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Quantitative Easing: what is it? And how does it work?

We’ve all heard the term ‘quantitative easing.’ With the global economy seemingly in a state of crisis for the last five years it’s been hard not to. But what is quantitative easing? How does it work? Why do the central banks use it – and what does it mean for you? Clearly, many of the...

October market commentary

‘No news is good news’ as the old saying goes – or as world stock markets interpreted it in September, ‘No catastrophic news is good enough, thank you.’ Clearly all is still not well with the world’s economy, but there were no full blown crises in September and most stock markets took this as their...

September Market Commentary

Anyone remember August 2007? Kanye West was number one with Stronger, Sven-Goran Eriksson was Premier League manager of the month – and the world was having a financial crisis. August 2007 was “when the world changed” according to Adam Applegarth, the ex-CEO of Northern Rock. It was the month when the US Federal Reserve and...

Higher rate pension savers missing out on tax relief

Figures from HMRC show that 55 per cent of the estimated 900,000 higher rate taxpayers in the UK contribute to defined contribution pension schemes.

9 financial planning steps pre retirement

For most of us, it’s simple. Go to work every month, get paid, have a look at the pension deduction on your wage slip. Once a year you receive a pension update that you don’t really understand. Oh well, pop it in the drawer with all the other updates…

Auto Enrolment – what it means for employers

Call it what you will – ‘crisis’ and ‘time bomb’ are two of the most widely used phrases – the fact that a major problem with pensions is looming has long been acknowledged in the UK. The simple fact is that outside the public sector, most people are simply not making adequate provision for their...

The increasing cost of private education

Private school fees have increased by an average of 68% in the past decade, a rate of growth almost twice the rate of increase in the Retail Price Index (37%) over the same period, according to recent research by Lloyds TSB Private Banking.

Waking up to retirement income reality

A recent national survey by Opinium Research looked into the expectations that people have about their income after retiring from work. The survey gathered respondents’ opinions according to age and gender across three age ranges – under35’s; 35–54 years and over 55’s, and in relation to ten potential retirement funding areas.

Saving for retirement – the time is now

A recent survey, conducted by Friends Life, has revealed that the vast majority (89%) of those enrolled in the company’s corporate pension scheme would advise starting to save for retirement before the age of 25.

The Gender Directive is coming

After a legal challenge, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that ‘gender discrimination’ is illegal when deciding how much people pay for their insurance and the income they receive from their pensions when they retire. There are now changes to the UK Equality Act to implement the judgement – the Gender Directive, by the...