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The financial advantages of getting married

Marriage is not for everyone, and for people with complex family lives it can create as many problems as it solves. The cost of a wedding can be huge, and a messy divorce can set you back even further, but for those who stay together the financial benefits of marriage remain considerable. If you are, […]

Auto Enrolment is coming: here’s what it means to you

As has been widely reported, there’s been a problem with UK pensions for many years. Outside the public sector not enough people are saving enough money for their retirement – and this month the latest attempt to solve the problem begins. Various Governments over the years have tried various methods to persuade us to save […]

Will the housing market be boosted?

Recently, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, alongside the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, set out a major housing and planning package that includes a raft of proposed measures aimed at supporting businesses, developers and first-time buyers, while slashing unnecessary red tape across the planning system. Their announced package of measures includes: removing restrictions on […]

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The wrong kind of growth

The title of this article begs a simple question: so what’s the right kind of growth? At first glance, that’s a ridiculous question. We’re living through what the Governor of the Bank of England has described as “the worst crisis since World War II.” What’s the right kind of growth? Surely any form of growth […]

The pension planning failure risk

The lack of effective pension planning by a significant number of UK adults has been highlighted in new research (August 2012) from Baring Asset Management, where survey figures reveal that around 44% of working age people do not currently expect their pension to fund their retirement. The research, which asked people which assets or investments […]

Grandparents can make a grandchild a millionaire from just £240 per month

According to data produced by Skandia, if grandparents put just £240 a month (which equates to £300 a month gross contribution) into a pension for a grandchild each year for 18 years, when the grandchild reaches age 60, they could be a millionaire. This is based on 6.5% investment growth p.a. and no further contributions […]

9 financial planning steps you should take in the 5 years before you retire

For most of us, it’s simple. Go to work every month, get paid, have a look at the pension deduction on your wage slip. Once a year you receive a pension update that you don’t really understand. Oh well, pop it in the drawer with all the other updates… And then one morning it hits […]

Beware of the dog – the importance of monitoring funds regularly

If you watch the money programmes on TV or read the financial pages of the newspapers, you might have come across the term ‘dog fund.’ What does the term mean? And why is it so important to the ordinary investor? Put simply, a ‘dog’ is a poorly performing investment fund. Let me explain in more […]

Higher rate pension savers missing out on tax relief

Figures from HMRC show that 55 per cent of the estimated 900,000 higher rate taxpayers in the UK contribute to defined contribution pension schemes. They have an average salary of £51,580 and make contributions of £425 each month on average. Basic rate 20 per cent tax relief is received automatically at source and is worth […]

September market commentary

Anyone remember August 2007? Kanye West was number one with Stronger, Sven-Goran Eriksson was Premier League manager of the month – and the world was having a financial crisis. August 2007 was “when the world changed” according to Adam Applegarth, the ex-CEO of Northern Rock. It was the month when the US Federal Reserve and […]