New tax year – new limits and allowances

Start early with your planning

Why not use your ISA and Pension allowances at the beginning of the tax year rather than waiting until March 2019 at the end of the current tax year, any growth achieved will at least be growing virtually tax free.

ISAs

ISA allowances remain at £20,000 per individual, thus allowing a couple to invest £40,000 between them.

The allowances for a Junior ISA / Child Trust Fund have increased by £132.00 to £4,260 per child.

April Market Commentary

Introduction

To say that March was a busy month is an understatement.

Russia went to the polls to elect a new President and, in the least surprising result of the year, Vladimir Putin won another six year term. With the Chinese Communist Party removing the rules limiting Xi Jinping to two terms in office, two of the world’s three superpowers now effectively have presidents for life. North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, jumped on the train and headed to Beijing for talks, ahead of his meetings with Moon Jae-in, the South Korean leader, and with Donald Trump. Presumably Kim and Xi Jinping did not discuss sanctions: China is supposedly imposing harsh UN sanctions on North Korea – and yet Kim saw his economy grow by more than 3% last year. ‘Curious and curious-er’ as Alice would have said.

Co-habiting couples – what are the legal rights in the UK

There are a significant number of couples in the UK that choose to co-habit, rather than marry or enter a civil partnership.

If you are co-habiting, you may or may not be aware that you do not have the same rights as a married couple; and contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a ‘common-law marriage’. 

Spring Statement Overview

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond delivered his Spring Statement to Parliament yesterday.

We have produced a summary for you, looking at the broad areas of the economy and the numbers, employment and inflation, public finances, other business measures and what we might see in the future.  You can download our Spring Statement Overview by clicking here.

March Market Commentary

Introduction

“The first month of 2018 was a good one for the major stock markets which we cover in this Bulletin. We report on 12 markets and 11 of them made gains in January – in some cases, spectacular gains, which many investors would regard as more than adequate for a full year.”

Sadly, February was the exact opposite: 10 of the 12 markets on which we report were down in the month, following a global sell-off at the start of February. But that is the nature of savings and investment: stock markets rise and fall. Saving and investing is a long term business: a marathon not a sprint. 

Stock Market Turmoil – February 2018

Following recent stock market falls, we thought it might be useful to set out some notes explaining what has happened and trying to put it into context.

Please click here to read the full summary.

Hopefully this will reassure our clients, but as always if you have any further questions, please contact your Cullen Wealth  Consultant.

February Market Commentary

Introduction 

The first month of 2018 was a good one for the major stock markets which we cover in this Bulletin. We report on 12 markets and 11 of them made gains in January – in some cases, spectacular gains, which many investors would regard as more than adequate for a full year. But sitting alone on the naughty step was the UK: as we shall see below there was plenty of good news for the UK in the month but, dogged by uncertainties over Brexit, continuing doubts about Theresa May and the collapse of Carillion, the FTSE fell 2% in the month. 

What does the nil rate band really mean for me?

Changes to inheritance tax (IHT) came in during 2017, affecting the allowance for those wanting to pass on their home to members of the family. But as the changes are being rolled out over the next few years up to the 2020/21 financial year, it can be hard to know if and how the changes will affect you.

The current amount you’re able to leave in your estate without incurring IHT is £325,000, known as the nil rate band (NRB). Anything above this amount incurs 40% tax, with certain exceptions, such as gifts to charities, being able to lower that percentage. Any transfers between spouses or civil partners are exempt from IHT even if your estate exceeds the NRB, with married or civil partnered couples having £650,000 – twice the NRB limit – to offset against their combined estate.

New Aviva Wrap Terms & Conditions

Select the links below to view the new Aviva terms and conditions applicable to your product.

January Market Commentary

Introduction

Another year seems to have flown by in the space of about five months. December, in particular, seemed to go past in a blur.

It was, however, the month when some progress was, finally, made in the Brexit negotiations. It was also the month when Scotland used its tax-raising powers to increase income tax, when Germany worried about Chinese spies using fake LinkedIn profiles and when yet more sanctions were heaped on the North Korean regime, which were predictably condemned as an ‘act of war’.