Check out our latest thoughts and insights on a variety of financial topics

What can we expect in Labour's first 100 days?

With a majority of over 200 and a weight of expectations, what happens next for Sir Kier Starmer’s new Labour government? 

The importance of the first 100 days of a new government cannot be understated. Within that period the new incumbent has the greatest political capital to take bold actions, as well as the greatest opportunity to lay the blame for ‘inherited’ problems on its predecessor.  

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Clampdown on greenwashing of investment funds

New rules have come into force governing the claims made by sustainable funds.

As sustainable investing has grown in popularity, the issue of ‘greenwashing’ has moved into the spotlight. However, investors, turned fund detectives, have discovered that funds with ‘sustainable’, ‘environmental’ or similar labels are buying shares in companies which do not match the branding. Elsewhere, some sustainable funds seem to differ little from their ordinary counterparts, with perhaps just the obvious red flags, such as the oil majors, excluded.

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A new Labour government: What's next?

After 14 years of Conservative rule, Labour has taken the reins under Keir Starmer with a massive majority as the electoral map shifted from blue to decisive red on 4 July.

The last time the Labour Party replaced a Conservative government, within a few days it sprung an economic surprise that nobody saw coming – granting independence to the Bank of England. Just over 27 years later, no such shock move seems likely, but with Labour’s key message a promise of change, what lies ahead?

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FIRE: Financial independence, retire early. Could you?

Do you dream of retiring much earlier than your peers?

Many ideas which originated in the US have made their way across the Atlantic. The latest financial innovation to join index-tracking investments, budgeting apps and exchange traded funds is the FIRE movement – Financial Independence, Retire Early.

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How to buy a house for first-time buyers

Calling all first-time buyers... 

If you’re ready to buy a house and take that all important first step on the property ladder, then this one’s for you. Maybe you want to start viewing properties, but don't know what you can afford? Have you got your decision in principle ready for when you want to make an offer? Have you budgeted for stamp duty and solicitor fees? 

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Are interest rates heading down?

Central banks around the world are beginning to cut interest rates with the European Central Bank leading the way. 

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3 ways we can help with your Pension Sharing Order

Divorce is a difficult time, with a lot to sort out and even more associated costs. If you’ve been given a Pension Sharing Order, it’s probably not at the top of your to do list right now... but you know it will need to be soon.

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General election 2024: Initial tax plans

It’s early days yet, but some pointers on tax have emerged from both the main parties.

Within one week of the surprise firing of the general election starting gun, both the Conservatives and Labour have been promoting their tax plans. We can expect more to emerge in the coming weeks and in the manifestos, which will probably appear during the second week of June.

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If inflation is down, why does it still feel so high?

April’s yearly inflation figure fell from 0.9% to 2.3%, so why does inflation still feel high? 

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State pension age rise for anyone born after 1978

The State pension age (SPA) should rise much faster than planned, accordng to an independent report. 

Despite the next SPA rise beginning in less than two years (with the phased increase to 67 ending April 2028), neither of the main political parties are likely to say much about further SPA changes in their upcoming election manifestos. 

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Changes to the child benefit tax rules

The recent Spring Budget brought a few surprises – one of them being the change to how child benefit is taxed for higher earners. 

The high income child benefit charge (HICBC or ‘hicbic’) was introduced in January 2013 to reduce child benefit payments for higher earners. It was considered an arbitrary piece of legislation by some as the charge was triggered where one individual had income exceeding £50,000. A couple with income of £49,999 each were unaffected, but a single parent with income of £60,000 lost all their child benefit. 

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Key announcements from the Spring Budget 2024

Last week’s Spring Budget was almost certainly the last before the election, and whilst it delivered a lot of expected headlines, there were still a handful of small surprises. 

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The problem with working past State Pension Age

Recent research on planned retirement ages has produced some unexpected and perhaps unrealistic results.  

A recent survey revealed that almost half of Britons under 66 who had not already retired were expecting to continue working beyond the age at which they would start to receive the State pension. The average age at which many said they would finally be able to ‘clock off’ was 72.  

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Women in finance: Inspiring inclusion with equal opportunities

International Women’s Day 2024 is all about inspiring inclusion. When it comes to finance, we believe that representation is crucial in driving change; the more women are seen working within traditionally male environments - especially at senior leadership levels - the more inclusive those environments tend to become.  

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How much money do you need in retirement?

New research has put some surprising numbers on the income needed in retirement. 

Each year since 2019, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has set about answering the question of how much retirement costs for couples and single retirees.

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