Our Latest News

Our Latest News

Our aim is to keep clients fully informed of the latest developments within global markets as well as providing articles on personal finance, investments, savings and pensions.

To go straight to our latest Independent News magazine, previous articles, or guides for our clients, check out the sections on the left.

November 23, 2014

Autumn Statement. Good news for house buyers

Following the Budget last March that introduced significant changes to savings and pensions, the final Autumn Statement before the General Election next year saw the Chancellor George Osborne overhaul the stamp duty system. The changes come into effect immediately and will, it is claimed, improve things for 98% of house buyers.

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November 6, 2014

Where there’s no will

Last month, radical changes to the intestacy rules were introduced, representing the biggest change to the intestacy laws since they were introduced in 1925.

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October 20, 2014

Your pension as a bank account

On Tuesday last week, the chancellor George Osborne put forward the Taxation of Pensions Bill, which gave further details of the revolutionary pension reforms first announced in the Budget back in March. Amongst the proposals, the chancellor announced that people will be able to use their pension pots “like bank accounts”, withdrawing money whenever they choose.

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October 19, 2014

Scotland says ‘no’.

Yesterday Scotland voted no to independence by a 10.6% margin, higher than predicted by any of the various polls. The final result saw 55.3% voting ‘no’ and 44.7% ‘yes’.

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October 10, 2014

Taking the rough with the smooth

Despite the UK economy doing well, the stock market has seen further falls this week, since the peaks reached in September. Revised figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the economy grew slightly faster than first thought in the second quarter of 2014, up 0.9% rather than 0.8%. The ONS figures also show that the UK economy overtook its pre-recession peak earlier than thought, surpassing it in the third quarter of 2013 rather than the second quarter of 2014 as previously stated.

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October 1, 2014

No more pensions ''death tax''

Earlier this year, the government announced momentous changes to the pension rules. And now there is more good news, with major changes being introduced to the tax treatment of pensions on death.

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September 5, 2014

ECB cuts interest rates

At a time when talk in the UK is of when interest rates will rise, the European Central Bank (ECB) caught markets on the hop with cuts to its three main interest rates. The headline rate was lowered to 0.05% and the deposit rate to -0.2%. The Bank of England meanwhile left rates unchanged again this month.

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September 1, 2014

Emerging markets re-emerging?

According to FE Analytics, one of the leading providers of investment data, Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, is the leading performer out of all the investment sectors this year, rising 10.1%. The global emerging markets sector has risen 7.8%. By way of contrast, the FTSE All-Share Index has been more or less flat over the year.

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August 18, 2014

Sitting on top of the world

On Friday, it was reported that the UK economy grew by 3.2% in the second quarter compared with the same period last year. This is slightly higher than the original estimate of 3.1% and means the economy is growing at its fastest pace since 2007.

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August 4, 2014

Pensions revolution under way

The radical pensions changes, announced back in the March budget by Chancellor George Osborne, were given approval on 21 July 2014. The main thrust of the proposals have been adopted in full and a few other areas have been clarified somewhat.

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July 8, 2014

Some Nisa investment options

There were some interesting statistics in the Daily Telegraph recently, which amongst other things, pointed out that eight out of ten of the 23 million Isa investors choose cash accounts rather than opting for stocks and shares Isas.

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July 1, 2014

Isas just got Nisa

With effect from today, the new Isa rules come into play. The result is a transformation in the way Isa schemes work, providing much more flexibility along with significantly larger tax-free allowances.

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June 13, 2014

What not to do when investing

When it comes to investing, it is quite easy to get advice from people – financial advisers, journalists, friends. They will be only too happy to tell you what to do. However, this article is a little different in that it tells you what not to do. Here are a few of the ‘don’ts’ that could well be worth remembering.

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June 2, 2014

Two new funds out in June

‘Sell in May and go away. Come back on St Leger’s Day’. So goes the old adage and it is obviously one to ponder as we enter the month of June.

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May 19, 2014

Investment prospects – bullish or bearish? Half full or half empty?

There has been a lot of good news recently on the financial and economic fronts. Business confidence in the UK is rising and the markets have been performing well. Elsewhere, industrial output figures suggest that the Eurozone is recovering, whilst the US Dow Jones index ended the month of April at a record level. Even the Spanish economy grew – and at its fastest rate since 2008. So it would seem that we are in a glass half full phase.

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May 15, 2014

Will the UK economy win the World Cup?

"Securing the recovery is like making it through the qualifying rounds of the World Cup - it's a real achievement, but not the end goal. The prize in the economy is sustained and prolonged growth."

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April 16, 2014

Inflation down, wages up

The UK inflation rate has fallen from 2.8% a year ago to 1.6% in March 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It is now at its lowest rate since October 2009.

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April 8, 2014

UK the fastest growing economy in the G7 this year?

According to the latest World Economic Outlook forecast from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UK looks set to be the fastest growing major economy this year. Inflation has stabilised, unemployment is down, and consumer confidence is up, keeping the UK on track to post its strongest growth since 2007.

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April 1, 2014

Some immediate pension changes

The budget saw some dramatic headline changes on the pension’s front, but some of these changes don’t come into play until next April 2015, partly to give pension providers time to adjust their systems and practices.

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March 7, 2014

Don’t worry – be happy!

A couple of recent surveys by Scottish Widows are quite revealing about the nation’s psyche as well as behaviour when it comes to financial matters in general – and retirement in particular.

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February 14, 2014

Interest rates to stay low for a while yet

Announcing on Wednesday what he called “phase two” of forward guidance, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, stated that interest rates are unlikely to rise before 2015, as the Bank believes the economy is not yet strong enough to support an increase.

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February 10, 2014

Mortgages. Is it time to get your fix?

Mortgage rates have started to rise again, with five-year fixed rate mortgages moving up from their record lows. This is partly down to the improving economy, plus expectations that interest rates will now rise sooner rather than later.

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February 1, 2014

UK economy grows at fastest rate since 2007

The UK economy grew by 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013, bringing the annual growth rate to 1.9%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS said that this was the UK's fastest annual rate of growth since 2007.

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January 22, 2014

Ups and downs – but all in a good way.

It has been a good start to the year for the UK in economic terms. The latest figures and reports show that not only is inflation coming down but unemployment is also down, whilst IMF predictions suggest that the economy is certainly on the up.

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January 20, 2014

How to make a mint. Or not?

At the start of the noughties, some investors built their portfolios with BRICs – investing in the then emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The past decade has worked out fairly well for them. However, several commentators believe that the BRIC markets are beginning to overheat and some investors are starting to look for new emerging market investment opportunities.

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January 17, 2014

Possible annuity changes as income drawdown on the rise?

In a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph, Steve Webb, the pensions minister, spelled out his vision for an overhaul of how pensions work. The essence of his plan is that he wants pensioners to be able to switch to better annuities regularly in the same way that homeowners can change their mortgage deals every few years. The aim is to avoid the situation where pensioners are trapped in potentially poor-value schemes until they die.

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News Feed

18/8/2017

Northern, Southern and Merseyrail strikes set for September

The RMT said no progress had been made over the future of the role of guards, due to safety and job loss fears.

18/8/2017

Black ownership rules polarise S African mining sector

Will the South African government's attempt at redressing inequalities in the mining industry actually destroy it?