Posts by Richard Jackson

US Government Bonds: Riding out investment bends

US Government Bonds

Professional investor interest has been focusing on US government bonds, with potential lessons for long term investment.  On 22 March the US stock market caught a sudden – and brief – chill.  One of the main reasons was the red line in the graph shown below. This shows a yield curve plot, which shows the return…

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A popular peak for venture capital trusts

VCT funds at a peak

Figures recently released for last tax year show the highest level of VCT investment since 2005/06.  The Association of Investment Companies was quick off the mark after 5 April in announcing a near record level of fund raising for venture capital trusts (VCTs) in 2018/19. At £731m, 2018/19 VCT investment just beat the 2017/18 figure…

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Chinese investments: the ripple effect widens

It is not only Chinese mainland shares which are now attracting investor attention.  Over the past few years, the relevance of shares quoted on the mainland Chinese stock exchanges to global investors has grown considerably. China has opened access to its share markets via the Shanghai-Hong Kong and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock connect schemes. As we…

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Pension planning: How long do you want to work…?

Pension planning. Pension planning - More peopleworking past the age of 65

As people are living longer, a parallel older-age profile is emerging in the labour force.  Labour market statistics for the period of December 2018 to February 2019 revealed some impressive results. In the UK, employment of those aged 16–64 was running at 76.1%, the joint highest level ever and up 0.7% on a year ago. …

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Happy birthday, dear ISA

The ISA or individual savings account is 20 years old this April.

April 6 marked the twentieth birthday of the Individual Savings Account or ISA.  When the ISA was introduced in 1999, many thought it to be little more than a rebranding of the two schemes it replaced: the Personal Equity Plan (PEP) and Tax Exempt Savings Account (TESSA). The following 20 years have proved ISAs to…

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Life expectancy – we’re living longer, but…

Life expectancy in the UK is to improving as rapidly as predicted - obesity is part of the problem.

A recent report shows that life expectancy is still improving, but not as quickly as was once expected.  “British life expectancy falls by SIX MONTHS for men and women”  That was one recent headline in response to the latest report of the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. While it was…

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The lesson from the loan tax charge

Deadline for IR35 Crackdown

The controversy surrounding the loan charge deadline is a reminder of the dangers of aggressive tax planning. If you were offered a way of being paid a ‘salary’ that involved no income tax and no national insurance contributions (NICs), what would you think? In the late 1990s and early 2000s, many contractors and consultants were…

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China emerges on to the investment stage

Prospects for the Chinese Stock Market in 2019

The importance of China’s stock market is set to quadruple in 2019.   China has been at the forefront of the headlines recently, whether about the protracted trade dispute with the US, the alleged dangers of using Huawei’s 5G equipment or the first landing of a spacecraft on the far side of the moon. The ‘Middle…

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An overshadowed Spring Statement

The Chancellor’s Spring Statement was almost obscured by other events in mid-March – the most obvious being Brexit. Ever since he announced a move to an Autumn Budget in 2016, Mr Hammond has made it clear that he wanted to avoid the Spring Statement counterpart becoming a mini-Budget. His vision was that in March he…

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HICBC: Protecting the state pension for stay-at-home parents

The HICBC may cause national insurance problems for stay at home parents.

An issue concerning how the high-income child benefit charge (HICBC) can potentially affect stay-at-home parents has emerged.  The HICBC claws back child benefit payments where either parent has income over £50,000 a year and removes the benefit entirely if either parent has income over £60,000. For couples where one person earns over £60,000 whilst the…

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