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Making a difference at Christmas

December 2, 2019

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September 25, 2019

There are currently long delays in gaining probate on the estates of the recently deceased.

Late in 2018, the government issued a written statement announcing its intent to go ahead with controversial increases in probate fees for England and Wales. Instead of the current flat fees of £155 for applications through a solicitor and £215 for indi...

September 17, 2019

Is a state pension age (SPA) of 75 looking more likely?


The SPA should better reflect the longer life expectancies that we now enjoy and be used to support the fiscal balance of the nation. The SPA in the UK is set to rise to 66 by 2020 (Pensions Act 2011), to 67 between 2026 and 2028 (State Pension Act 2014) and to 68 between 20...

September 10, 2019

Stock markets, as well as some family holidaymakers, experienced a rollercoaster August.

The traditional holiday month proved to be anything but quiet on the world’s investment markets. As the graph of the major UK and US stock market indices shows, there were plenty of sharp lurches, up as well as down.

Inevitably the downward trends attracted...

August 27, 2019

The US Federal Reserve has cut its main interest rate for the first time in ten years, but will it have a knock-on effect? 

 Source: US Federal Reserve

The last time the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, cut its main interest rate was in December 2008, in response to the fallout from the financial crisis. That last drop was preceded by nine...

August 19, 2019

The Treasury has had a rethink on company car tax rules which may make you review your company car needs.

Do you know your WLTP from your NDEC? If you drive a company car, it might be useful to understand the distinction between the two:

  • WLTP is the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure, the latest way to measure vehicle emissi...

August 13, 2019

July ended with a new prime minister in Boris Johnson and a new chancellor in Sajid Javid, both with different ideas from their immediate predecessors.

There is already speculation about what Mr Javid might produce in his first Budget and more importantly, what some much publicised tax proposals could cost.

At the start of his campaign, Boris J...

July 30, 2019

The recent problems with the suspension of dealings in a heavily promoted UK equity income fund have exposed the blurred line between advice and guidance.

According to the Investment Association (IA), there are around 3,500 funds on sale in the UK. The IA sorts these into over 30 individual investment sectors, although about 10% are listed as...

July 22, 2019

A government-commissioned report has proposed significant changes to the funding of university students in England.

Students resident in England (different rules apply in other parts of the UK) pay a maximum university tuition fee of £9,250 per year, financed by a student loan. Further loans to cover maintenance plus interest at RPI+3% mean th...

July 15, 2019

Have you forgotten ISAs, now the end of the tax year has passed?

Statistics from the Investment Association regularly show that ISA sales are clustered in the early months of the calendar year as investors react to a 5 April deadline. Look at the personal finance pages of the weekend press in March and it is hard to avoid all the ISA stories,...

July 8, 2019

The world’s share markets had a buoyant first six months.

The final few months of 2018 were a dark time for the world’s stock markets, with concerns about US trade policies and the backwash from the Brexit uncertainty leaving many markets posting an overall loss for the year. The prospects for 2019 did not look bright, with the spectre of the...

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