Land values stabilise across most UK regions

The value of residential development land has stabilised across most UK regions after five negative quarters according to Knight Frank’s Residential Land Index.

It’s essential to talk

If you are having difficulty meeting your mortgage repayments or are worried it may become a problem in the future, here is some information which may help you.

Mixed reaction to the latest statistics

There has been a mixed reaction to the latest statistics monitoring take-up of the government’s mortgage rescue scheme. Some reports have focused on the low number of households that have taken up an offer under the scheme. So far, only six households have done so, although more than 5,300 have embarked on the first stage of approaching a local authority to inquire about mortgage rescue.

Easing the financial pressures of a critical illness

A serious illness, such as cancer or heart attack, affects one-in-four women and one-in-five men before retirement age. Critical illness insurance is designed to ease the financial pressures by paying a tax-free lump sum if you become seriously ill or totally disabled. You must normally survive at least one month after becoming critically ill, before the policy will pay out.

Protecting your finances from the return of inflation

Even though the economy has been experiencing deflationary pressures, investors should be very mindful of the return of inflation and the need to factor this into their future plans. Even though inflation may take longer to reach the government’s two per cent target, once there, it could start to rise quickly. As we know, prevention is always better than cure, so what should you be considering today to protect yourself from the return of inflation tomorrow?

Investment solutions for the diverse needs of our clients

We provide solutions for the diverse needs of both our wealthy clients and those who aspire to become wealthy. We provide expertise in financial planning designed to enable our clients to structure their finances as efficiently as possible. One solution that could be very effective when used as part of a diverse investment portfolio is an investment trust.

Make sure that your numbers add up

School fees planning is something that requires a great deal of early thought and preparation. The earlier you start planning, the greater the potential to benefit from investment gains and the greater the choice available about how you can invest in your child’s future education. Having decided to educate your child or children independently, it is important to take appropriate advice to ensure the continuity of their education.

Reducing the risk of acquiring wealth

If you require your money to provide the potential for capital growth or income, or a combination of both, provided you are willing to accept an element of risk pooled investments could just be the solution you are looking for. A pooled investment allows you to invest in a large, professionally managed portfolio of assets with many other investors. As a result of this, the risk is reduced due to the wider spread of investments in the portfolio.

With careful planning, a variety of savers could put offshore investments to good use

For the appropriate investor looking to achieve capital security, growth or income, there are a number of advantages to investing offshore, particularly with regards to utilising the tax deferral benefits. You can defer paying tax for the lifetime of the investment, so your investment rolls up without tax being deducted, but you still have to pay tax at your highest rate when you cash the investment in. As a result, with careful planning, a variety of savers could put offshore investments to good use.

Taking advantage of the increased savings allowance

If you are considering your Individual Savings Account (ISA) options, the good news is that the permitted contribution allowance will be extended for investors over the age of 50 from 6 October this year.

Don’t miss these deadlines

The deadline for submitting your 2008/09 tax return by post is 31 October 2009

Returns filed manually after this date will result in a £100 fine. Paper returns must reach HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by this date so that it can calculate the tax you owe before the 31 January payment deadline. The end of October is also the final submission date for paper returns if you want the tax you owe to be collected through your tax code. This is possible if you owe less than £2,000.

The flexibility to decide on your pension investments at all times

If you want to be more in control of your own pension fund and have the flexibility to make your own investment decisions for retirement, a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) could be one option to discuss with us. Although SIPPs are more sophisticated vehicles for accumulating retirement funds, they are no longer the elite product they once were.

Higher rate taxpayers should talk to us now

If you are a higher rate taxpayer it may be prudent to talk to us sooner rather than later about your retirement planning provision, following remarks made by the government’s pensions spokesman, Lord McKenzie. He refused recently to allay the concerns of individuals earning below £150,000 that they may also see their ability to claim income tax relief on pension contributions restricted by lowering still further the threshold announced during Budget 2009.

Tips to make your finances more financially savvy

Follow our quick guide to structuring your financial affairs more tax-efficiently.

What you need to know

Additional State Pension
The earnings-related part of the State Pension built up in the State Second Pension and/or the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS).