Introduction August used to be known as the ‘silly season’. Everyone who made the news was away on holiday, nothing happened and newspapers were desperate to fill their pages. So rather more obscure stories made it into print… That, of course, was before Donald Trump. And Brexit. And Venezuela, Argentina and Greece. And… In short, August is now just another month and this year it saw the world’s two most powerful economies, the USA and China, continuing their trade war as the US imposed an additional round of tariffs on Chinese imports and Beijing inevitably retaliated. Domestically, there were more Read More

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The Bank of England has raised interest rates from 0.5% to 0.75%, only the second rise in a decade. Currently, interest rates stand at their highest since 2009 and reflect what the Bank of England perceive as a general pick-up in the economy. The Bank said that a rise in household spending has strengthened the British economy. Economic growth for the year is predicted to be 1.4% this year and the unemployment rate is expected to fall further below 4.2%, where it currently stands. How does the rise affect you? If you are on a variable rate ‘tracker’ mortgage, your Read More

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The new girl on the block, in terms of saving products, seems like she may not actually be around for much longer. LISA, or the lifetime ISA, is being threatened with abolition by a Treasury committee, having only been on the market for 16 months. The LISA allows those aged between 18 and 50 to save up to £4,000 a year towards a pension or a first home tax free, with the promise of a 25% government bonus capped at £1,000 a year. However, a panel of MPs have highlighted significant drawbacks with the scheme. Some of the negative feedback Read More

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Over the last two decades, emerging markets have been attractive to investors and investment strategies have followed an ever globalising trend. High growth rates in developing nations have meant that large profits have been generated in riskier assets outside of the more stable markets that have long dominated global economics. Often double-digit growth in the BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – has seen wilful investors reap great profits through investing in countries with plentiful opportunities, which often carry a higher degree of risk. However, despite the fact that emerging markets have generally matured, they are still subject Read More

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Pensions for children? Surely that’s taking planning ahead to a whole new level? Nonetheless, if you can afford it, putting money aside in to a pension for your children or grandchildren can be a sensible option. Under the current rules, you can put £2,880 a year into a junior self-invested personal pension (SIPP) or stakeholder pension, on their behalf. Even though the child won’t be a taxpayer, 20% is added to the amount in tax relief, up to £3,600 per annum. If you think about it, that can result in quite a significant amount over the years, taking compound growth Read More

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