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Articles

Banks look to return to the financial advice arena

It has been reported in the trade press that some of the banks, with HSBC, Barclays and Santander mentioned specifically, are looking to return to some form of financial advice offering. The original article, (http://citywire.co.uk/new-model-adviser/news/banks-target-advice-gap-with-pension-and-platform-plans/a835116), is light on specifics but does seem to raise the spectre of more mass miss-selling following on from the pension review, endowment review, PPI, interest…

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Victim of Financial Fraud: Tough!

One thing the Pension Freedom changes have brought out of the woodwork is fraudsters; suddenly there is a significant number of people with cheques for tens of thousand of Pounds and no clear idea of what to do with it. They generally do not have a relationship with a regulated financial adviser and have no history of paying for financial…

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Why Do I Need Pensions Advice?

A recent survey undertaken by money.co.uk found that 59% of people over 55 felt they did not need financial advice for retirement, with 28% believing it was a waste of money. (The original press release is at http://www.money.co.uk/press/half-of-those-making-pension-freedom-withdrawals-will-not-pay-for-advice.htm). As a financial adviser this depresses me as it suggests that we are not getting a clear message over to the public. As…

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A UK Tax Primer (101); Income Tax, slightly beyond the basics

Although the concept of UK income tax is simple enough, the execution can get a bit involved, especially if you do not fit one of the easy categories or you have “complex” tax affairs. In the last 101 article on Income Tax, I emphasised that you need to be sure that the tax code assigned to you was correct.  For…

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A UK Tax Primer (101) – Inheritance Tax; Stuff you should know

It has been said that the only things that are certain in life are birth, death and taxes. Inheritance Tax brings death and taxes together, as your assets on death are recorded, assessed and taxed according to the rules at the time. For most people in the population, Inheritance Tax, (IHT), is ‘voluntary’ as a bit of planning before death…

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A UK Tax Primer (101) – Capital Gains Tax; stuff you should know

Income Tax is paid on money you receive on a regular basis from employment, a contract or a trade or profession you are engaged in. Just because a receipt is a one-off does not mean it is exempt from taxation. Money received from the sale of an asset you have previously received or purchased is taxable under the Capital Gains tax…

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Are you scammable or scamproof?

According to the Association of British Insurers, (ABI), some £1.8Billion has been released in the last few months following the pension changes known as Pension Freedom. (http://www.expressandstar.com/business/uk-money/2015/07/14/1-8bn-withdrawn-amid-new-pension-cash-freedoms/). The Pensions Regulator, (TPR), is very worried about the opportunity presented to fraudsters by Pension Freedoms as it has potentially created a new cohort of potential fraud victims with relatively large sums of…

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A UK tax primer (101) – stuff you should know! Income Tax

There are a number of things that I believe should be taught in schools and most of these are around personal taxation, simply because I get asked these a lot by prospective clients. Generally, if you do not know how something works, you will struggle to make the best of it. Let us start with Income Tax; this is charged…

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Should I get nervous about the Greek problems?

Almost all of the national press money pages had some comment on the Greek crisis and its likely impact on UK citizens. One article in the Telegraph explored the likelihood that the mortgage rate could change as a consequence. Summarising the article, it could send mortgage rates up or down, depending on the scale of the Greek default, whether it…

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Additional complications for Landlords

One of the usual dinner party conversations, once people know you are an IFA, (independent financial adviser), is should they invest in “Buy To Let”? For a number of reasons, I hate giving an opinion on this, as there is not a simple yes or no answer. On the plus side, it is a way of getting ‘passive’ income, an…

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