Financial Fitness

financial goals

Time to track and celebrate your wealth goals? With the Christmas festivities now a distant memory, money matters are firmly on people’s minds this year according to recent research[1]. A poll of more than 3,500 UK adults[2] found the most common money goals are: putting more money into their savings accounts (21%); paying off their […]

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Financially unprotected

family financial protection

Dads putting their family’s financial security at risk if the unexpected were to happen What would happen to you and your family in the event of unforeseen circumstances, such as the diagnosis of a serious illness or premature death? Worryingly, research from Scottish Widows reveals that more than half (53%) of men in the UK […]

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Investment trusts

investment trusts

Public company aiming to make money by investing in other companies  An investment trust is a public company that raises money by selling shares to investors, and then pools that money to buy and sell a wide range of shares and assets. Different investment trusts will have different aims and different mixes of investments. Investment […]

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Pension time bomb


Planning to prevent the financial equivalent of climate change Millions of workers across the UK could be heading for a significant shortfall in the amount of pension they need for an adequate income. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has issued a warning that calls on the Government to impose faster pension-age rises as it earmarks […]

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Inside the mind of a scammer

is my investments safe

Tactics investment fraudsters use to deceive over-55s The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is urging over-55s to check that investment opportunities are genuine before they part with their money. This comes as new research[1], commissioned as part of the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign, reveals that only two in five (42%) think they know how to spot a […]

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Hello LISA


Lifetime ISA Saving for a first home or retirement at the same time The start of the new tax year on 6 April 2017 saw the launch of the Lifetime ISA (LISA), which was announced in the 2016 Budget. This is a new type of Individual Savings Account (ISA) designed to help you save for […]

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A little today, a lot tomorrow

successful investing strategy

Successful investing strategy Managing investment risk during turbulent markets A common mistake that some investors make is not diversifying their portfolio enough. To make sure investments are spread across different asset classes, it could contain a blend of equities, bonds, cash, property and others (such as commodities and gold) to benefit from their changing investment […]

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Top Trump

US presidential election

Winners and losers from the seismic US election result After a long and brutal US presidential election campaign, Donald Trump emerged victorious, winning 279 electoral votes and 47.5% of the popular vote. Republicans also maintained majorities in the House and the Senate. His inauguration is scheduled for Friday 20 January. Trump will be sworn in as […]

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Choosing investments

best investment options

Best investment options  What you need to know to become a more confident investor Before you choose or make any investment decisions, you need to know that investing involves the possibility of loss. These key considerations help you become more confident about your investment decisions. Review your needs and goals It’s well worth taking the […]

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Consolidating your pension pots

Consolidate pensions

Consolidate pensions What you need to consider to ensure you don’t lose out Have you ever considered moving and consolidating your pension to another scheme or provider? There are a whole host of reasons why people might want to do this before they reach retirement. Some are looking for better fund performance, lower charges or […]

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How financially prepared are you for your retirement?

preparing for retirement

Men narrow the gap on women when it comes to life expectancy Thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in medicine, people are living longer lives, but many individuals may not feel financially prepared for their retirement. When it comes to setting your investment goals or strategy for your retirement, there are two main options. If […]

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Getting ready for life beyond work

saving for retirement

Three-year growth in adequate retirement saving steadies Nobody knows quite what the future holds. Changing life plans and priorities will mean we encounter varying income needs and goals throughout our life, and when saving for retirement certain innate behavioural traits will influence our decision-making. Savings levels in the UK are showing signs of steadying at […]

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Investing during market volatility

investing advice online

Whether seeking income, growth or both, there are some basic rules to follow Volatile financial markets are an inevitable part of investing. On a day-to-day basis, the swings in stock market prices can be significant. However, over the longer term, things have tended to smooth out, with daily volatility having a lower impact on overall […]

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Currency movements

investment portfolios

Protecting your portfolio Investors should not try to predict currency movements, but you can act to protect your portfolio. Investing in foreign securities, while potentially a good thing for your long-term portfolio, may continue to pose new threats for investors. As more people broaden their investment portfolios by expanding into foreign stocks and bonds, they […]

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Investment matters post-Brexit

post brexit

Facing new challenges at every turn to meet long-term objectives We are now living in a more uncertain world. As correlations between asset classes rise, the right strategy is crucial to preserve capital when markets are falling. In addition, the result of the European Union (EU) referendum came as a shock to financial markets, and […]

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Savvy investors


Time to get wrapped up? How to shelter income and capital gains For long-term investors, Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are a very tax-efficient wrapper that can hold cash savings as well as investments in stocks and shares. Savvy investors are also able to shelter income and capital gains. The limit on how much can be […]

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Are millennial investors facing a perfect storm?

investment goals

Looking at the mismatches between expectation and reality Depressed wages, escalating living costs and a struggling global economy – millennials have a lot on their plates. They need investment income to support short and long-term financial aspirations. Does something have to give and is the perfect investment storm brewing? Depressed wages, escalating living costs and […]

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Advice with you in mind

financial advice in cheltenham

One of the most important relationships you may ever have Few people really have the time to understand the significant number of financial products on the market at any time. If you’re looking to invest, buy a protection product or plan for the longer term, expert professional financial advice is essential to help enable you […]

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Financial protection

financial protection help

If the worst happened, are you fully protected? It’s easy to think, ‘I’d cope, that’ll never happen to me’. But any of us could become ill, and a critical illness policy may help to give some financial security at a difficult time. If the worst does happen, it’s important to make sure you’re financially protected […]

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Our Mixed Up, Messed Up Relationship with Investment Risk

Investment Risk Brexit

“What the imagination can’t conjure, reality delivers with a shrug.” – Trumbo (movie voice-over) Whether it’s the recent destruction wrought by Canada’s Fort McMurray oil sands wildfire, a potential June “Brexit” from the European Union, or uncertainty surrounding this year’s US presidential election, there is plenty of risk to go around as we swing into […]

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Stamp duty rule changes

stamp duty cheltenham

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 […]

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Investing for Retirement Income: High-Yield Bonds – Sticks and Stones Can Break You – Part 2

high yield bonds

In Part I of our three-part series on investing for retirement income in low-rate environments, we explained why we don’t advise bulking up on dividend-yielding stocks as a reliable way to generate retirement cash flow. Like the Three Little Pigs’ straw house, dividend-yielding stocks can disappoint you by exhibiting inherent risks just when you most […]

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Impact on financial markets ahead of the EU referendum With an increasing focus on ‘Brexit’, our investment clients will naturally be monitoring the impact on financial markets ahead of the referendum scheduled for Thursday 23 June. The nature of investment is long term. Constantly making changes to take into account short-term events often proves to be […]

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Financial protection

financial protection

If the worst happened, are you fully protected? It’s easy to think, ‘I’d cope, that’ll never happen to me’. But any of us could become ill, and a critical illness policy may help to give some financial security at a difficult time. If the worst does happen, it’s important to make sure you’re financially protected […]

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Investing for success

investing advice

Achieving your goals by weighing the potential risks alongside the prospective returns Successful investing involves making choices that meet your unique needs today and your financial goals for the future. A well-defined investment strategy is one of the cornerstones of a successful financial life. Investing is about building wealth slowly rather than getting rich overnight. It’s […]

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Creativity in finance

estate planning

David Bowie’s estate planning could be a lesson to us all It’s fair to say there was no one else quite like David Bowie. He was truly one of a kind, and his music helped inspire generations of people throughout his illustrious career. However, it would now seem that he could become an inspiration when […]

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Financial resilience

financial resilience

Providing a valuable safety net for you or your family should you become ill or die If you became sick or injured, how would you meet your monthly financial commitments or even your medical bills as you recover? Protection insurance can be a valuable safety net for you or your family should you become ill […]

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Keeping it in the family

ISA subscriptions

ISA subscriptions now available to a surviving spouse Last year, the Chancellor announced a significant change to Individual Savings Account (ISA) inheritance rules – a change that has the potential to improve the situation of around 150,000 widows or widowers a year. When an investor passes away, the savings in their ISA lose their tax-efficient […]

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Beat the ISA deadline

isa deadline

One of the most valuable tools available to investors focused on wealth creation for the long term An ISA is a tax-efficient investment wrapper in which you can hold a range of investments, including bonds, equities, property shares, multi-asset funds and even cash, giving you control over where your money is invested. It is important […]

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ISA returns of the year


Finding the right mix of tax-efficient investments We all have our own financial goals, so it’s important to find an approach that suits our current financial situations and future plans by finding the right mix of investments to achieve them. By understanding which products are the most tax-efficient, you can make the most of your […]

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Reasons for investing

reasons for investing

Taking a long-term view to wealth creation Stock markets can be unpredictable. They move frequently – and sometimes sharply – in both directions. It is important to take a long-term view (typically ten years or more) and remember your reasons for investing in the first place. Occasional downturns  Be prepared to view the occasional downturns […]

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Allocating wealth

allocating wealth

One of the most important investment decisions you ever make How you choose to allocate your wealth between different asset classes will be one of the most important investment decisions you ever make. Asset allocation can account for the majority of your portfolio returns over the long term, so it’s essential that you achieve the […]

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2016 Tax Matters


Reducing the taxman’s take To minimise the tax you pay, it’s important to be fully aware of the choices you can make before you make them, so planning ahead and taking professional financial advice is essential. With real-terms tax increases the prospect for the foreseeable future, it makes sense to utilise every available tax relief. […]

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tax planning

Essential tax planning and wealth strategies Good planning and careful timing are critical if you want to maximise tax reliefs or minimise the tax bill on a transaction or investment, and to avoid falling foul of the system of penalties and interest levied by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). It’s important to be fully aware of the choices you can make before […]

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Creating an investment strategy

investment strategy

Allow your lifestyle to dictate your investment approach To make the most of your investment opportunities, allow your lifestyle and not stock market fluctuations to dictate your investment approach. Your goals are what count, so keep them firmly in mind when you make financial decisions. Long-term strategy Many investors use a consistent, long-term strategy to […]

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Main types of investment

types of investment

Understanding asset classes There are four main types of investments, known as ‘asset classes’. Each asset class has different characteristics and advantages and disadvantages for investors. Cash This involves putting your money into a savings account, with a bank, building society or credit union. Your money may not hold its spending power if inflation is […]

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Buy to let and second homes

buy to let

Chancellor George Osborne made the announcement during his Spending Review and Autumn Statement last year. From April, you will have to pay a 3% surcharge on the stamp duty charged for the property, set to raise an extra £1bn extra for the Treasury by 2021. Buy-to-let landlords are already due to receive a lower rate […]

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New Year’s resolutions

new year financial goals

Setting goals for saving and investing Have you made your New Year’s resolutions? Considering that the most common topics are health and finances, there’s a pretty good chance that at least one of them involves a financial goal. The start of a New Year is the perfect time to take stock and think about how you […]

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Don’t panic


Overvalued Chinese shares come to a shuddering halt after hitting a seven-year peak In August, the Chinese Government attempted to stimulate the economy by devaluing its currency (the Renminbi) and suspending trading on many stocks. The effect of this caused a tsunami throughout both Chinese and global markets, followed by significant falls in global stock […]

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