China grabbed the headlines again in January, but this time not for trade. On 31st December, the Chinese authorities had notified the World Health Organisation of an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province. Today the country is in lockdown, the death toll is rising fast, the number of infected is rising faster. The trade war with the US has been pushed off the front pages and the disease’s inevitable shock to the economy is starting to kick in amid praise for how China has reacted to the outbreak compared to SARS earlier this century. The run-up to Brexit Read More

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There has been much talk in the financial press recently of proposed changes to the threshold for the tapered annual allowance from £110,000 to £150,000. The taper was introduced in 2016 and gradually reduces the annual allowance for those on high incomes. For every £2 of adjusted income above £150,000 a year, £1 of annual allowance is lost. It has proved unpopular as individuals in that earnings bracket can have their annual tax-free pension savings allowance reduced from £40,000 to as little as £10,000. They are also at risk of  receiving a lifetime allowance tax charge on their benefits. The Read More

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Company directors and owners of SMEs make plans and do forecasts all the time. Cash flow forecasts, SWOT analyses, plans for renewals and refurbishment; there’s hardly a day when they’re not eyeball to eyeball with a spreadsheet. So why do so many of them fail to plan their own retirements properly? In our experience company directors and owners of SMEs are so wrapped up running their business that they often forget their own financial planning – or simply don’t see it as a priority. There is clearly a need for more directors to plan properly: why do so many of Read More

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Financial planning… Isn’t that based on cold, hard facts and scientific reasoning? Surely feelings  and emotions don’t have much to do with investing? We think they do. And here’s why. A little thing called human behaviour gets involved, you see. Only it’s not so little. Human beings are highly complex systems, motivated by many different factors and emotions. This makes us volatile, unpredictable and irrational. We also hold values and beliefs that drive our behaviour; some logical and valid, others not quite so much. But despite being so important, human behaviour is often one of the most frequently overlooked aspects Read More

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