Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Lift-off at last for US rates

After many months of speculation, the Federal Reserve finally increased US interest rates for the first time since June 2006. On 16 December, the US central bank raised its key interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 0.25%-0.50%. Policymakers cited “considerable improvement in labour market conditions” and are “reasonably confident that inflation will rise, over… Read more »

Top 100 Financial Advisers

Compiled in conjunction with Matrix Solutions, the rankings show the list of the biggest and most successful financial adviser firms in the UK, as indicated by sales of life and pension products. At first glance, little has changed at the top of the list, with St James’s Place and Hargreaves Lansdown occupying first and second… Read more »

Greece Weighs on UK Markets

Despite a wealth of corporate and economic newsflow from elsewhere, developments in the eurozone remained uppermost in the minds of many UK investors over June as Greece failed to honour a €1.5bn (£1.06bn) payment to the International Monetary Fund. Share prices in the UK generally fell during the month, with larger companies performing less well… Read more »

UK rising high despite nerves

Although the FTSE 100 index hit a new all-time high during March – reaching 7,037.67 points – the share prices of larger and medium-sized UK companies generally fell over the month as a whole. Ongoing speculation over US monetary policy, concerns over Greece’s financial commitments and an increasing focus on the forthcoming UK General Election… Read more »

Junior ISA’s

It’s never too early to start thinking about the future. A Junior Individual Savings Account or ‘JISA’ gives children the opportunity to start saving early – via cash, stocks and shares, or a combination of the two – within a tax-free wrapper. There are two kinds of JISA available: a cash JISA is a tax-free… Read more »

Changes in Pension death benefits

The announcement from George Osborne which confirms that all Defined Contribution Pension Funds, regardless of whether they are in Drawdown or not, will pay no tax on death if death occurs before age 75. This is a huge reduction from the 55% tax charge that is in place for Drawdown at present. Further to that,… Read more »

Long-term care options

A crisis has developed in the funding of long-term care for the elderly. As the proportion of elderly Britons continues to rise, demand for care is exceeding supply, and payment for long-term care has become an increasingly pressing problem. The government is making changes to the way that long-term care is financed, and expects to… Read more »

Scot free?

The debate over Scotland’s future within the UK will come to a head on 18 September when Scotland’s voters go to the polls in a referendum on independence. Currency is the issue lying at the centre of the debate over Scottish independence,amid an ongoing dispute over whether an independent Scotland will be permitted to retain… Read more »

Europe’s banking concerns resurface

At the other end of the continent, fears over the stability of Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo undermined investors’ confidence. The bank was subsequently ordered to raise capital following news of huge first-half losses. Portugal’s PSI20 index fell 12.1% over July as a whole and investors endured high levels of daily volatility. By comparison, during… Read more »

Larger UK firms shine in Q2

Smaller UK companies generally performed better than their medium-sized and larger counterparts during June although, over the second quarter of 2014 as a whole, blue-chip businesses outstripped their smaller peers. The benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 1.5% during June but rose 2.2% over the second quarter of 2014. For its part, the FTSE 250 index… Read more »