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Drawdown – your Flexible Friend

Traditionally, one of the biggest bones of contention with pensions – both from advisers and savers alike – was the compulsion to take an annuity from your pension fund at age 75. Money was locked away in a pension fund and then you had to take an annuity.

August market commentary

Last year it was Greece: this year, it’s Spain. Summer comes around, and with it comes another European country in crisis. On July 23rd the Spanish government had to ban short-selling of shares, bond yields reached unprecedented levels and it looked like the whole country – not just the banks – would need a bailout....

The morality of avoiding or evading taxation

What a window of opportunity for the British taxpayer and ‘non-taxpayer’ to reflect on their perceptions of the morality of people in the UK who avoid or evade paying tax!

Difficult choices – ISAs or Pension savings?

In the UK, we may be putting more savings into stocks and shares ISAs than into personal pensions. Reporting on savings trends in the 2010/2011 tax year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said savers put £14.3bn into personal pensions in that tax year, compared with £15.8bn into stocks and shares ISAs. This compares with...

A Monthly Treasury Prescription to Cure our Ills?

In each of the first three months of 2012, HM Treasury announced a specific new measure to tackle tax avoidance. The moves are all incorporated in the 2012 Finance Bill, published after the Budget at the end of March. In the bill, tackling over £1bn of tax avoidance and evasion is one of the five...

Government’s spending plans adjusted

In a speech to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to its fiscal consolidation and set out new, tougher spending rules to ensure delivery of its spending plans. This ‘adjustment’ comes just one month after the 2012 Budget and the subsequent Finance Bill publication.

Financial Planning and Divorce

No-one who is going through a divorce finds the process easy: it’s long, messy and almost always painful. Even if there are no children involved, divorce is a procedure that takes its toll on both sides: the acrimony, the paperwork – and the inevitable meetings with your solicitor.

May Market Commentary

Wednesday April 25th must have been the morning David Cameron felt like phoning in sick. The Office of National Statistics officially confirmed that a shock 0.2% contraction in growth had pushed the UK into its first double dip recession since the 1970s. Meanwhile the Leveson Inquiry rumbled on with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt facing calls to...

GDP Growth – Third Quarter 2012

Provisional estimates show that quarterly GDP in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) area grew by 0.2% in the third quarter of 2012, the same rate as in the previous quarter, but with continuing diverging patterns across countries. The growth is seen by many as a key economic performance indicator of significance globally...