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Technical articles

What should the last month have taught investors? »
Someone once told me that on average, we won’t remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we see and 30% of what we hear. There is no way that’s true. I think we forget a lot more than that. Why else do I have to pause Game of Thrones every three minutes to google who a character is? And I’m paying attention in Game of Thrones! Memory gets even more challenging depending on where we were when we were trying to retain the information, what else was going on (in the room and in our lives) and how long ago it was.
IHT business relief – the impact of cash held in a business »
In this article we consider the basic conditions which need to be satisfied for business relief to apply and how excess cash held in a business could affect the position.
Diary of a Company B2L Landlord »
“I woke up this morning feeling fine, had Man Utd on my mind, Jose’s playing the way that united should, oh yeah, something tells me I’m into something good.” Rang the chant in my head straight out of Old Trafford the night before where my boys and I enjoyed a resounding Man U win. But the biggest headache was the finalising of the financial settlement from the divorce. I’d lost half my equity, more than half of my pension and any spare cash I had. I was 53. I thought, yes, a limited company buy to let business will see me through on retirement, so a quick trip to my accountant and all was clear.
What's so special about special event benefit? »
For baby boomers in particular, guaranteed insurability plays a prudent part in lifetime protection provision for your clients, writes Debra Hale, Protection Specialist for Zurich.
Forecasting for the year ahead »
Key housing market and mortgage forecasts for 2018.
Settlors and problems with mental capacity »
The issues surrounding mental capacity are ever more topical which is not really surprising given the increasingly aging population. Financial planning advisers will come across this issue when dealing with trusts or estate planning generally, especially when considering making gifts, but also when advising on wills or even making investments.  
Shifting sands »
We suspected that a rise in market volatility was likely in 2018 – but of course, no-one knew how or when it would play out. That risk seemed very far from investors’ collective consciousness as global stockmarkets roared higher through January in one of the best starts to the year seen in the last three decades – not since 1994 has the MSCI World enjoyed a stronger return for the first month of the year. We found ourselves reappraising (and, luckily, revalidating) our own somewhat cautious investment stance in the face of such strong market momentum.
Tax-Year-End planning for individuals 2018 »
In this article we briefly cover the main planning opportunities available to UK resident individuals for tax year 2017/18 and look at strategies which could be put in place to help minimise tax in 2018/19.
Pensions and divorce »
Pension simplification in 2006 and then pension freedoms in 2015 have changed the face of retirement so significantly that their impact on other areas such as divorce just can’t be ignored. We still technically have three options to deal with pensions in divorce settlements, offsetting, earmarking and pension sharing but are they all still viable in today’s pension landscape? All the options are impacted differently by the changes we have seen since A-day and may need reviewing if possible.
Trusts and attempts to avoid creditors »
One of the reasons for setting up a trust is to set aside property as separate from one’s personal assets. One of the benefits of this is that assets which are held in a trust are protected from creditors, for example should the settlor become insolvent or be declared bankrupt. However, there are limits on such protection as explained below.
7 scenarios for 7 stockmarkets »
Global growth can easily be described as ‘humming’ and the world seems to have confidence in that growth, be that trade led or domestically driven through consumption. It’s also synchronised – it’s taking place in each of the major regions of the world, which is even more positive for financial markets.
2017 Pensions Round-Up »
As years go 2017 hasn’t been the worst year for pensions even with three Finance Bills being published but there have been some significant and some less significant changes to comment on. I can’t comment on all of the changes but here is a selection of some of those of more importance.
Please release me »
The increasing demand for equity release, which at the half way point of 2017 had increased in new customer numbers by 44% over the same period of 2016, shows no sign of slowing. Whilst a wide increase in demand for access to lending for those approaching, at or in retirement, is being fuelled by strong demand in existing usage areas the most dominant being home and garden improvement, mortgage repayment is starting to rise more than any other. We are all familiar with the fact that interest only maturities are driving this increase in demand, there is something else happening which is making lifetime mortgages specifically more attractive to would be borrowers and that is the fact that with the right insight and advice many of the current products on offer can replicate a more traditional mortgage.
The lucky ones »
Do you consider yourself lucky? I don’t, I never seem to win a prize in the raffle, if there’s a cancelled train it’s usually the one I’m meant to be on and don’t start me on last year’s holiday.
I can see into the future... »
It’s that time of the year again where the ‘crystal balls’ are hard at work. The next Budget is in sight and the rumours of culling higher rate tax relief are high on the prediction list. Not to be accused of predicting the same changes as last Budget(s), this time we are hearing that it may just be older people that will see the cut in tax relief with younger people possibly reaping the benefits.  Makes a change from hearing about PCLS losing its tax free status.