The Scottish independence vote – clear economic risks but there may be financial planning opportunities too

Every investor and saver in what is currently the United Kingdom may need their own personal ‘policy’ on Scotland. That certainly applies to UK citizens from Gretna north. But it is increasingly clear that there will be potential economic and … Read More

Posted in Public Policy, Scotland | 3 Comments

Does Neil Woodford’s view on HSBC hold lessons for the wider investing public?

Neil Woodford’s blog can’t have made happy reading for the bosses at HSBC despite what was genuine praise for their management strategy. Mr Woodford’s investors may also have been reassured that a manager, famous for sticking to his guns, is also … Read More

Posted in Banks, Shares | Leave a comment

Taking advantage of the new pension reforms? Careful you don’t pay tax you don’t need to

A recent conversation between Mindful Money and Standard Life’s head of customer affairs Julie Hutchison saw her suggesting that the impact of income tax and pensions is becoming a lot more important and investors more aware. This will certainly be … Read More

Posted in Retirement | Leave a comment

Why are the rail companies allowed to use a redundant (and higher) inflation index to set fares?

Isn’t it time the UK started to use the same measure of inflation for automatic increases in prices, pensions benefits and the rest? The fact that rail fares are to rise by the Retail Prices Index – usually higher than … Read More

Posted in rail fares | Leave a comment

More choice on annuities has to be a good thing

We should give a qualified welcome to Royal London’s decision to offer its investors access to an annuity ‘bureau’ of ten annuity providers. Prior to this, the insurers’ huge customer base of four million people were offered annuities from Prudential … Read More

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Which is better NISA or pension? That really shouldn’t be the question

So will the NISA with its new superpowered £15,000 limit eclipse the pension? Should you as an investor be investing most of your hard earned cash in the new wrapper? It certainly sounds like the NISA has much to recommend … Read More

Posted in NISAs, Pensions | 2 Comments

Bank of England set to grab more powers to calm house prices. What does it mean for borrowers, savers and investors?

The Bank of England is determined to calm the housing market and also determined to find ways of doing so using tools other than interest rates. These days, the Bank and the assorted team of regulators are full of acronyms. … Read More

Posted in House Prices | Leave a comment

There are more income fund managers in the world than Neil Woodford and Mark Barnett

One of the easiest things to predict in fund management is that the next 12 months will bring an extraordinary amount of money flowing into Neil Woodford’s new fund. The less easily answered question is how much his successor at Invesco … Read More

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Retirement guidance has to be designed around real people (not theoretical ones)

Do consumers really care what sort of advice or guidance they receive about their retirement as long as they ultimately do the right thing with their retirement money? The Treasury consultation about such guidance ends today and all manner of … Read More

Posted in Pensions | Leave a comment

The election really shouldn’t be a factor in interest rate policy at the Bank of England

No Monetary Policy Committee member is an island as the poet John Donne did not quite say. Yet the members of the Bank of England’s interest rate setting committee do not exist separate from the country in which they reside … Read More

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