Household finance – keep your money where it belongs

Help save your pennies with these household finance tips

With inflation hitting 6.2% in February and outstripping wage growth, make sure you are paying attention to what’s happening to your money. We explore some ways to help keep your money where it belongs. Household finance tip 1: Make sure you have the right tax code Now that the new tax year has started, it…

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An unexpected first quarter for 2022 for world’s share markets

World share market performance in the first quarter of 2022

Despite the numerous shocks that occurred in the first quarter of 2022, the world’s share markets held up surprisingly well.  INDEX Q1 2022 CHANGE FTSE 100 + 1.78% FTSE 250 – 9.88% Dow Jones Industrial – 4.57% Standard & Poor’s 500 – 4.95% Nikkei 225 – 3.37% Euro Stoxx 50 (€) – 9.21% Shanghai Composite…

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A 30-year high: The rising price of surging inflation

As the UK’s inflation surges to 30-year high, double-digit price increases could be on the horizon.

As inflation hits a 30-year high in the UK, double-digit price increases could be on the horizon.  At the start of 2021 inflation, measured by the CPI yardstick, was running at a benign 0.7%, having been driven down by the impact of the pandemic. A year later, the rate had jumped to 5.5%, close to…

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Can the child benefit charge be fixed?

A recent review by the OTS has put a major question mark over HMRC’s approach to collecting tax on child benefit, with nearly 100,000 people suspected of not paying the correct amount.

A critical review of how the government taxes child benefit has raised a major question mark over HMRC’s approach to collecting payments.  Child benefit tax, or the High-Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) to use its legal name, is a case study in how not to introduce and operate a tax. It was designed as a…

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National Insurance changes causing confusion

Changes to NI Contributions are causing confusion

The changes to national insurance contributions (NICs) announced in the Spring Statement in March were not straightforward. Let’s set the record straight.  In his Spring Statement – or was it a mini-Budget? – the Chancellor announced several changes to NICs aimed at reducing the impact of the 1.25 percentage points increase in the rates that…

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Quantitative tightening: a reversal of fortunes?

Quantitative easing is about to go into reverse as the Bank of England grapples with the strongest inflation in 40 years. So what will that mean for your investments?

One of the defining financial strategies of the last 13 years – quantitative easing – is about to go into reverse. The Bank of England will slowly trim its £9 trillion portfolio throughout 2022, but only time will tell when it comes to the impact on personal investments.  Source: Bank of England.  What happens when…

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Whatever happened to the wealth tax?

A proposed new wealth tax to counter the cost of the Covid-19 pandemic was the talk of the financial pages not so long ago. Now it has disappeared… or has it?

A new wealth tax to counter the cost of the Covid-19 pandemic was the talk of the financial pages not so long ago. Now it has disappeared… or has it?  By the end of 2020, as the huge cost of the Covid-19 pandemic became clear, there was much discussion about the introduction of a wealth…

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New reforms are set to simplify divorce in England and Wales

From 6 April, divorce will become easier thanks to a change in the law, but even if a split is amicable, independent financial advice is still essential.

Divorce will become easier thanks to a change in the law from 6 April, but even with a more amicable split, financial advice is still vital.  Divorce rules in England and Wales will soon undergo their most radical reform since the introduction of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act became…

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Repayment of student loans: another freeze… and worse

The government has announced new changes to the student loan repayment threshold and repayment period, a move that will see more loans paid off in full. What will changes to repayments of student loans mean for student debt in your family?

The government is turning the financial screws on student loans and is set to claw back £2.3 billion under the guise of high inflation. These changes pose a significant, and potentially expensive, dilemma for those with student debt. ‘Fiscal drag’ is an unpleasant sounding economic term that you will probably experience first-hand in 2022 and beyond.…

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Learning lessons from the UK dividends bounce back

UK dividends payments rebounded by 46% in 2021

New research shows that UK dividend payments rebounded strongly in 2021, but still remain below their pre-pandemic level. The experience of the last two years holds important lessons for investors. 2020 was a grim year for anyone who relied on UK company dividends as a source of income. The total dividend payments from UK plc fell…

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