March Market Commentary

Posted by siteadmin on Monday 14th of March 2016

February was another month where the problem for this commentary was what to leave out: the world is not short of ‘events’ at the moment.

In the Far East, North Korea successfully fired a long range rocket, causing consternation in Tokyo and Seoul. Closer to home, David Cameron returned from Brussels with his deal on the UK’s continued membership of the EU – causing consternation in Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.

World stock markets had another topsy-turvy month. There were plenty of alarmist headlines throughout the month – ‘global stock...


The new decluttering craze. Could it apply to your office… or your finances?

Posted by siteadmin on Tuesday 16th of February 2016

Two books are first and third in the current US Best Sellers list – both by Japanese-American tidying guru, Marie Kondo. Her tidying wisdom has swept the US as a way to feel better about yourself and your home and it’s now heading to the UK. She recently shared her top tips for ‘decluttering’ and it made us wonder whether her new form of ‘healthy living’ could be applied to the office or even, perhaps, your finances.

1. Do it all at once, and do it now. Don’t try to do things in piecemeal. Tackle everything together, as soon as you can, and...


February Market Commentary

Posted by siteadmin on Tuesday 16th of February 2016

January 2016 saw the world’s leading stock markets fall like nine pins . As one fell, so they all fell – with one defiant exception among those that we cover in this commentary.

Inevitably, some markets fell more than others, and January was a month when it would have been easy to panic – but after some analysis, we’re pleased to report we have found some good news among the headlines.

The month got off to a jittery start, with the World Bank warning of ‘slow global growth’ and North Korea claiming a successful hydrogen bomb test. But it w...


Will we get a fairer state pension deal for women?

Posted by siteadmin on Tuesday 16th of February 2016

A recent Saga article claims that the battle to give women a fairer deal over their state pensions scored a significant victory early in January, when it was the subject of a House of Commons debate. Although the debate had no power to directly alter government policy, it represented yet another important step in bringing the campaign into the public eye and gathering support from politicians.

A campaign group known as WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) has been fighting to bring justice to hundreds of thousands of women who are...


January Market Commentary

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 15th of January 2016

Occasionally when we’re compiling these monthly commentaries we look at our notes, realise that not very much has happened in the month and have a minor panic. What are we going to report on?

There are no such worries this month. December 2015 seemed to be the month when pretty much everything happened. The only worry this month is fitting it all in…

December was the month when the United States finally raised interest rates; when the UK started the month by voting for air strikes against the Islamic State and ended it with George Osborne’...


Elderly pensioners are Britain’s biggest savers

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 15th of January 2016

According to a recent article in the Daily Telegraph, drawing on data from the International Longevity Centre (ILC) and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), baby boomers are a “frugal not frivolous” generation, with the data revealing that people in their sixties and seventies are saving nearly twice as much money as thirty and forty-year olds.

The International Longevity Centre says the stereotypical idea that pensioners are splurging on holidays, cars and gadgets is a myth, claiming instead that many are cutting back on non-essential s...


Three personal finance changes to look out for in 2016

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 15th of January 2016

As usual, the coming year will see plenty of shifts in the financial planning landscape for all of us. Changes come about largely as a result of new legislation or policy introductions and, whilst there isn’t anything quite as dramatic as 2015’s introduction of pension freedoms on the horizon, there’s still plenty to look out for in 2016. Here are three of the biggest changes you may wish to familiarise yourself with.

Digital tax accounts

Digital tax accounts are coming… albeit on a fairly slow rollout at the moment! The plan from HMRC is ...


Will dividend tax keep rising?

Posted by siteadmin on Monday 14th of December 2015

The Treasury revealed in July that the dividend tax credit would be replaced with a new tax-free allowance of £5,000 of dividend income for all taxpayers, which takes effect from April 2016. The Chancellor said at the time that the move would “simplify the taxation of dividends”. But is this just the start of increased dividend taxation? Smaller firms will already probably need to review how they pay directors, but will the need for these reviews increase in the future?

Accounting giant Baker Tilley analysed any potential forthcoming change...


The Dash

Posted by siteadmin on Monday 14th of December 2015

We were recently reminded of Linda Ellis’ poem The Dash, which you can read in full here.

The Dash talks about the life of a man who has passed away, being talked about by his friend at the funeral. The friend refers to everything that he had done and achieved during his life as being represented by ‘the dash’; the space between the two dates of birth and death on his headstone.

The poem has lots of resonance outside of financial planning, of course, but it also speaks to us about what financial planning is really about and why it can be s...


December Market Commentary

Posted by siteadmin on Monday 14th of December 2015

Introduction

Welcome to the first of our Market Commentaries! We aim to bring you every month our experts’ comments on the main world economies, which we hope will inform your investment decisions and even entertain you!

November brought us the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review in the UK – and rather more tragic events abroad. Friday November 13th saw the massacre in Paris, which was followed by an escalation in the bombing of ISIS in Syria.

World stock markets inevitably fell in the wake of the Paris attacks, but overall ...


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