The Budget through the eyes of an IFA

(March 2014)

The Budget through the eyes of an IFA: What the changes mean to you

What a thought-provoking Budget! I think the Budget has stunned most of my sector; we always get some predictions but I don’t believe anyone saw this coming. The Government have definitely listened to the voices of pensioners who endlessly say to us that they have been hit by the low interest rates both with savings and annuities.

In the future, being able to take your pension fund as a lump sum is an interesting idea, and the Government intend to consult on how this is best achieved prior to the target date of April 2015. Initially this will apply to defined contribution schemes (where you build up a fund) but may also apply to private company final salary schemes in the future. It is unlikely to apply to Public Sector schemes and,

Tax Considerations

Tax Considerations: TIme to plan for the new year

(January 2014)

Now we are well into the New Year, the next big financial event is the end of the tax year.

TaxWhen considering investments, it’s important to remember it’s not just about performance but also about how much tax you pay or save. Often, clients we see forget that money in the bank and building society and money in a general account is usually subject to tax.

New year, fresh start

(December 2013)

New year, fresh start: Goal-setting for 2014

The teamYou might have read my previous articles suggesting that the New Year should be treated as a fresh start. I believe it’s a great way of closing the door on what’s happened in the past and opening the door to a fresh future. I’m not saying that we should forget what happened before, but once we have spent time analysing it we should then focus on looking forward.

A fresh look at trusts

(Oct 2013)

A fresh look at trusts: What you need to know

TrustsFinancial Planning isn’t just about building funds for your future, it’s also about making sure that your dependents are cared for if anything happens along the way. Setting up a trust can ensure that your money goes to the people you want to benefit from it. It can also be used for tax planning.

Introducing Trusts

You probably already have a trust agreement in your life. Surprised?

Benefits of financial planning

(Sept 2013)

Benefits of financial planning: What is it and why do you need it

Ifinancial planningf you’ve read my previous articles you’ll notice they’ve all related to areas of advice or individual products. Until now, I haven’t covered the benefits of financial planning.

What is financial planning?
To me, financial planning means making sure you have the funds to carry out your dreams and aspirations and take care of any eventualities should anything happen to you along the way. Just as

Are you comparing like-for-like?

(July 2013)

Are you comparing like-for-like? Here's how to understand the different investment strategies 

Since the beginning of this year, if you take out an investment with an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) and it is agreed by you that they will be paid an ongoing fee for servicing the investment, they have to provide you with an ongoing service.

Like for LikeAs with anything, it is important to understand exactly what you are paying for. You therefore need to understand the different types of investment strategies. Here’s a brief overview:

Two of the investment fund strategies are passive and active.

Buy-to-let mortgages

(June 2013)

Buy-to-let mortgages: Latest data and top tips

According to the latest survey data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, a total of £4.2bn was advanced to buy-to-let landlords Buy to letacross 33,500 mortgages in the first quarter of 2013, compared with £3.7bn in the same period of 2012. Nearly half this lending was for remortgages, rather than house purchases. The buy-to-let sector continued to grow as a proportion of total mortgage lending*.

Quite often, clients consider a buy-to-let mortgage when they can’t

Retirement: What you need to think about

(May 2013)

Retirement: What you need to think about
4 major considerations and an invitation to learn more

Retirement is probably one of the biggest changes in your life. You could live for another 30 years or more, but your earned income will probably cease. There’s lots of information about retirement on the RetirementInternet, but it can often be difficult to find and understand what relates to your own circumstances. It’s therefore an important time to seek financial advice.

Here are a few of the considerations to aid decision-making about your pensions and investments...

 

What does an IFA do?

(February 2013)

What does an IFA do? Vivian Slattery explains.

Unfortunately, the financial services industry has got quite a bad name for itself for various reasons. Because of this, some people What does an IFA dohave questioned whether they need an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA).

Benefits of having an IFA
As an IFA, the first thing I do when I see a new client is look at their existing policies. Many people have accumulated a number of policies over the years but have never reviewed them. Over the years, pension and savings products have

Paying for investment advice

(January 2013)

Paying for investment advice: introducing customer-agreed remuneration

Over the years, I’ve heard many people question whether investment advice can really be truly independent, as they imagine that Paying for investment adviceindependent financial advisers (IFAs) are only going to recommend the product and provider that pays the most commission.

From 1 January 2013, a major change in the industry resolves this question forever, as commission payments for investment products are being replaced by customer-agreed remuneration. So what does this mean for you?