Two weeks that shook the world: reacting to Ukraine

As the world reels from the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, taking the long view on investments will help weather the storm.

The invasion of Ukraine has shaken emotions and certainties as the world watches a growing humanitarian disaster. The reactions of global markets, which had misread President Putin’s strategy as much as many politicians, were similarly sent into crisis mode. On Thursday 24 February, Europe woke to the news that Russia’s forces had entered Ukraine from…

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Year of the Tiger: Happy new tax year?

The new tax year also ushers in the Chinese Year of the Tiger

We’re now in the year of the Tiger according to the Chinese zodiac, which can symbolise resilience and strength. That may well be required after Wednesday 6 April ushers in the new 2022/23 tax year.  New years are normally a cause – or excuse – for celebration, even if the pandemic has changed that in recent…

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The patchwork effect of rising inflation

The patchwork effect of different elements has affected the inflation rate.

2021 ended with inflation sitting at 5.4%, but it may not have felt like that to you.   You may have caught the food campaigner Jack Monroe on TV and radio interviews recently highlighting how the uneven effects of inflation on the most basic foodstuffs can have a disproportionate effect on lower-income groups. Her intervention has…

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Holding back the years: the new State Pension Age dilemma

SPA - State pension age changes are looming

The government has nearly finished its review of the next stage of State Pension Age (SPA) increases. But changes to life expectancy figures pose a significant, and potentially expensive, dilemma.  A review of State Pension ages from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) back in March 2017 stirred initial controversy. The report by John…

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New Covid-19 business support package available – apply by February 28

A new Covid-19 support package has been announced to assist around 200,000 businesses across England’s hospitality and leisure sectors impacted by the Omicron variant

A new support package has been announced to assist businesses impacted by the Covid-19 Omicron variant. Applications are open to the end of February, but many have said the measures don’t go far enough given the extensive losses suffered in the hospitality and leisure sectors over the festive period. Although no businesses were legally required…

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Shift your focus to tax year-end planning

With Christmas and New Year now over, it’s time to think about tax year-end planning.

With Christmas and New Year behind us, tax year-end planning should now be on your radar. The 2021/22 tax year will end on Tuesday 5 April. This year there is no Spring Budget and Easter arrives on 15 April, so no obstacles stand in the way of year-end tax planning. Nevertheless, the sooner you start…

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Uncertainties removed on two key personal taxes

The future of two personal taxes – inheritance and capital gains – has been clarified, with no major changes to be made to either, so now you have no excuse to delay estate and CGT planning.

The future of two important personal taxes – inheritance and capital gains – has finally been clarified, simplifying aspects of year-end planning.The extended wait highlights the difficulty of changing useful revenue-raising measures in uncertain times. Four years ago, in January 2018, when there seemed to be both appetite and scope for reformation of the tax…

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Share market performance: our 2021 investment wrap-up

Despite poor UK stocks and fixed-interest performance in 2021, most share-based funds produced solid returns during the year

The world’s share markets generally produced solid returns in 2021, but UK stocks and fixed-interest investments suffered. Maintaining an international outlook in your portfolio can help underpin its value. 2021 was a good year for most investors in share-based funds, particularly those who had holdings linked to the US market. Despite the optimism around the…

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Learning lessons from rising inflation and interest rates

interest rates set to peak in April

As 2021 drew to a close, inflation finally forced the Bank of England’s hand. What will higher rates mean for you? The November inflation figures, released in mid-December, once again exceeded the Bank of England’s (BoE) expectations. At the start of November, the BoE had said that CPI inflation was “expected to peak at around…

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