June Market Commentary

Posted by siteadmin on Thursday 14th of June 2018

Harold Wilson famously said that, ‘a week is a long time in politics.’ A month is a very long time when we come to write this commentary!

Looking back to the first few days of May, the Royal Bank of Scotland was announcing plans to close 162 high street branches in the UK, Facebook said it was going to launch a dating service and, in Europe, there were rumours of a final, final (and this time they really meant it) deal on Greek debt.

But that was all simply froth and noise. The real news came right at the end of May with political crises i...

What does the TSB experience teach us about online banking?

Posted by siteadmin on Thursday 14th of June 2018

TSB haven’t had a good time recently, and the same can be said for the nearly 5 and a half million customers who still couldn’t access their accounts after 7 days of technical meltdown. When the bank attempted to migrate some of their services to a new platform, involving the transfer of 1.3billion customer records, those customers were met with an array of problems.

They saw it all, from no access whatsoever, to logging in to their online banking service, to being greeted by accounts which they did not recognise as their own. One customer ...

Making the most of pension freedoms

Posted by siteadmin on Thursday 14th of June 2018

The people have spoken and they love freedom!

Recent figures show pension fund withdrawals in the 2017-18 year were worth £6.7bn, the highest figure since the reforms were introduced in 2015.

Before the change in legislation, the majority of pensioners would purchase an annuity with their pension pot, which would guarantee them an income for life. The pension reforms now mean that those over the age of 55 have access to their pension funds and more choice and flexibility over how they fund their retirement.

Clearly pensioners are beginnin...

May Market Commentary

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 11th of May 2018

It looked for a long time that the main headline for this commentary would be the opening salvos in a trade war between China and the USA. The International Monetary Fund published a bullish report on world trade, saying that global growth will hit a 7 year high of 3.9% this year – giving a stark warning at the same time that trade risked being ‘torn apart’ by a protracted trade war.

But then came the news of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s, historic visit to South Korea and his meeting with President Moon Jae-in. There follow...

Imagine a world…

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 11th of May 2018

The future of money is upon us and it’s exciting!

We’re expecting to see 2018 as the year that cash is overtaken as the major form of payment in the UK. Whether it’s through cards, apps or even the swipe of a hand, the time of contactless payments has arrived.

Right at the forefront and keen to embrace these technological advancements is the travel industry. Welcoming tech, such as virtual reality, with open arms means that travellers may soon see their shopping experience streamlined. Imagine placing your mobile phone into an in-flight vi...

Why it often pays to retire early

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 11th of May 2018

Sound financial planning is not only good for your bank account – it could actually improve your life expectancy. If you’re reading this then you probably don’t need to be convinced of the benefits of looking after your money, but here’s another reason to add to the list.

The idea of retiring early can be most appealing. For some, it will already be a reality, while wise saving and investment may mean it’s perfectly achievable for those at the consideration stage. Research now suggests that an early retirement can actually also lengthen you...

HMRC payroll investigations on the rise

Posted by siteadmin on Monday 9th of April 2018

Recent figures released through a Freedom of Information Request have revealed that payroll investigations last year led to HMRC collecting £819 million of additional tax, a figure that represents a year-on-year jump of 16%.

It has been suggested that the increase is due to a ‘grey area’ over whether a taxpayer is considered to be ‘employed’ or ‘self-employed’, with this area being targeted by HMRC in order to eradicate any ambiguity and categorise as many people as possible as being employed. Doing so means that tax can be deducted at sour...

What is a ‘market correction’?

Posted by siteadmin on Monday 9th of April 2018

The start of 2018 has been an eventful time in the world of the stock market. After hitting highs at the end of January, both the Dow Jones and Standard & Poor’s 500 saw a considerable drop at the start of February, a fall from which the markets have now mostly recovered. At the time, however, this was reported as a ‘market correction’ by most media outlets. But what exactly does a correction mean in this context?

Put simply, a market correction is when the price of any security or market index declines by at least 10% after a recent high. ...

April Market Commentary

Posted by siteadmin on Monday 9th of April 2018

To say that March was a busy month is an understatement.

Russia went to the polls to elect a new President and, in the least surprising result of the year, Vladimir Putin won another six year term. With the Chinese Communist Party removing the rules limiting Xi Jinping to two terms in office, two of the world’s three superpowers now effectively have presidents for life. North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, jumped on the train and headed to Beijing for talks, ahead of his meetings with Moon Jae-in, the South Korean leader, and with ...

March Market Commentary

Posted by siteadmin on Tuesday 13th of March 2018

“The first month of 2018 was a good one for the major stock markets which we cover in this Bulletin. We report on 12 markets and 11 of them made gains in January – in some cases, spectacular gains, which many investors would regard as more than adequate for a full year.”

Sadly, February was the exact opposite: 10 of the 12 markets on which we report were down in the month, following a global sell-off at the start of February. But that is the nature of savings and investment: stock markets rise and fall. Saving and investing is a long term b...