Benefits of a Trust?

There are many different kinds of trusts; bare trusts, mixed trusts, interest-in-possession trusts, and accumulation and maintenance trusts. While they each differ slightly in the way they work, they all basically do the same job.  They allow the owner of an asset (the settlor), to distribute or donate it (or confer benefit from it) to…

December Market Commentary


November was a relatively disappointing month for world stock markets, with the majority of the markets we cover in this commentary losing ground in the month, however, the largest fall was just 3% so there were no real disasters. Pride of place went to the Dow Jones index in the US, which was up by 4% in the month as the President toured the Far East, intent on doing ever more trade deals.

The big event in the UK was Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Budget, but of rather more long-term significance might have been the launch of yet another missile by North Korea. The government in Pyongyang said that the ICBM brought “the whole of the USA” within range: back from the Far East, Donald Trump said that he “would take care of it”. The rest of the world watched on and worried…

Amending a Will?

You have at long last got round to preparing your Last Will and Testament, and that’s ‘job done’ – or is it?

If you write your will earlier in your life than at the last moment, it is highly likely that you will need to update it from time to time, as things change in your life and around you. 

November Market Commentary


What’s the saying? ‘Close, but no cigar’. That’s how it was in October as all but two of the markets we cover rose in the month. Brazil’s market did manage to stagger up by just 14 points, meaning it was unchanged in percentage terms, but the Russian stock market let the side down, falling back by 1% in October.

While the stock markets were having a good month, the Brexit talks were having another stagnant month. Having been to Florence in late September, Mrs May then went and pressed the flesh in Brussels, but the warm words soon gave way to more bickering about the UK’s divorce bill. With the date for the UK’s departure from the EU another month closer, talks about a post-EU trade deal are nowhere near starting.

Saving enough for your children’s university education?

Recent figures from the Institute of Fiscal Studies suggest that the average total debt incurred by today’s university students over the duration of their studies amounts to £51,000. The new figure comes as those in higher education see the interest rate on student loans rise to 6.1% in September, despite the Bank of England base rate remaining at its lowest ever figure of just 0.25%. The rise means that students will now typically have mounted up £5,800 of interest by the time they graduate.

Total student debt in the UK has now risen to £100 billion, a figure higher than the nation’s total credit card debt.

How to boost your retirement income

We are all living longer and so it’s becoming more important than ever to make your retirement income go further. Here are some tips how to boost your income.

Minimise your tax bill

How you draw benefits from a pension can affect the amount of tax you pay, so it’s important to consider how you make any withdrawals.

October Market Commentary

Introduction Well, we’re still here. Despite the seemingly best efforts of the leaders of the United States and North Korea – the world is still turning. But September was a month of ‘another day, another North Korean rocket flying over Japan’ and it ended with Kim Jong-un threatening to explode a nuclear bomb over the…

The curse of long-term cash!

There is nothing wrong with holding wealth in the form of cash on a short-term basis. For many people capital stability is important and access to ready cash is part of prudent financial planning. But when short-term holdings of cash turn into a long-term investment we should be seriously concerned.

Large holdings of cash are vulnerable to bouts of unexpected inflation, like the 1970s, or long periods with interest rates well below the rate of inflation – like today.  

The Junior SIPP – a tax effective investment for your child

If you’re looking for a way to save on behalf of your children, it’s likely that you’ll think of opening either a children’s savings account or a junior individual savings account, usually known as a Junior ISA or JISA. Whilst these can offer competitive rates, as well as being opened in your child’s name, there…

September Market Commentary

Introduction It is hard to start this commentary anywhere other than North Korea – or maybe crouching in Japan as a North Korean missile passes overhead. At the beginning of the month, Kim Jong-un threatened to bomb Guam, the US territory in the Western Pacific, and by the end of the month air raid sirens…