Monthly Archives: August 2017

What does the nil rate band really mean for me?

Changes to inheritance tax (IHT) came in earlier this year, affecting the allowance for those wanting to pass on their home to members of the family. But as the changes are being rolled out over the next few years up to the 2020/21 financial year, it can be hard to know if and how the changes will affect you. Continue reading

Could the Buy-to-Let tax changes be the next pension crisis?

The National Landlords Association (NLA) has warned that the next pension crisis could be created by the impact of changes to the way buy-to-let properties are taxed, as many individuals are becoming increasingly reliant on funding their retirement through income generated by property. Recent figures suggest that around 77% of landlords rely on their residential property investment for when they retire, which equates to around 1.8 million people in the UK. Additionally, buy-to-let continues to be considered a safe way of saving for retirement, with 68% of people seeing it as a good way to plan for when they finish work. Continue reading

August – Market commentary

July got off to the best possible start when Janet Yellen, Chair of the US Federal Reserve, announced that there would be no more financial crises “in our lifetime.” Speaking on a trip to London, she said that the reforms of the banking system since the 2007 to 2009 crash had “minimised the risk of a similar disaster happening again.” Phew, that’s alright then. And if you’re reading this commentary, Ms Yellen, just skip over the bit about Italy… Continue reading

Rise reported for top fixed-rate Cash ISA’s

Since December 2016, the top fixed-rate cash ISAs have seen their rates rise by up to 42% thanks to smaller less well-established banks hoping to boost business. Four new fixed-rate ISAs paying market-leading rates were launched at the end of July by Charter Savings Bank, whose new one-year ISA offers a better rate (1.3%) than that on offer from Bank of Cyprus UK (1.22%). Customers can gain early access to the one-year ISA as long as they’re happy to be charged 150 days interest. Compared to what a one-year ISA paid at the end of 2016, when the Bank of Cyprus UK’s ISA paid just 1.05%, the new account offers 24% more. Continue reading

Update on state pensions: essential reading for the under 50’s

Recent changes announced by the government to the state pension will result in nearly six million people currently in their forties having to wait longer until they can retire. It’s a development which has raised concerns over the dependability of the state pension, which for many makes up the lion’s share of their retirement income and is the most valuable state-funded perk for even more people. Continue reading

Investing in Venture Capital Trusts: what you need to know

Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) are publicly listed closed-end funds. They are crafted to provide individual investors access to venture capital investments through regular capital markets. This is achieved through VCT fund managers working to generate above-average returns for investors by identifying potentially profitable investments in small unlisted firms. As any investment is always spread across several different companies, VCTs inherently provide diversification. However, the potential risk is a lot higher than investing elsewhere, such as in the FTSE 100. Continue reading