Climate change, fund management and the suppression of evidence

I finally got round to watching Before the Flood the other day. For those who aren’t aware, it’s a documentary film about climate change, released in 2016. Commissioned by National Geographic, it was directed by Fisher Stevens and presented by the actor and environmental campaigner Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s a powerful and thought-provoking film, and what […]

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How to invest ethically

There has been a huge growth in interest in recent years in ethical investing. Ethical investors want to see a good financial return, but they also want to invest in a way that, in some small way, helps to make the world a better place. Several different terms are used to describe, and they all […]

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The wisdom of Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is generally recognised as the most successful, and highly respected, investor in the world. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, has provided excellent returns for its shareholders over many decades. So, what advice has Buffett given over the years to ordinary investors? Well, he’s certainly passed on plenty of it, both in interviews and, in […]

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Glaciers move faster than the UK fund industry

It can be very frustrating for those, like me, who’ve been campaigning for improvements to the UK fund industry, to see things changing quite so slowly. Successive reports by regulators over the last two decades have highlighted a whole host of problems which militate against good consumer outcomes. These include a lack of transparency around […]

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What’s the best way to plan your retirement spending?

As any experienced mountaineer will tell you, there’s more to climbing a mountain than getting to the top. Statistically, there are in fact more accidents on the descent. It’s a similar story with wealth management. Most of what we read about it focuses on the so-called accumulation phase — in other words, building a sufficiently […]

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Savings black hole

inflation uk

Inflation set to erode Britain’s £60 billion cash savings Millions of Britons could see their savings shrink, as they don’t know how to shield them from the threat of rising inflation. Currently, UK savers are hoarding over £60 billion[1] in cash for long-term savings and investments, which stands to be eroded by £1.5 billion this […]

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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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Spring Budget 2017

spring budget 2017

What did it mean for your financial plans? The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered his Spring Budget to Parliament on 8 March 2017. This Budget was the last one to take place in the spring. The Chancellor said last year that he wanted to simplify the whole business of setting taxes and government spending, […]

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Portfolio protection

INFLATION

Are we seeing the return of inflation? It has been easy to grow complacent about inflation in recent years. The rate of inflation has remained stubbornly low, but could inflation be finally returning to Western economies, aided by the ‘Trumpflation effect’? Concerns about inflation were already on the rise, and Donald Trump’s victory in the […]

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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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Freedom to choose

pension money

Using your pension money Have you considered all the potential costs of retiring? Some people find their expenses fall once their working life ends, but it’s important not TO assume that all your expenses will go down – some may increase, such as heating and leisure costs. The constantly evolving landscape of legislative change provides […]

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Post-Election Reflections

Whether you’re feeling elated, deflated or mostly just jaded about the U.S. Elections now completed, we wanted to reach out to you with a few thoughts related to the “What’s next?” that may be on your mind. To say the least, there are more than enough political analyses available from even a single Google search, […]

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Financial strife

keeping investments safe

Keeping your investments safe After nearly a decade of low interest rates and central banks pumping money into financial markets, traditional safe haven investments have become expensive, so where could investors look to keep their investments safe? Gold, the US dollar, ‘defensive’ stocks such as utilities and pharmaceuticals, government bonds, cash – what do they […]

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Savvy investors

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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Pension confusion

help on my pension

Are most people unprepared for retirement? People are still being left confused by pensions, with almost two thirds not understanding their key features, according to new research by Wesleyan. The research conducted by the specialist financial mutual revealed how much confusion there still is among most people when it comes to their retirement planning. Three […]

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Splashing the cash

financial future

New ‘YOLO’ generation gambling with their financial future The prospect of saving for tomorrow may feel too distant for some, but to achieve long-term goals (including financial security in retirement) we all need to consider reprioritising our needs to give ourselves a better financial future. But, more than four in ten Britons in their 30s […]

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Investing for success

investing advice cotswolds

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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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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Investing for Retirement Income: Part III: Total-Return Investing for Solid Construction

Total-Return Investing

As we’ve discussed in the first two parts of this three-part series, we do not recommend turning to dividend-yielding stocks or high-yield (“junk”) bonds to buttress your retirement income, even in low-yield environments. So what do we recommend? Today we’ll answer that question by describing total-return investing.   Part III: Total-Return Investing for Solid Construction […]

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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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Investing for Retirement Income: Straw, Sticks or Bricks? – Part 1

investing for retirement

Part I: Dividend-Yielding Stocks – A Straw Strategy If ever there were an appropriate analogy for how to invest for retirement, it would be the classic fable of The Three Little Pigs. As you may recall, those three little pigs tried three different structures to protect against the Big Bad Wolf. Similarly, there are at […]

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Brexit

BREXIT

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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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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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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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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Untapped property wealth

property wealth

4.8 million retirees are ‘going without’ The British would like to have three quarters of their working income in retirement. However, pensions remain an obscure topic for many, and 44% have not yet started to save for retirement [1]. Funding retirement  With people living longer and retiring on smaller pension pots, funding retirement poses a […]

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Financial decisions

Financial decisions

Flexibility to use your pension pot in the way that suits your needs Working out how to make adequate financial provision for retirement is one of the most important financial decisions most of us will ever face. However, it can be a daunting topic, and the options may seem overwhelming. Over the past year, there […]

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It’s good to talk

financial protection

When was the last time you discussed the family’s finances? The unexpected death of a spouse can lead to considerable financial problems if the surviving partner is not fully aware of the state of the family’s finances. All too often, couples do not fully discuss the implications of the death of a spouse or partner, […]

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Staying connected trumps priorities

financial security

Only 39% considered providing financial security for their family as essential Britons consider having an Internet connection and mobile phone to be greater financial priorities than protecting mortgage and income, according to new research. The latest Scottish Widows Protection Report revealed that only 39% considered providing financial security for their family in the event of […]

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Taxing times

tax

Reduction in the amount those with income of more than £150,000 can contribute tax-free to pensions each year A gradual reduction in the tax-free limit on pension contributions from the current £40,000 a year to £10,000 for high income individuals was announced by the Chancellor, George Osborne, in the July Summer Budget 2015. High income […]

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Compulsory financial advice

financial advice

Two-thirds of people aged 55 and over believe financial advice should be compulsory at retirement Two-thirds (65%) of people aged 55 and over who are not yet retired believe that it should be compulsory to receive financial advice at retirement according to findings from Retirement Advantage. On-going advice  More than one third (35%) of people […]

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Best of British

UK PLCs most widely held by investment companies Which UK companies have investment company managers been favouring? With the UK in the spotlight, the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has published details of which UK companies are held by the highest number of investment companies in their top holdings. Interesting exceptions  The UK companies held […]

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