Investing for your children’s future

As parents to four children ranging in age from three to 12 years old, Rachel and Samantha were horrified to hear on the news that a quarter of 20-to-34 year olds still live at home with their parents. As much as they love their kids, the idea they might still be a permanent fixture around […]

Saving for a university education

Funding your child’s university education Sarah and Andrew’s 10-year-old twins, Isabelle and Isaac, couldn’t be more different. While Isabelle is boisterous and full of beans, Isaac is gentle and reserved. The children do have one thing in common though – they’re both extremely bright and they already know exactly what they want to do when […]

Budgeting tips for saving money while making your life better

Whether you want to go on holiday or just want to save some money for the future, budgeting is a good way to put aside some money for reaching this goal. Here you can find some tips to help you take control of your finances. Why is budgeting so important? You might think that it’s […]

Holding steady through a sluggish forecast

Markets experienced some June gloom in the wake of further interest rate hikes and lower economic growth forecasts. Global growth is set to slow to 3% this year and 2.8% in 2023, according to the organisation for economic development (OECD). [1] The ongoing war in Ukraine has added to the slowdown, along with high inflation […]

Seeking investment talent

We explore how Omnis appoints third-party managers to run funds to provide access the best investment talent in the market. Omnis Investments (Omnis) offers clients of The Openwork Partnership and 2plan Wealth Management a range of 26 funds. They appoint third-party investment managers, allowing investors access to the best talent in the market. No matter […]

Investment Update – A difficult patch for the global economy

Financial markets were unsettled in May as the effects of the war in Ukraine along with concerns over inflation and growth dominated investor sentiment. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cautioned global finance leaders to expect multiple inflationary shocks in 2022 as markets continued to be unsettled in May amid fears of an economic downturn and […]

Things to avoid when investing

To keep your investments from losing value or slowing the growth of your assets, avoid these common investing mistakes. There are more risks and opportunities than ever for investors to navigate in today’s rapidly evolving markets. Here are four approaches we believe every investor should follow. Don’t pile into cash – stay invested The biggest […]

How to make ISAs work for you

Make the most of your tax allowances by using the different types of ISAs that are available. Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) were first introduced in 1999 and are a tax-free way to save into a cash savings or investment account. There lots of different types of ISA available, but the right one for you will […]

Be wary of the crypto-craze

You might be thinking about whether to invest in crypto currencies. We explain why it may not be the right choice, and how to better approach your portfolio. This year has been eventful for bitcoin, with the cryptocurrency reaching a record high and then almost halving in value all in the space of six weeks. […]

Investments or savings? What’s the best way to safeguard your child’s financial future?

When you see your child dressed up for school for the first time, it’s a stark reminder how quickly time flies. It might feel like only yesterday you were bringing them home from hospital or struggling through their first tooth, but when they walk through the school gates with their backpack and shiny shoes, you […]

Unlocking the value in your home

The number of people using equity release schemes fell last year as older homeowners grew more cautious. Older homeowners seemed to be more reluctant to release cash from their homes in 2020, according to the Equity Release Council. Data from the trade body shows drawdowns from lifetime mortgages fell by 21% last year and 10% […]

Should we be concerned about rising inflation?

Most economists expect inflation to pick up over the next few months as lockdown restrictions ease and shops and restaurants reopen. But is this a cause for concern? As lockdown measures begin to lift, financial markets are making their adjustments in anticipation of a rise in inflation, with bond yields picking up (meaning prices have […]

What’s in a name?

We explore what makes an emerging market and why they can offer attractive investment opportunities. For example, South Korea is one of the world’s largest and wealthiest nations. Its GDP per capita – which measures economic output divided by total population – was $31,846 in 2019, outranking countries like Spain, which had a GDP per […]

Step into Spring and refresh your personal financial planning

As we slowly emerge blinking into the sunlight from winter, and, cautiously from lockdown (data permitting), there is a feeling of new beginnings all around. There’s lots of reasons to be hopeful, with light at the end of, for what has been for many, an exceptionally long tunnel. So, with spring burgeoning, harness that positive […]

How to maximise your allowances to mitigate your tax before 5th April

Even if you’re on countdown waiting for lockdown restrictions to ease, there’s another deadline looming that should not be forgotten. The end of the current financial year on 5th April 2021 is approaching fast. Spend a little time now on an end of tax year action plan with a financial expert and you could save […]

Spotlight on Enterprise Investment Schemes and Venture Capital Trusts

Complex tax-efficient investments such as Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCT) are a consideration for those who may be able to tolerate a high level of investment risk. EIS and VCT are investment vehicles which encourage investment in small, unquoted trading companies in their early stages, who are typically trying to raise […]

What are millennials investing in?

It’s seems like every day you see another article in a newspaper about millennials ‘killing industries’ in recent times young people were said to have caused the demise of doorbells, napkins and even breakfast cereal. These tales of millennials bring the end to industries often go viral on social media and bring some interesting responses. […]

What is cashflow modelling?

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Financial planning is all about preparing for those things that may not be so certain (and taxes). Plans should be reviewed regularly so they adapt to changes in your circumstances and reflect developments in the wider economy and financial markets. Cashflow […]

The Bank of…Granny and Grandad?

For many younger people struggling to get a foot on the property ladder, the Bank of Mum and Dad is the only option. With rent taking a huge chunk out of their income and the requirement for increasingly onerous deposits, two in five renters do not believe they will ever be in a position to […]

Coming to terms with market turbulence

As a direct consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak, global stock markets are suffering a period of turbulence. When markets move significantly it can prove very challenging to hear through the noise and focus on the bigger picture. Lessons from history Over recent years many investors have become used to a variety of political, financial and […]

Use your ISA Allowance

Statistics show many young people are not using their ISA allowance only 17% of ISA savers are under the age of 35, but half of ISA savers are aged 55. So, what are the options for ISA savers? ISA An ISA is an Individual savings account. It allows you to save tax-free in a cash […]

How inflation eats into your returns

Understanding inflation and its impact on your portfolio is important because rising prices can reduce the value of the money you get back from your investments. What is inflation? Inflation is a term used to describe a rise in prices. In the UK, it is measured by the Consumer Prices Index including owner-occupiers’ housing costs […]

Does diversification matter?

When it comes to building your investment portfolio, you might have been warned about avoiding putting all your eggs in one basket. It’s wise to spread your money across a range of different investments. That way, if the value of one of them falls, it should have a limited effect on the overall performance of […]

Investing for the Next Generation

In the early years this might translate into a surplus of toys or days out, but this stage eventually passes, and thoughts turn towards the future transition from child to adulthood and beyond. This longer-term perspective raises the question of how best to provide financial support through, what could be an expensive transition and inevitably […]

Take Control of Your Investments

Getting a clear, concise view of your investment portfolio can be difficult and time-consuming. That’s why we use a secure, online system known as a platform. A platform gives you secure, online access to your investment funds with a transparent, easy -to-understand charging structure. So rather than holding your ISAs, pensions and other investments in […]

Long-term investors needn’t fear volatility

You may have read in the press that markets have been particularly volatile in 2018. But what does this mean for your investments? While stories about stock market falls are guaranteed to make headlines, the subsequent rebounds in prices get less coverage; and that’s when the best investors can often make their money. While the […]

Women are getting richer than men

According to research women now control 30% of the world’s wealth, up from 25% held five years ago. Women are also expected to see their wealth grow 7% faster than men until 2020, this is a result of women acquiring more wealth through inheritance, but they are also making their own money by becoming entrepreneurs […]

What’s stopping you from saving?

Generally speaking, and subject to investment charges and performance, the more you save and the earlier you start saving the better shape your finances are going to be in when you need to draw on them. So why is it then that many of us are reluctant to put money aside for a rainy day, […]

The value of investment advice

Let’s be honest. Seeking advice on how to look after your money may not be as fun as the immediate thrill of spending it, but it could be a rewarding decision in the long run. Research published last summer by the International Longevity Centre for Royal London found that those who received financial advice in […]

Developed vs emerging markets

The most popular markets among investors typically fall into one of two categories – developed or emerging. There’s no universal definition for either category, but MSCI, a research firm which provides many of the indices used by investment funds as benchmarks, classifies countries according to three main criteria: economic development, liquidity and market accessibility. To […]

The Importance of Diversification

Every commentator will have a different idea about which areas and which funds are the best bet and these varying opinions can cause confusion for anyone relying on their expertise. It’s also important to note that none of these talking heads will be privy to your specific financial circumstances and goals – no matter how […]

Advice matters – whatever stage in life you’re at

The financial products and services we need to navigate through life will change with our circumstances. In the early years, our financial needs are likely to be more straightforward, getting increasingly complex as whatever your circumstances. 20 – 30’s: From single and sorted to settling down Ah, those carefree days of being young, free and […]

Are you thinking of downsizing?

According to a survey by Lloyds Bank, 45 percent of empty nesters have no plans to downsize, despite the potential windfall moving to a smaller place could create. For these empty nesters then, life seems pretty comfortable, but their new-found well-being could be at risk if a study by the London School of Economics (LSE) […]

2018: the half year report

The first half of 2018 had no shortage of political tussles and diplomatic standoffs to deliberate on. Here, we consider some of the big economic events across the globe that have kept us busy, including incidents that have come completely from leftfield. UK Brexit has understandably dominated the headlines, and no doubt will continue to […]

Let Property Campaign

If you let out a residential property but haven’t declared the rental income, you might be interested in a new campaign from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). HMRC estimates landlords fail to pay £550m every year and their ‘Let Property Campaign’ aims to reclaim the lost income tax on undisclosed rental income. The campaign targets […]

Considering Investing in an ISA? Read this first.

Much of the discussion and commentary around ISAs is positive, particularly comments that come from the government. However, is an ISA the best place to invest your hard-earned money? What interest can you expect to earn? Here’s what you need to know. What is an ISA? ISA stands for Individual Savings Account, a title which […]

Eggs aren’t just for Easter

The original use of the term ‘nest-egg’ comes from an artificial egg being put into a nest to induce a hen to lay. These days we often refer to our hard-earned savings as our nest-egg, and the recent rise in the ISA allowance gives additional incentive to encourage savings to grow tax-efficiently. Egg-cellent ISAs On […]

Taking a Global View

Keeping your investments close to home may have its advantages, but only by looking globally can you be sure you’re making the most of diversification. Imagine mealtimes without choice; your culinary options limited only to British food. No stir-fries, no fajitas, no sushi – no burgers even, and fewer curries (our British national dish the […]

The ABC of Junior ISAs

The Junior Individual Savings Account (ISA) was introduced in 2011, 12 years after the launch of the original ISA in 1999, which recently celebrated its 18th birthday. In a nutshell, the Junior ISA is a long-term, tax-free savings account for children. It effectively replaced the Child Trust Fund and aims to enable parents to save […]

Are Cash ISAs worth the investment?

After the Bank of England (BoE) cut interest rates to reassure the market following the Brexit vote, cash ISA returns plummeted. According to Telegraph Money cash ISA returns fell by as much as 35% in the six months after the BoE’s decision. A quick Google shows the best rates on offer currently are just over […]

Investment Jargon Buster

Investment jargon explained. In this post, we explain everything from ‘asset classes’ to ‘default risk’. Assets: anything an individual, company or fund owns which has economic (tradable) value. Asset classes: Groups of securities or investments with similar characteristics that behave in a similar fashion and are subject to the same laws and regulations. The most common […]

Inflation: this time it’s personal

Much is made about the impact of inflation on the ‘real’ value of your income and investments. That is, the impact inflation has on your ability to continue affording your lifestyle. The magic number The Bank of England Monetary Policy Framework has an inflation target of 2%. The remit is not to achieve the lowest possible […]

Risk vs Reward

While homeowners can still benefit from low mortgage rates, savers will be struggling to enjoy any kind of growth on money they have on deposit, leading some to consider a riskier investment. If you’re considering investing in the stock market, one crucial and very personal issue is how you feel about the prospect of putting […]

Are Cash ISAs Still Relevant?

Since 2012, the average cash ISA rate has fallen from 2.84% to just 0.82%, while stocks and shares ISAs are performing far better, delivering an average growth of 7.4% during the 2014/15 tax year. Clearly the latter carry a varying degree of investment risk (depending on the type of funds you invest in), but does […]

Help to Buy ISA – things you might not know

If you’re saving for your first home you may have heard about the Government’s latest initiative, the Help to Buy ISA. This is effectively a cash ISA where you can save up to £200 a month, but the government will boost your savings by 25% up to a maximum of £3,000 (provided you’ve saved at […]

Simple Steps To Tax Planning

Professional advice and careful planning can help you to make the most of legitimate opportunities to reduce the amount of tax you pay. Your Accountant, or tax specialist, will be your first port of call when it comes to tax, but it’s also an important consideration in your day to day financial planning. Here are […]

Spring Clean Your Finances

A quick Google of ‘Spring Clean’ will throw up a million and one Buzzfeed articles or ‘life hacks’ on how to make spring-cleaning easier and quicker. You’ll find tips about using cola to clean the toilet, lemon to clean the taps and vinegar to clean just about anything. When you’re done cleaning your worktops with […]

Are You Saving Tax Efficiently?

If you’ve always been a saver but never considered an Individual Savings Account (ISA) you could be losing out to the tax man. Make your savings work harder ISAs are tax-efficient savings plans that allow you to shelter up to £15,240 in the 2016/17 tax year from income and Capital Gains Tax. Around 13 million […]

The Budget 2016: Headlines

Mr Osborne’s third Budget in the space of a year included a number of re-announcements from his Autumn Statement, but there were a few surprises. Lifetime ISAs From April 2017, adults under 40 will qualify for a new Lifetime ISA. The maximum annual contribution will be £4,000 to which the government will add a 25% […]

Is There A Shock In Store For Your Retirement?

New research suggests under-40s face a 148% hike in retirement living costs, while many over-45s are exposed to financial ‘shocks’ that could upset their retirement plans. monthly retirement expenditure to rise from £1,183 to £2,930 by 2050 (For pensioners who are not reliant on state pension) 42% of over-45s have not planned for financial shocks […]

When Can I Retire?

“How much do I need for my retirement” is arguably one of the most serious questions facing a working-age adult. The answer ultimately depends on two questions. When do you want to retire and what kind of retirement do you want to have? Planning Your Retirement If you want to retire at 55 and spend […]

Save Like The Young Ones

  Saving for a rainy day is what lets you buy an umbrella to keep you dry until the rain passes. Alternatively you may be saving with a specific goal in mind, for example to buy a house. Like many aspects of life, your saving needs and habits may change as time goes by. If […]

How Divorce Could Affect Your Retirement Income

“Breaking up is never easy” but sometimes it’s the best you can do. The Abba hit “Knowing Me, Knowing You” was released in 1976. A lot has changed since then, but breaking up still remains a painful and potentially expensive matter. The Basics of Divorce There are three steps to getting a divorce. Step one […]

Will You Be A Silver Entrepreneur?

Retirement isn’t what it used to be. A century ago, when old age pensions were first introduced, life expectancy was far lower than it is today. After a life of hard manual work, most people of retirement age, enjoyed on average, only 31 percent of their total lifespan outside the labour market (this included childhood) […]

Use Your ISA Allowance Or Lose It

The phrase “use it or lose it” is very relevant to ISAs. As of April 6th 2015 you have 366 days to save up to £15,240 in your ISA. Even though 2016 is a leap year, giving you an extra day to achieve this, it’s recommended to get off the starting blocks quickly. Let’s cover […]

What Are The Alternatives To Annuities?

It seems that wherever one looks in the media at the moment a commentator, government minister or journalist is stepping forward to tell us how awful annuities are and posing the question: why are annuities so bad? This, therefore is an important statement that should be absorbed before we continue; not all annuities are bad, […]

What’s My Pension Worth?

It’s hard to argue about the importance of saving for old age. Those still of working age need to look at how they are going to finance their later years. Those already retired need to think about getting the most out of their available finances. The exact rules around pensions and savings can be changed […]

Will I Benefit From The Pension Reforms If I’m Already Retired?

One issue in the world of personal finance has dominated the headlines for months; the changes to Britain’s pensions industry that will have profound implications for savers and retirees for decades to come. Much of the focus of the reportage has been on the effects of the changes on savers waiting to retire, but there […]

Find My Pension

Some things are so easily lost. Car keys, mobile phone, wallet, or you entire financial future. At any given time a staggering five million people have lost track of their pension providers, like squirrels who bury acorns but forget where they put them. The result of a lost pension may lead to a diminished income […]

Fancy Retiring to an Exotic Marigold Hotel?

In the UK today often people consistently put away too little money each month to fund the cost of their retirements. Too many people simply spend for today being unaware that tomorrow waits for nobody. Throughout the working lives for many of us the day on which we will need to draw on our pensions […]

Is The State Pension Like Jupiter Ascending?

The film Jupiter Ascending is arguably a sci-fi version of Cinderella. Jupiter (Mila Kunis) lives a life of drudgery until she discovers her true destiny. The new state pension rules aim to save those planning for retirement from a life of penny-pinching. In short those reaching state pension age from April 2016 will receive a […]

Is A Self Invested Pension Right For You?

In the past year, due to pensions reform, the UK pensions market has undergone radical change and savers will have more autonomy and more choices now than ever before after 6th April 2015. Whilst this is undoubtedly a positive development for many, it also means that savers need to be better informed than ever before […]

What The General Election Means For Your Wealth

With the General Election now less than 100 days away, the contenders are throwing their economic hats into the ring. Although none of the 3 main parties has provided a manifesto as yet, they have all been giving their views on tax and spending and reducing the UK deficit. Here is a quick overview to […]

Don’t Rely On Using The Sale Of Your Home To Fund Your Retirement

As with any major reform to savings, pensions and investments, the recent government changes to annuities has been accompanied by a flurry of newspaper headlines, ranging from the alarming to the surreal. Deciding how you will fund your retirement is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make and one that cannot be […]

Spare Your Children From Inheritance Tax

The Inland Revenue has had some high-profile headlines of late.  There was the case of the eBay trader who has been sentenced to prison for tax evasion.  There are proposals to allow the Inland Revenue to reclaim unpaid taxes from ISAs.  Now the Inland Revenue appears to have Inheritance Tax planning in its sights.  The […]

How To Build A Nest Egg For Your Child’s Future

Whatever your child wants to do when they’re older, preparing a nest egg for them can be a great help when the time comes for them to spread their wings and fly the nest.  As an added bonus, showing your child how to manage the family finances in order to create personal wealth can be […]

Use Your ISA Allowance Or Lose It

The phrase “use it or lose it” is very relevant to ISAs. As of April 6th 2015 you have 366 days to save up to £15,240 in your ISA. Even though 2016 is a leap year, giving you an extra day to achieve this, it’s recommended to get off the starting blocks quickly. Let’s cover […]