Interest rates double since March 2020

Interest rates double since March

No, the headline is not wrong…  Interest rates matter. At the personal finance end of the spectrum, they determine what you earn from bank deposits (virtually nothing at present) and what interest you pay on your mortgage (about 4.4% if you are paying the average standard variable rate (SVR), but much less for most other…

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Tax planning: Prepare for the new tax year

Tax planning: start now for next year

Taking some time to start planning for 2021/22 now can be worthwhile.   While there is often a focus on planning for the end of the tax year, much less attention is paid to the start of the tax year. The lack of an obvious deadline is probably one reason – deadlines tend to concentrate the…

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Four financial lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic

Investors have key lessons to learn after the Covid-19 pandemic

As the pandemic enters its second year, what have we learned?  The World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020, coincidentally the day that Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented his first Budget. At the time, the Chancellor announced a £12bn stimulus to counter the impact of the pandemic. By November, the Office of…

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First-time buyer deposits rise after Covid-19 property boom

The average deposit paid by first-time homebuyers jumped by £10,000 in 2020. When the pandemic took hold in the first half of last year, it looked as if the housing market was headed for a fall, if not something more dramatic. There were problems about viewing properties, arranging surveys, organising removals – you name it,…

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UK dividends: A bad 2020, but a better 2021?

Hopes for UK dividends in 2021

New data show how far UK dividends fell last year, but projections for 2021 suggest the declines are nearly over.   In January 2021, Link Asset Services published its latest UK Dividend Monitor covering the final quarter of 2020 and the year as a whole. The headline figure was that total dividends fell by 44% over…

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