articles: Wealth management

Mind over model

Checking the weather? Guess what – you’re using a model. While models can help us gain insights that we can use to make good decisions, they are inherently incomplete simplifications of reality.

As goes January, so goes the year?

Have you heard about the ‘January effect’? If you have, don’t let it sway your judgment. According to the theory of the ‘January effect’, the way that stock market prices move during the month of January signals the likely outcome for the year ahead – whether stock markets will rise or fall.

Lessons for the next crisis

With the last global financial crisis now 10 years ago, it’s important not to forget the lessons of those turbulent times and the importance of continuing to follow sound investment principles – even when stock markets are tumbling. Above all, having an investment approach you can stick with – especially during tough times – may better prepare you for the next crisis and its aftermath.

Are you paying too much for employee benefits?

With latest official figures (for June to August 2017) showing UK unemployment at just 4.3% – its lowest level since 1975 – employers need to not only offer attractive benefits packages, but also make sure their employees appreciate the value of those benefits. This involves both reducing unnecessary costs and communicating the contents of benefits packages clearly.

Beware the ravages of time!

Many of you will have heard of the concept of ’pound cost averaging’. The idea is that if you make regular investments into pensions or other investment accounts, you can benefit from market volatility by being able to purchase units at a lower cost when markets go down.

Budget 2016 – Lifetime ISA vs Pension

Changes to pensions tax relief and salary sacrifice were both unaffected in this year's Budget. However, the Chancellor has not given up on revolutionising pensions tax relief, and the Government has now introduced a new Lifetime ISA (LISA) to be made available to under 40s from April 2017.

Lifetime allowance rules are changing...again!

What happens if I exceed the LTA?
From 6 April 2016, if at the time you take your pension benefits the value exceeds the £1 million LTA, you will incur a tax charge on the portion of benefits taken above this amount. This tax charge will be 55% if benefits are taken as a lump sum or 25% if paid as income, which itself is then subject to tax under PAYE rules.

The Budget 2016 – video summary

A sugar-coated Budget for the next generation

In the uncertain global economic environment, the Chancellor’s deficit-reduction goals have become more challenging. But he still managed to strike an up-beat tone when delivering “a Budget that puts the next generation first”.

An Autumn Statement for “rebuilding Britain”

Five years since delivering his first spending review, George Osborne spent over an hour delivering his 2015 Autumn Statement. He repeatedly stated the Government’s intent to build public services, infrastructure, national defences and strong public finances.

Governance under scrutiny

Issues such as the widely reported controversy surrounding one Malaysian Development and concerns surrounding holdings in government-linked investments have put governance standards at the centre of the agenda for sovereign wealth funds (SWF).

The Autumn Statement – what can we expect?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer will deliver his Autumn Statement on Wednesday 3 December. This will provide an update on the government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility, which will be published the same day.

The Budget 2014 – summary

In a speech full of sound bites, the Chancellor’s 2014 Budget repeated past themes – the need to build a resilient economy and for Britain to live within its means. But his dominant message was new: this was a Budget for “the makers, the doers and the savers”.

Act now and save tax

As we approach the end of the tax year, it is an ideal time to review your financial affairs and consider making full use of all the available allowances and tax reliefs in order to minimise higher and additional rate tax liabilities in the current tax year.