Category Archives: Stockton Heath

Stockton Heath category

April Market Commentary

Introduction

We have commented before on the difficulty of ‘hitting a moving target.’ Sometimes in writing this commentary you run the risk of what you write being overtaken by events, and that has never been more true than this month. In the short time between us publishing notes and you reading them it is possible that the Brexit section will be different.

Given the fact that Brexit continues to dominate the news headlines it’s tempting to think it is the only important story. Nothing could be further from the truth. There were clear signs that the US/China trade dispute might be moving to an end, and it was an interesting month in the US with clear pointers to a sea-change in the car industry – something that has worldwide implications.

In the UK we had Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement, the usual gloom from the high street and continuing good news on employment. Continue reading

Record numbers make the most of pension freedoms

Hand writing the text: Whats Your Plan for Retirement?

The people have spoken and they love freedom! Recent figures show withdrawals in the 2017-18 year were worth £6.7bn, the highest figure since the pension freedoms reforms were introduced in 2015.

Before the change in legislation, the majority of pensioners would purchase an annuity with their pension pot, which would guarantee them an income for life.The pension freedoms now mean that those over the age of 55 have access to their savings and more choice and flexibility over how they fund their retirement. Continue reading

How to approach student loans with your kids

University is always going to be at least partially a  both for prospective students and their parents, or whoever they rely on financially. Calculating the rising total bill for tuition fees and cost of living for a degree course can make university seem like an impossibility for some. But it’s essential that all involved carry out proper research into the cost of higher education before making a decision about the future, rather than letting sensationalist reporting in the media surrounding student debt scare them away. Continue reading

What is pound cost averaging?

If you’re unclear on what the term ‘pound cost averaging’ means, the simplicity of what it describes is perhaps best demonstrated through an example. Abbie is an investor who has already decided where she wants to make a long-term investment. She also earns money through her job and invests more each month. Abbie therefore has three options as to how to invest her money. Firstly, she could invest all the money she currently has immediately, then invest the rest as she earns it. Alternatively, Abbie could hold on to her investment money and add to it as she earns more, waiting for the optimum time to invest a larger sum all in one go. Abbie’s third option is to stagger her investment, pacing herself so that the money is invested gradually over time. Continue reading

How the gender gap hits women’s retirement savings as well as pay

A recent study has found women are generally less well prepared for retirement compared to men. The research, carried out by savings company Standard Life, reveals that whilst over half (55%) of men own a pension, this figure falls to just over a third (36%) in women. Even more alarmingly, more than seven in ten (71%) of women stated that they did not know how to start a pension. Continue reading

Will it really improve my retirement if I increase my pension contributions by 1% – or should I just enjoy the money now?

Hand writing the text: Whats Your Plan for Retirement?

When retirement is decades away, it’s understandable that many people near the start of their working lives don’t give a lot of thought to exactly how much of a difference the amount they pay into their pension will make when they finally come round to needing it. Increasing your pension contribution by 1% might sound so small as to be insignificant, making it tempting to choose to enjoy more of your hard-earned money today rather than putting a little more of it away for years to come. But is that really the case? What difference would putting an extra 1% into your pension actually make?

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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

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

Simple Solutions: Your perfect team for financial advice in Warrington

It won’t have escaped your attention that the Euro 2016 Championships are well underway! Regardless of who you support, having the right team in place is vital for good performance and the same is definitely true of your financial advisers.

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