Category

Financial

I'll take a storm proof portfolio please25th April 2012

Have you ever read the latest 'experts' call on where markets are going and wondered - 'hmm maybe this time is different?' or wondered how your investment portfolio has managed to weather the latest storm.

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The Cost of Safety - 'Bunds' at Zero Interest Rate7th June 2012

You are not going to believe what I am going to tell you, so don't say you haven't been warned!

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Key Investor Principles1st June 2012

Whether you're an Investor in Belfast, London or New York - the same principles apply!

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The Eurozone and Greece: A Client Update25th June 2012

Events in the Eurozone, particularly Greece's future participation in the currency union, have been the overwhelming focus of investors worldwide in recent months. Naturally, many clients are asking about their Portfolio Exposure to the countries at the centre of the crisis. Very kindly, Dimensional Fund Advisers - who provide the core holdings within our Portfolios have put together the following paper to help clients make sense of the situation.

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The Death of Equities, Revisited2nd July 2012

Weston Wellington of Dimensional Fund Advisors recently wrote a great piece comparing a recent article in the Financial Times with one that appeared in BusinessWeek on August 13, 1979

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Taking the Plunge13th August 2012

Anxiety about the equity market is understandable, but if we waitfor the "perfect" time to invest, the risk is we never will.

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Nightmare on Wall Street30th August 2012

Last Wednesday's trading session on the New York Stock Exchange was marked by unusual activity in 148 listed stocks, many of which swung sharply in the first hour of trading due to an apparent error in a newly installed software program.

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And in other news........6th September 2012

Bad news sells. It sells because fear is a more powerful emotion than greed. Newspaper editors know that, which is why the front pages in Belfast, the UK and Globally are often so depressing. But sometimes you need to dig inside the paper for a more balanced view.

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Positive Markets but yet a Wall of Worry?22nd October 2012

No doubt many investors were pleasantly surprised by the sight of Stock prices increasing sharply around the world in the third quarter of 2012 - with 42 out of 45 countries tracked by MSCI showing positive returns in US dollar terms - and all this against a backdrop of increasing worry from market commentators.

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Dollars and Sense5th November 2012

"Making money in the global markets is just a click away", the commercial promised, without mentioning that losses are just as instantaneous.

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The Too Good to Be True Test27th November 2012

Some myths die hard. One is the notion that there are people who can pick winning investments year after year without ever losing money.

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2012: The Year It Didn't Happen7th January 2013

Judging by the headlines in the financial press, investors spent much of the past year anxiously awaiting one calamity after another that failed to occur

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HMV, Blockbuster and Other Stories20th January 2013

HMV, Blockbuster and Jessops have all filed for administration in recent weeks (with 9 HMV stores in NI due to close). It is a shame for all the employees of those companies but few people were surprised at their demise. All three were caught flatfooted by changing consumer trends and the writing had been on the wall for months - even years.

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Financial planning for the end of the tax year1st February 2013

The nights are finally starting to get a little lighter - maybe we can start looking forward to Spring after all. In financial services, Spring means two things; the Budget (on March 20th this year) and the end of the tax year on Friday April 5th.

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Can Blackberry make Apple crumble?12th February 2013

A decade ago, everyone wearing a suit on a train carried a Blackberry; today, you are as likely to see commuters jabbing messages into an iPhone or a Galaxy on the way to work. The declining fortune of the Blackberry is as evident on the stock market as it is on public transport as RIM, the company that makes the Blackberry, has lost ground to Apple and Samsung.

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Buying an Annuity - Open Market Option - Advice in Lisburn & Belfast1st January 2013

After many years of saving into a pension, you will eventually wish to convert the pension into an income. A common method used at retirement, is to convert your pension 'pot' into an annuity.

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Expensive Mistakes13th March 2013

There are two ways of learning. You can be taught how to do something correctly or you can be shown the consequences of doing it wrong. In the world of investment, it's a lot cheaper to learn from others' mistakes.

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How do you know spring is here? It can't be the weather!18th March 2013

The arrival of spring weather can be difficult to predict. Last year, we enjoyed a balmy March, but no sooner had we shed the winter coats in April, did it decide to rain until Christmas. This year was going according to plan with temperatures steadily rising until we were struck by an unexpected Arctic blizzard!

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Put Your Faith in Capitalism, not the Chancellor10th April 2013

Budget day remains one of the biggest dates in the political calendar, and aside from last year's pasty tax, George Osborne will be remembered for stage management more than flamboyance. After this week, beer drinkers will be marginally richer, wine drinkers marginally poorer. Until the economy perks up, however, there is little room for Budget-day theatre

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Don't Fall in Love - the Most Common Mistakes Investors Make10th March 2013

This is the first part of a two part article, where we've taken a look at some of the common mistakes investors make when they're buying and selling stocks and shares and other investments. We've identified ten mistakes - and this month, we take a look at the first five.

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If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs…15th May 2013

It has been quite a year for stock markets. In the past 12 months shares have soared to record highs; higher than the tech boom in 2001, and higher than the credit bubble of 2008. But let's not get carried away. Being disciplined with an investment strategy is as important when times are good as when times are bad, but in some ways the excitement of a rising market makes it harder.

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Ethical Investments - Green goes mainstream4th July 2013

Last week, Barack Obama laid out his climate change strategy. He set out plans to cut carbon emissions and to increase renewable energy projects. And he urged people to support the environment by investing and divesting appropriately.

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What next for Emerging Markets?24th September 2013

Many investors fell for emerging markets in recent years when they delivered sizeable returns. More recently, the associated risk has reasserted itself and the infatuation has faded. What's the right approach?

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Simplicity and Sophistication - Investment advice, Lisburn & Belfast18th November 2013

The Chinese philosopher Confucius once said that life is very simple, but we insist on making it complicated. You could say the same thing about investment.

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Rate Expectations - and the Impact on Bonds26th November 2013

Interest rates around the world are at historic lows. They can only go in one direction from here, right? And aren't rising interest rates bad for bond investors? The truth might surprise you.

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Investing - Fear for the Emerging Markets30th January 2014

There has been a spate of recent articles written about a rocky start to the year in some developing economies. But haven't we been here before?

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Investment Trends to keep you buying new 'stuff'1st March 2014

The global fashion industry is fickle by nature, pushing and then pulling trends to keep hapless consumers forever turning over their wardrobes. Much of the financial services industry works the same way.

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Read between the (head) lines - Investment advice Lisburn and Belfast14th April 2014

Too often, money gets a bad press. Just in the past few weeks headlines have reported that "Yes, the stock market is rigged"[1] and "City watchdog to probe 30m financial products"[2].

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The Certainty Principle2nd June 2014

A frequent complaint from would-be investors is that "uncertainty" is what keeps them out of the financial markets. "I'll stay in cash until the direction becomes clearer," they will say. So when has there ever been total clarity?

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ISA or NISA - Advice in Lisburn & Belfast1st September 2014

From 1st July 2014 ISAs were reformed into a simpler product, the 'New ISA'(NISA), and all existing ISAs became NISAs. From that date the overall annual subscription limit for these accounts increased to 15,000 for 2014/15.

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FTSE 100 reached its highest level since Dec 199916th September 2014

Early in September, the FTSE 100 reached its highest level since December 1999. People might read into this story that it's taken 14 years for the market to recover from the tech crash and the credit crisis and that stock-market investment has been pointless over that period.

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Why make a Will?17th October 2014

So, what's the reason? What are the implications of dying without a will - intestate? Is it not a concern if you are young?

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Getting your Tax-Return in on time 16th January 2015

With self-employment on the rise in the UK, it is estimated that 11.2 million people need to fill out a self-assessment tax return for 2013/14 - which is a higher figure than ever before.

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Tax hit on pension withdrawals2nd April 2015

Just days before the pension rules changed on 6th April, HMRC confirmed that people withdrawing sums above their 25% tax-free cash entitlement would pay emergency tax rates unless they provided a P45 form to their pension provider - which the vast majority of people won't be able to do

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Use your pension fund to avoid IHT18th March 2015

Avoiding inheritance tax is easy if you use your pension fund, says the Telegraph.

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How much do you need to save into your Pension?21st April 2015

The transition to the new flat-rate state pension from next April is complicated, but in principle the question is simple. How much do you need to save to have the retirement income you need?

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Transferring from a Final Salary Pension Scheme1st May 2015

Final salary pension scheme managers say the number of enquiries from members about transfers out of their schemes have soared since pension freedoms came into force in April.

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What fund should I use for your Pension? 23rd June 2015

People with their pension savings invested in lifestyle funds have suffered losses of 9% since February, says the Telegraph.

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Should you invest in a Buy to Let? Not for my pension - Lisburn, Belfast 7th July 2015

Broadcaster Libby Purves used a column in the Times to explain why she thought buy-to-let investing a really bad idea for pensioners.

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Who gets the new inheritance tax break?1st August 2015

The additional inheritance tax allowance (on top of the current 325,000 per person) for 'the family home' announced in the summer budget has prompted many questions, said the Telegraph and it tried to answer them.

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Pension rules change tax planning24th August 2015

Changes in the pension rules have resulted in a sea-change in tax planning, says the Financial Times. Under the old rules, it made sense to draw money from a pension fund and keep other assets.

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My Investments - what about the china stockmarket crash?1st September 2015

Global markets are providing investors a rough ride at the moment, as the focus turns to China's economic outlook. But while falling markets can be worrisome, maintaining a longer-term perspective makes the volatility easier to handle.

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Don't underestimate Illness Risk - Income Protection21st September 2015

Half of all workers think the risk of being unable to work though illness is less than one in ten, says the Independent.

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Getting better Cash ISA Rates on your savings8th October 2015

Savers are losing as much as 2 billion a year in interest because banks have cut their interest rates on cash ISAs so much over the past 2 years, says the Sunday Times.

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Will you have to pay the higher stamp duty?1st November 2015

The Telegraph was inundated with requests from readers for answers to questions about the higher rates of stamp duty on second homes and buy-to-lets announced in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement.

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State Pension: Should I top up, defer the State Pension or do both?1st December 2015

Those who reach retirement age before April 2016 have got two ways of topping up their state pensions.

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High earners risk big tax charges on pensions12th January 2016

Experts say up to half a million people could be hit by new restrictions in the lifetime pensions allowance, says the Financial Times.

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The New Personal Savings Allowance1st March 2016

Research shows that 90% of savers haven't a clue about a new tax break that starts on April 6th, says the Telegraph.

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Tax Free Interest on your Savings6th April 2016

From April 6th 2016 the interest from banks and building societies is paid without any tax being deducted.

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Commercial Property Funds - change in pricing?24th May 2016

Funds open to individual investors investing in commercial property have cut their prices to deter sellers.

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Can an Active Cash Strategy beat Shares like Paul Lewis suggests?20th June 2016

Despite the fact that today's interest rates are at an historic low, an active cash strategy, moving between best-buy savings accounts, can beat the investment return on shares over periods of up to 18 years, according to Paul Lewis for the Financial Times.

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Lifetime ISA may be Late!1st August 2016

LISA - the Lifetime ISA announced by former Chancellor George Osborne in the 2016 Budget - could arrive later than planned.

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Should I invest in a Pension or Property?1st September 2016

Investing in a pension beats investing in property, says the Telegraph.

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Two years to beat inheritance tax?1st October 2016

The Mail featured the launch of a scheme enabling people to escape inheritance tax in just two years.

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Huge rise in Powers of Attorney1st November 2016

There has been a huge increase in the number of Lasting Powers of Attorney registered in recent years, says the Telegraph.

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High Earners - Savers will switch from pensions to VCTs8th December 2016

High-earning people who are prevented from investing large sums into pensions will switch their attentions to Venture Capital Trusts, says the Herald.

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Follow Pension boss's example? - Considering a Pension Transfer from DB Scheme10th January 2017

People are usually told not to even think about taking a transfer value from a scheme that guarantees a 'final salary' pension, says the Telegraph.

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Compensation limit rises to 85,000 Pounds1st February 2017

As from the start of February 2017, the amount protected by the UK's investor compensation scheme rose from 75,000 to 85,000.

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Residence Nil Rate Band - Many won't get new inheritance tax allowance7th March 2017

Many people will not benefit from a new inheritance tax allowance that is available from April 6th 2017, says the Mail.

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Lifetime ISA - Beware of the pitfalls3rd April 2017

Former pensions minister Ros Altmann used an article in the Mail to warn savers about the drawbacks and risks of the new Lifetime ISA.

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Millions at a loss on pension funds2nd May 2017

Millions of savers have no idea whether the fund in which their pension savings are invested is any good, says the Times, citing recent research

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New rules to hit Buy to Let Market5th June 2017

New rules due to be introduced by the Bank of England could make it harder for Buy-To-Let owners to obtain mortgages, says the Telegraph.

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