were still in double digits two years later. But house prices were far lower than they are today. Nationwide Building Society figures show that the average price paid by a first-time…
7th April 2017

The Financial Advice Company in the press

Our newsletter, which we launched earlier this month with a Budget Special Edition, will keep you up to date with the latest financial news. But we also know many of our clients like to hear about the latest developments here at The Financial Advice Company. We therefore believe you may be interested in reading a feature article on us, which was recently run by New Model Adviser, one of the leading publications for our profession. Each week New Model Adviser selects a leading firm of…
30th March 2017

Shock National Insurance U-turn

In a shock move, that will come as a pleasant mid-week surprise to many, Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced that the government will not proceed with the increase in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed. The main rate of Class 4 National Insurance contributions, applicable to the self-employed, was to be increased from 9% to 10% in April 2018, and then to 11% in April 2019. The pressure being applied to the government during the last week has clearly had some effect, with many saying…
15th March 2017

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