Planning for the future

Why it’s important to know your start and end points

Reaching wealth goals and achieving personal ambitions are major objectives of the financial planning process. In order to make plans for the future, you need to know where you are today and where you want to be in the future. Continue reading…

Smoothing out your portfolio’s returns

Increasing the long-term value of your investments

It’s natural to be looking for ways to smooth out your portfolio’s returns. Investing regularly can smooth out market highs and lows over time. In a fluctuating market, a strategy known as ‘pound-cost averaging’ can help smooth out the effect of market changes on the value of your investment and is one way to achieve some peace of mind through this simple, time-tested method for controlling risk over time. Continue reading…

Pension freedoms: one year on

What are the key reasons for shifting retirement patterns?

New pension rules which give you far greater flexibility over what you can do with your pension pot came into force on 6 April 2015, but according to Aviva’s latest Working Lives report a third of people aged over 50 who are employed in the private sector are now planning to retire later than they previously hoped. Continue reading…

Surviving a critical illness

More people could face financial hardship despite medical advances

Most homebuyers purchase life assurance when they arrange a mortgage, but only a minority obtain another form of financial protection that they are five times more likely to need before they reach retirement. Although we’re four times more likely to claim on a critical illness policy than a life insurance policy before the age of 65[1], fewer than one in ten (8%) of us have critical illness insurance, and only a third (33%) have life cover, according to Scottish Widows[2]. Continue reading…

Asset mix

Even the best-planned portfolios need to be reviewed regularly

It goes without saying that everyone should take some time to review their portfolios every once in a while. The only constant in life is change – and chances are your life has changed since you last reviewed your investment portfolio. Continue reading…

Preserving wealth for future generations

Should you review your situation with further changes on the horizon?

Inheritance Tax (IHT) affects not just the very rich – other people may be liable without realising it. Few taxes are quite as emotive – or as politicised – as IHT. Continue reading…

Stamp duty rule changes

What could the shake-up mean for you?

A shake-up of the stamp duty rules took effect on 1 April 2016 in relation to anyone owning more than one residential property – this will affect those buyers funding the purchase of a new home with the sale of an existing home: if their buyer pulls out but they still want to go ahead – perhaps by using a bridging loan – they will be liable for the stamp duty surcharge because they will technically own two residential properties at completion. Continue reading…