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What is a green mortgage?

Back in 2017, the UK government published their Clean Growth Strategy, a report that included plans to work with lenders in order to create “green mortgage products,” that are able to “take account of the lower lending risk associated with more efficient properties and the reduced outgoings for customers living in more efficient homes.” More

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July Market Commentary

market
Introduction Many of you will know the old stock market adage: ‘Sell in May and go away, and come on back on St. Leger’s Day.’  The theory was that with everyone out of London for the summer season there was little business to be done and the stock market drifted lower. These days, of course,

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Neil Woodford and the lessons it tells us

If you read the financial press, this is big news. ‘Star fund manager’, Neil Woodford, stopped investors withdrawing money out of his Woodford Equity Income Fund on 4th June, after the sum total of investment withdrawn from the fund reached a staggering £560m in less than four weeks. Kent County Council wanted to withdraw a

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May markets in brief

market
The calm of the previous month ended sharply as May began, with Brexit arguments rolling on, the UK Prime Minister resigning, the European elections crushing the main parties, and Donald Trump imposing tariffs on Mexico and China. There was some positive light, however, from the emerging markets, with India, Russia and Brazil seeing economic gains.

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Gifting rules and inheritance tax

Following an in depth study conducted by the National Centre for Social Research (NCSR) and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), it has been discovered that only one in four people making financial gifts are aware of the risks of inheritance tax. Further to this, they found that only 45% of gifters reported being aware

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Make the most of diversification.

Diversification is a word that seems to get tossed around a lot in conversations around savings and investment. We hear it often, but what does it mean? Put simply, diversification is a risk management strategy that mixes a variety of investments within a portfolio. Through having different kinds of assets in a portfolio, the goal

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“UK Tax system is unfair,” say small businesses

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) conducted a tax survey throughout January and February of 2019 that produced some interesting findings. The survey covered more than 1,000 businesses across the UK, 96 per cent of which were SMEs with fewer than 250 employees; 68 per cent of the businesses were in the service sector and

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Defined Contribution vs Defined Benefit

As defined contribution pension plans overtake defined benefit (in terms of money paid into schemes) for the first time ever, more and more people are taking an interest in how the two differ and the relationship between them. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has reported that in 2018, employee contributions for defined contribution pension

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Auto-Enrolment changes put pressure on SMBs

April 2019 saw the increase of minimum contributions to auto-enrolment pensions from 5 per cent of wages to 8 per cent. With employers now required to contribute 3 per cent, rather than their previous 1 per cent, the Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) has warned that this could put “substantial” pressure on small businesses. The

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House of Lords urges Government to scrap triple lock

The triple lock guarantee currently secures the rise of state pension payments at the beginning of each tax year. However, after an investigation by the Select Committee on Intergenerational Fairness and Provision, a case has been made for the removal of the guarantee. In its report, Tackling Intergenerational Unfairness, the committee outlined that the maintenance

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