Sorting out finances high on most people’s list

Britons are determined to become more financially savvy about their saving and spending habits this year, with three quarters (76%) of adults admitting they are prepared to moderate their lifestyle, according to a new survey by Standard Life.

Your questions answered

Most people now have more options when it comes to their retirement choices. But generally they’ll still want their pension income to last their lifetime – so careful planning is a must.

It’s not just about picking investments wisely, it’s holding them in the most suitable place

Now that we’ve entered a new tax year, if you are already planning how you are going to fully utilise your current Individual Savings Account (ISA) tax-efficient allowance, it’s not just about picking investments wisely – it’s also important to make sure you hold them in the best place. With this in mind, the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has taken a look at investment company performance data when the full ISA limit is invested. If you had invested a lump sum of £15,000[1] into the average investment company ten years ago, you would now have £38,323.50. This is £6,433.90 more than the same investment in the FTSE All-Share, which would generate £31,889.60.

Funding a post-work life will be difficult without sufficient planning

A new report has revealed a huge gender disparity when it comes to pension savings and income, indicating that funding retirement is likely to be a significant challenge for many women.

In his final Budget speech to parliament on 18 March, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced that Britain was ‘walking tall again’ after five years of austerity.

Year-on-year rise in the number of long-term savers

The UK is becoming a nation of savers, with three quarters (74%) of people saying they are currently saving, research from Scottish Widows has revealed.

What gives specialist sectors an advantage?

The hunt for income has shown no sign of slowing. Alternative assets in areas such as infrastructure, debt and property can offer a high level of income, and, being illiquid assets, they are particularly suited to being held in a closed-ended fund. Indeed, of the 49 investment companies yielding over 5%, 32 (65%) are from specialist sectors[1]. What gives these specialist sectors an advantage when it comes to yield? Why would investors consider these specialist sectors as part of their income portfolio?

Narrowing the knowledge gap for investors

Record-low interest rates are rarely out of the news these days. With UK investors struggling to achieve a decent income from traditional investment sources, it might raise a few eyebrows to learn that less than half can correctly explain the term ‘income investing’.

Companies which have increased their dividends each year for at least 20 years

Interest rates recently marked a sixth year at a record low of 0.5%. Therefore, it is noteworthy that research from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) shows that a fifth (21%) of AIC member investment companies which have been in existence for more than 10 years have raised their dividends for at least 10 years in a row.

Three quarters of UK adults struggle to picture themselves in retirement

UK adults have an average eight-year blind spot when it comes to financial planning – and can only see themselves in the future as far ahead as 2023, new research from long-term savings and investment specialist Standard Life reveals.

Savers positive about pension reforms but concerned about scams

The new pensions freedom rules giving far greater flexibility over what you can do with your pension pot came into force on 6 April 2015.

Why people are applying a rule of thumb when it comes to their retirement

According to new research conducted by YouGov and Old Mutual Wealth, nearly half (48%) of those approaching retirement (aged 55-64) do not know how long their pension income will last. With pension providers reporting demand for flexible withdrawals, there is a significant danger that pension funds could run dry if people do not plan carefully or take professional financial advice.

Living with several pending risk events, liquidity and risk appetite go with the territory

The fundamental environment in emerging markets remains stable. As the market has grown accustomed to living with several pending risk events, liquidity and risk appetite have been creeping back up. Buyers of emerging market mutual funds have been returning to the asset class after the commencement of the ECB’s version of QE.

On 6 April this year, ‘pensions freedom day’, the pension landscape changed forever. From this date for the first time ever, individuals were given complete control over all the money in their ‘defined contribution’ retirement savings plans, whether large or small.

Inheritance Tax matters

Inheritance Tax was introduced in the UK in 1796 and stemmed from the influence of the French Revolution. The concept of IHT was supposed to protect poorer members of society and interrupt the legacy of inherited wealth.