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Savings and Investments

Estimating Investment Risk

People are generally very bad at estimating risk and deciding whether they should be concerned or not when given a statistic. As illustrations, please think about the chances of winning the National Lottery Lotto draw and chances of being struck by lightning. In the weekly Lotto draw, your chances of winning the jackpot are 1 in 45 Million; to win…

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Handling the Bull and the Bear

Investors always get very jittery as markets change from being described as “bull” to “bear” and historically have made some very poor decisions by acting in haste. A good investment portfolio, with a wide spread of diversified investments may well wobble a little, but should retain the majority of its value. For clarity, a bull market is a rising market,…

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How free is a free pension review?

The Financial Conduct Authority has strict rules about cold-calling potential clients for regulated financial advisers, so many IFA’s do not solicit for clients in this way. Unfortunately, most cold calling is done by marketing companies, who are unregulated and sell on their leads to IFA’s at considerable cost. As a consequence, if you do take up a “free pension review”,…

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Is Edwina Currie right about the young?

Edwina Currie, the ex-Conservative politician and ex-lover of John Major has an opinion piece in the Saturday Telegraph and the website that suggest the spending habits of the young are responsible for their inability to save for buying a house and save for a pension. (See the original article at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/12102364/Hey-youngsters-No-pension-No-home-No-wonder.-Look-at-you.html. As probably one of the last of the “Baby-Boomers”,…

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A Fitness Test for your Savings

I suspect like a lot of the UK population, you have made some New Year resolutions about getting fit and losing a few pounds. These resolutions normally do not last past the beginning of February, so try something different; gain a few pounds, (in the purse or wallet), and ignore the diet! Everyone needs some savings; borrowing money to meet…

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Dealing with the Christmas hangover

The last few weeks of December see the consumer frenzy come to a climax and then a long, painful wait to the next pay cheque, potentially at the end of January. Christmas and the New Year see a spike in consumer credit and the commencement of divorce proceedings, which surely is not a coincidence. We are notoriously bad at setting…

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Yet another blow to Buy-To-Let investing

The recent Autumn Statement appears to have delivered another hammer-blow to Buy-to-Let investing, as it introduced an additional 3% Stamp Duty on second and buy-to-let homes from 1st April 2016. We do not have the finer details as the government will consult, but there have been suggestions of exemption for corporate owners and investment funds with more than 15 properties….

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Buy to Let – still an option?

Recent taxation decisions announced by the Chancellor do not seem to be putting some people off as I am still being asked about Buy to Let, (BTL), as an investment strategy. I have an issue with Buy-to-Let as running a small property empire is not a sinecure and has not been for some time. An article in the Telegraph on…

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Investment is a Risk Business

The press has been busy over the weekend with articles about professional footballers and their more unusual investment and losses. Some of these accusations have spilled into the specialist financial media, as there have been comments over the commissions or fees taken on some of these transactions. From the mainstream press, here are some examples: http://bit.ly/1RI6EnU http://ind.pn/1MjrwhD http://dailym.ai/1PK72TN From the…

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Retirement – do the public and the government really have a clue?

Two headlines have cropped up in the financial press recently that suggest that we are heading for yet another retirement income disaster. These are both taken from the New Model Adviser on the 3rd November 2015: “Pension Freedoms: Savers withdrew £4.7Billion since April” and “Pensioners to run out of cash by age 75, report warns” (For the full articles, please…

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