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Personal Finance Society
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Technical articles

Business protection trusts in 2015 »
We have recently reviewed personal protection trusts and this month we look at business assurance arrangements and how, if at all, these may be affected by the recently announced changes to inheritance tax (IHT).
Recent tax developments »
In this month's article we take a look at:-
Mortgage Professional Issue 8 »
In the eighth issue of Mortgage Professional, Gary Little heads up a host of articles covering an overview of the mortgage market, the new budget, the implementation of the MMR and more.
The real value of active managers »
Just how many conferences have you been to over the years where they set up a 'key debate' between active and passive fund managers to see who is going to prove themselves as being better than the other? Frankly I find them really rather tiresome, and it normally ends up with an active manager being harangued for some poor stock choices and higher costs. Yes predictably the discussion ends up around cost which really doesn't get to the heart of the matter. The truth is of course in the makeup of what is actually inside the funds themselves, be they passive or active, which makes the difference. Thus there are both good and bad active and passive funds.
Transfer law has changed »
There has been much regulatory chatter since the new pension flexibilities were announced. Time then, to remind ourselves of what DWP and HMRC legislation has to say on the subject of transfers from occupational pension schemes.
The growing range of specialist mortgage options »
The range of specialist mortgage options available for personal or professional requirements is a growing business and for mortgage brokers, the challenge is how to meet consumer requirements and identify the right product solution. From second charge loans and buy-to-lets to commercial and bridging options the opportunities available is wide indeed.
Another reason to review a will – don’t forget the holiday home abroad! »
We have looked at the subject of wills several times over the last couple of years yet it seems that there is a never-ending stream of proposals that affect estate planning, the latest being the introduction of the residence nil rate band and the review of the use of deeds of variation.  We have looked at some of these issues in recent articles. There is, however, something else to consider this month - which is relevant to clients who own assets in other EU Member States - due to changes in the law which came into force on 17 August 2015.
Flexible pensions: the next stage »
The present government is showing a commendable commitment to getting the job done when it comes to pension flexibility. Those who thought that the original proposals to make pensions more accessible were more hot air have had to revise their thinking. Under a strategy that restricts pension saving for the better-off, the Chancellor has, at the same time made pension funds available to anyone of a certain age who chooses to cash-in (or in modern betting parlance, should we say 'cash out') their savings.
Back to basics with protection trusts »
Now that we have the Finance Act 2015 and so the uncertainty of the changes to the taxation of relevant property trusts is over, it may be useful to review the use of trusts with protection policies.  Which trusts are still suitable? Are there any new developments? Is IHT planning using the Rysaffe principle still valid? This month we look at trusts used with personal protection policies.
The truth about claims »
I like consumerism. It helps prevent consumers being ripped off and with a business like insurance, which is based around trust and the promise of future delivery if something nasty occurs, that's crucial.
So what's China got to do with you? »
"Well it's over there, not here, and after all every stock market has to go through a crash or two as they grow up" - is not a very helpful way of looking at what has happened to the overblown Chinese stock markets. Over recent years the two mainland stock markets and their indices, theShanghaiand Shenzhen markets, have frankly borne more resemblance to a gambling den rather than investment markets. 
The reform of the tax treatment of dividends - part one »
This is the first of two articles on the subject of dividends and the reforms announced by the Chancellor in the Budget of 8 July 2015. In this article we look at the background to dividend taxation, how the new regime will operate from 2016/17 and the impact on individual investors.  In the second article we will look at the position for business owners and trustees.  Both articles are based on material published to date by HMRC/Treasury, which is sadly thin on detail. The necessary legislation is not due to emerge until Finance Bill 2016, so we are unlikely to learn much more until the draft Bill emerges, probably shortly after the Autumn Statement at the end of the year.
Mortgage Professional Issue 7 »
In the seventh issue of Mortgage Professional, Gary Little heads up a host of articles covering an overview of the mortgage market, buy-to-let, mortgage credit directive and more.
To be or not to be a trustee »
Many of those involved in financial services are also active members of their communities and this will often involve acting on boards of local associations, schools, churches and charities. A local sports club for young people will often be set up as a charity.  Those who advise on trusts are often asked by their clients to act as trustee and that alone may cause a variety of potential problems, more on which later. But what does it actually mean to be a trustee in practice? Can anybody be one? Should you be one if you are asked? 
Metal madness »
Have you ever considered investing in Antimony, Cadmium or Zirconium? Could you identify which was which out of a collection of similar looking lumps of metal? Would you even be interested in doing so? I suspect for most investors the answer to all three questions above is a "no" - and a fairly disinterested one at that. However if you could achieve the long-held dream of alchemists and add a few extra electrons, protons and neutrons to the above metals, you'd end up with gold. Now that's a metal that gets investors excited.

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