Keeping track of your pension…

3 steps to keeping track of your pension A recent study has revealed the worrying statistic that over a fifth of all people with multiple pensions have lost track of at least one pension, with some admitting to have forgotten the details of all of them. With around two thirds of UK residents having more…

Election Summary 2017

Voting has now closed and the results are in! We have waited for the election dust to settle before sharing our thoughts on this General Election. To help explain the impact of this Election results, we have prepared an Election Summary, breaking down the details and reflecting on how this could impact Brexit and, importantly,…

June Market Commentary

Introduction As we wrote last year, ‘It is tempting to think that Brexit is the only game in town.’ Cross out ‘Brexit’ and replace it with ‘General Election’ and the sentiment holds good. But the rest of the world keeps turning – or in May, grinding to a halt as the WannaCry ransomware attack hit…

Changes to Inheritance Tax (IHT) – it’s complicated!

By 2020-21 couples could be free of IHT on up to £1m of their wealth which can be passed on to their children or grandchildren.

Currently, spouses and civil partners can pass all of their wealth to each other without tax. However, tax may be payable when it comes to cascading wealth down the generations. We can all pass on £325,000 which is the current Nil-Rate Band (NRB) before tax is due.  Nil-rate bands can also be passed between spouses.

The new regime makes it much more complicated, so much so that the Government website  has 18 examples of how the new Residence Nil-Rate Band (RNRB) can be used and calculated.

Pre-election summary 2017

Following the dissolution of parliament last week, party leaders have hit the election campaign trail. Please click here for our latest update on the ‘polls, policies, Brexit and your finances’ and what to expect in the run up to the general election on 8 June. Whatever the result, we will be here with our usual…

May Market Commentary

Introduction

It’s difficult to know where to begin this month. In France? Where we now know the French Presidential election will be a straight fight between Emmanuel Macron and Marine le Pen. In the UK? Where, having declared several times that she saw no need for a General Election, Theresa May summoned everyone to the polls on 8th June. Or in North Korea? Where the simmering tensions between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump threaten peace and stability in the region.

Politically, the world was a volatile place in April – but the world’s major stock markets reacted with studied indifference. The French index was the biggest gainer, up 3% in the expectation of a victory for Macron on 7th May. Two markets – the UK and China were down by 2% – and the rest inched ever-so-slightly upwards.

New tax year – limits and allowances

Plan early

Why not use your ISA and Pension allowances now rather than waiting until March 2018, any growth achieved will at least be growing virtually tax free.

ISAs

Remember that the ISA allowance has been increased from £15,240 to £20,000 per individual from the 6th April 2017.

The allowances for a Junior ISA / Chid Trust Fund have increased by £48.00 to £4,128 per child.

Theresa May calls surprise early election

During a surprise announcement outside Downing Street on the morning of 18th April, Theresa May set the date of the next UK general election as the 8th June 2017, almost three full years before the previously expected date of May 2020.

Delivering the statement revealing the move, Mrs May said that the early general election would further deliver the ‘certainty, stability and strong leadership’, which she said the Conservative party had offered since the referendum on Britain’s EU membership. The Prime Minister elaborated to say that, ‘the country was coming together, but Westminster was not’, a reference to the fact that, despite the referendum result, the Conservatives still face opposition within Parliament on what so-called ‘Brexit’ should look like, or even whether it should still take place at all.

April Market Commentary

Introduction

It’s tempting to think that Brexit is the only story worth reporting: in fact, there was plenty happening in March, from elections in Holland to a rate rise in the US, new growth targets for China and – also in the Chinese capital – a park which spectacularly failed to live up to its name…

The main global news was that finance ministers from the world’s biggest economies have dropped an anti-protectionism commitment after opposition from the US. G20 ministers usually end their meetings with a commitment to bolster and support free trade and last year vowed to “resist all forms of protectionism.” That was, of course, before we had President Trump and his ‘America First’ policy…

Our Year in Review – 2016/17

Cullen Wealth have just passed the end of our 19th year of being in business.

We have had another solid year, seeing substantial growth in client numbers, the assets we advise upon, and annual turnover (up 12%).

We thought you might be interested to see a quick snapshot of some of our headline numbers, giving you a sense of where we are up to at the end of March 2017 – click here.