The highest first half on record

According to the Investment Management Association (IMA), net retail sales of funds of funds (an investment strategy of holding a portfolio of other investment funds rather than investing directly in shares, bonds or other securities) totalled £3.8bn for the first six months of the year, the highest first half on record.

Do you want more control over where your money is invested?

Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) were introduced in 1989 to give those planning for retirement greater control over where their pension fund is invested. Essentially, a SIPP is a pension wrapper that is capable of holding investments and providing you with the same tax advantages as other personal pension plans.

Choosing the right cover can help ease your financial pressures

You really need to find the right peace of mind when faced with the difficulty of dealing with a critical illness. Critical illness cover is a long-term insurance policy designed to pay you a tax-free lump sum on the diagnosis of certain life-threatening or debilitating (but not necessarily fatal) conditions, such as a heart attack, stroke, certain types/stages of cancer and multiple sclerosis. A more comprehensive policy will cover many more serious conditions, including loss of sight, permanent loss of hearing and a total and permanent disability that stops you from working. Some policies also provide cover against the loss of limbs.

Rise in the number of older people selling their homes

Falling pension incomes and the rising cost of living have led to a rise in the number of older people selling their homes and moving into rental properties in order to fund their retirement, according to latest research.

Creating a wider spread of investments in your portfolio

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.

Consolidating your pension plans

The reasons people transfer their pensions vary, with some looking for better fund performance and lower charges, and others having been made redundant. If you have a number of pensions from previous employers you should obtain professional advice as it may be appropriate to consolidate them, although this will depend on a number of different factors you’ll need to discuss in full.

New figures reveal the best-performing investment sectors

We understand that choosing investments can be difficult, so we are here to support you in making your investment decisions. Whether you’re a first-time or an experienced investor, we can help you explore your options.

Passing on wealth in a tax-efficient manner

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is an issue affecting increasing numbers of households across the country. Changes introduced in Chancellor Alistair Darling’s pre-Budget report in October 2007 have made it possible for couples and civil partners to combine their individual IHT allowances, so that it is easier for them to protect their families’ inheritance.

Keeping pace with the growing size of an ageing population

The funding of long-term care remains one of the biggest public policy challenges facing the government. As the baby-boomer generation grows older, it is estimated that spending on social care needs to double in real terms over the next twenty years just to keep pace with the growing size of the ageing population.

Is your cash struggling to keep pace with inflation?

The current low interest rates are good news for mortgage repayments but not so good if you are relying on your savings to produce an income. If you are a saver rather than a borrower, you will have noticed the interest you are receiving has fallen some way in recent years.

Obtaining the right advice and knowing which products to choose is the key

Making sure you have the correct amount of life assurance will enable you to protect your loved ones from having to deal with your financial burdens. That’s why obtaining the right advice and knowing which products to choose - including the most suitable sum assured, premium, terms and payment provisions - is essential.

Proposals announced to unravel a raft of complicated tax laws

Life could be about to get easier for the retired. The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) will turn its attention to pensioners in an attempt to unravel a raft of complicated tax laws relating to them.

Choosing the right cover can help ease your financial pressures

You really need to find the right peace of mind when faced with the difficulty of dealing with a critical illness. Critical illness cover is a long-term insurance policy designed to pay you a tax-free lump sum on the diagnosis of certain life-threatening or debilitating (but not necessarily fatal) conditions, such as a heart attack, stroke, certain types/stages of cancer and multiple sclerosis.

Do you have control over what happens to your estate, both immediately after your death and for generations to come?

Following the changes introduced by the Finance Act 2006 trusts still remain an important estate planning mechanism. A trust arrangement can ensure that your wealth is properly managed and distributed after your death, so that it provides for the people who depend on you and is enjoyed by your heirs in the way you intend.

Without proper tax planning, could you end up leaving a huge tax liability?

In order to protect family and loved ones, it is essential to have provisions in place after you’re gone. The easiest way to prevent unnecessary tax payments such as Inheritance Tax is to organise your tax affairs by obtaining professional advice and having a valid will in place to ensure that your legacy does not involve just leaving a large Inheritance Tax bill for your loved ones.