Lessons from London Capital & Finance

One of the last decade’s more infamous financial scandals has finally reached a conclusion.  The name of London Capital & Finance Plc (LCF) sounds impressive, but the business behind it was anything but. In the late 2010s, LCF issued ‘mini-bonds’, raising capital from individual investors to lend on to small businesses. LCF offered rates of…

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An investment sector reshuffle

The fund performance league tables have gained over 530 new funds since April.  In the middle of April, the trade body of investment managers, the Investment Association, made a radical revamp to its fund sectors. As a result, many of the investment performance league tables have been changed subtly, even though the performance of the…

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Retirement in 2021… or beyond

A recent survey of people who have or plan to retire in 2021 provides interesting insights, whatever your intended retirement year. The average age of people planning to retire in 2021 is 60, according to a recently published survey by investment manager, Standard Life Aberdeen. That is six years before current state pension age, which…

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Are ISAs past their best-before dates?

The ISA is now 20 years old - it it past its sell-by date

The role of Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) has changed since they were launched over 20 years ago, so are they still worth having?  Since ISAs were introduced in April 1999 the ISA portfolio has been extended to include: Junior ISAs (for the under-18s). Help to Buy ISAs (no longer on sale). Innovative Finance ISAs (for crowdfunding…

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Tax Day 2021

The Spring Budget on 3 March was not the end of the taxing story. The run up to the March Budget was accompanied by much press speculation about changes to capital gains tax (CGT), inheritance tax (IHT) and pension tax relief. The first two had been the subject of reports from the Office of Tax…

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ESG comes into its own

ESG is an important factor in investment decisions

Three letters, ESG, have become a major driving force in investment decisions.  ESG – environmental, social and governance – considerations are playing an ever-increasing role in investment decisions. What used to be classed as ethical investment, socially responsible investment (SRI) and green investment have now to some extent merged under the ESG banner. The table…

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Should you incorporate?

The planned increase in corporation tax has changed some of the mathematics on incorporation. The Budget announced a significant change to corporation tax from 2023:  Small companies, with profits of up to £50,000, would continue to pay the tax at the current rate of 19%, subject to adjustments for associated companies and financial periods of…

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Global dividends in 2020

A recent report showed that global dividend payments held up much better than those in the UK in 2020.  For investors in UK shares and funds investing in UK companies, 2020 was a grim year when it came to dividends. The pandemic cast a long shadow over the pay outs to investors:  Early on, the…

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The twenty-year IHT freeze

The freeze on the inheritance tax (IHT) nil rate band will mean more tax from more estates.   In March 2006 the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown, announced that the IHT nil rate band for 2009/10 would be £325,000. Announcing the change over three years before it would happen was seen by some as a political tactic,…

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NMPA: Were you born after 5 April 1971?

Plans are in hand to raise the normal minimum pension age or NMPA

A new consultation paper has set out more details of an increase in the normal minimum retirement age or NMPA.   In February the Treasury and HMRC published a consultation paper on implementing an increase in the normal minimum pension age (NMPA) from 55 to 57. The NMPA sets the earliest age at which retirement benefits (lump…

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