PRIORITISING SHORT-TERM NEEDS AS OPPOSED TO LONG-TERM GOALS

Recent years have brought tremendous change around the globe, change that affects us all. People are trying to navigate this shifting landscape, but it’s not easy.

Effective Inheritance Tax planning could save your beneficiaries thousands of pounds, maybe even hundreds of thousands, depending on the size of your estate. At its simplest, Inheritance Tax is the tax payable on your estate when you die if the value of your estate exceeds a certain amount.

IHT is currently paid on amounts above £325,000 (£650,000 for married couples and registered civil partnerships) for the current 2013/14 tax year, at a rate of 40 per cent. If the value of your estate, including your home and certain gifts made in the previous seven years, exceeds the Inheritance Tax threshold, tax will be due on the balance at 40 per cent.

The diagnosis of a serious illness can mean a very difficult time for your health and your wealth. But critical illness cover can provide vital financial security when you need it most. Most homebuyers purchase life assurance when they arrange a mortgage, but overlook critical illness cover, another form of financial protection that we are statistically more likely to need before reaching retirement.

With so many different protection options available, making the right decision to protect your personal and financial situation can seem overwhelming. There is a plethora of protection solutions which could help ensure that a lump sum, or a replacement income, becomes available to you in the event that it is needed. We can make sure that you are able to take the right decisions to deliver peace of mind for you and your family in the event of death, if you are too ill to work or if you are diagnosed with a critical illness.

The best gift you can ever make to your grandchild or grandchildren this festive period will have a longer-lasting impact

Your grandchild or grandchildren may want the latest toy or gadget this Christmas, but how about giving them a present that can help their financial future? UK tax laws allow children to receive pension contributions of up to £3,600 a year from the moment they are born.

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. 

Risk is an implicit aspect to investing

If you are going to invest you need to be prepared to take some calculated risk in the hope of greater reward. Risk is an implicit aspect to investing, shares can fall, economic conditions can change and companies can experience varying trading fortunes.

Safeguarding your money at a time of low interest rates

How do you generate a reliable income when interest rates are stuck at all-time lows and the Bank of England's quantitative easing policy of printing money is squeezing yields on government bonds (gilts) and other investments? Investors today can still rely on a well-balanced portfolio to meet their needs for income. However, they must be open-minded about the sources of that income, and recognise that low-risk income generation is a thing of the past.

Expanding and contracting in response to demand

Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) are stock market-quoted collective investment schemes. Like investment trusts and unit trusts they invest in a variety of assets to generate a return for investors. They share certain similarities with both investment trusts and unit trusts but there are also key differences.

Leaving your property and possessions to your loved ones

There are compelling financial and emotional reasons for making a will. But why do so many of us shy away from it?

Housing and fuel costs are the largest single expense

The figures show that household costs fluctuate over time, with annual costs peaking at £45,000 when the head of the household is aged between 30 and 49, reflecting the costs of raising children.

One in four retired homeowners hope to raise £62,000 by moving into a smaller home

Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of the UK’s 10.4 million pensioners own their own home, although more than a quarter (26 per cent) expects to sell their property to raise money or simply to make their life easier, according to new research from Prudential.

Wealthier investors taking a long-term view

A Venture Capital Trust (VCT) is a company whose shares trade on the London stock market. A VCT aims to make money by investing in other companies. These are typically very small companies that are looking for further investment to help develop their business. The VCT often invests at an early stage in a company's development, so it is a higher risk investment. This means that the VCTs are aimed at wealthier investors who can afford to take a long-term view and accept falls in the value of their investment.

Not sacrificing your life principles in exchange for chasing the best financial returns

For investors concerned about global warming and other environmental issues, there are a plethora of ethical investments that cover a multitude of different strategies. The terms ethical investment and socially responsible investment (SRI) are often used interchangeably to mean an approach to selecting investments whereby the usual investment criteria are overlaid with an additional set of ethical or socially responsible criteria.

Taking a different approach to investments can generate greater wealth

When it comes to taking investment risk to secure a higher return, those aged 55 and over are most likely to be taking the lead with Stocks & Shares Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), according to research from Standard Life (08 April 2013). Over one in ten (11 per cent) of 55 and overs invest in the stock market via their ISA, compared to just 7 per cent of 35 to 44-year-olds.