Probate fee increases abandoned

By Richard Jackson | 15th November 2019

The planned reform of probate fees in England and Wales has been scrapped.  A year ago, the government tabled proposals to increase the level…

UK dividend growth continues, but for how long?

By Richard Jackson | 14th November 2019

Recent data show that dividends from UK shares rose by nearly 7% year-on-year in the third quarter.  The latest Dividend Monitor from Link Asset…

New tax proposals from the IPPR

New thinking for Labour on tax?

By Richard Jackson | 28th October 2019

New proposals for reforming capital gains and income tax have been published by an influential think tank which could make their way into an…

Marks and Spencer shares dropped out of the FTSE 100

Blue chips take a knock as Marks & Spencer relegated from FTSE 100

By Richard Jackson | 23rd October 2019

Marks & Spencer was demoted from the FTSE 100 in September.  The FTSE100 is subject to a quarterly review of its 100 constituents. The…

Interest rates are falling below inflation

Interest rates back on the slopes

By Richard Jackson | 21st October 2019

In September the US and European central banks cut interest rates, again. When the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, cut its main interest…

Annuity rates have hit a 25-yearlow

Annuity rates hit 25-year record low

By Richard Jackson | 21st October 2019

Annuity rates hit their lowest level since 1994 in September, with implications for those making retirement decisions.  Since the introduction of pensions flexibility in…

Tax planning: who are the top 1% of income tax payers?

By Richard Jackson | 2nd October 2019

A recent report looking at who pays the most income tax reveals some interesting findings.  The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published a briefing…

HMRC's compliance crack down has netted £34 billion

HMRC’s compliance crack down brings in £34 billion

By Richard Jackson | 30th September 2019

New figures show HMRC’s compliance crack down efforts are yielding substantial sums.   In early August, HMRC issued its annual report and accounts for 2018/19.…

The pension age has been forecast to rise to 75

How do you feel about taking a pension at 75?

By Richard Jackson | 26th September 2019

Is a state pension age (SPA) of 75 looking more likely?  Recommendation The SPA should better reflect the longer life expectancies that we now…

Lengthy probate delays are causing problems for bereaved families.

Probate delays affecting estate settlements

By Richard Jackson | 24th September 2019

There are currently long delays in gaining probate on the estates of the recently deceased.  Late in 2018, the government issued a written statement…

Stock market prices mimicked a rollercoaster ride in August

A bumpy ride for August on the markets

By Richard Jackson | 23rd September 2019

Stock markets, as well as some family holidaymakers, experienced a rollercoaster August. The traditional holiday month proved to be anything but quiet on the…

University fees could be in for another shake-up if the government adopts controversial proposals in a new report.

Tuition fees may be coming down

By Richard Jackson | 22nd July 2019

A government-commissioned report has proposed significant changes to the funding of university tuition fees in England.  Students resident in England (different rules apply in…

Widely regarded as most unpopular tax, IHT is under scrutiny from both government and opposition. Is it time it was scrapped for a gifts tax?

Could we see the back of inheritance tax?

By Richard Jackson | 15th July 2019

A paper presented to the Labour Party has suggested the abolition of inheritance tax (IHT).  Labour Party proposals to kill off inheritance tax (IHT)…

The recent trials of the Woodford fund highlight the importance of personal advice on your investments..]

When it comes to funds, the best advice is personal

By Richard Jackson | 11th July 2019

The recent problems with the suspension of dealings in a heavily promoted UK equity income fund have exposed the blurred line between advice and…

Free TV license row highlights the cost of an ageing population

Implications from the over-75 TV licences row

By Richard Jackson | 8th July 2019

The BBC’s decision to scrap universal free TV licences for the over-75s is part of the larger debate about our growing ageing population.  Free…

Buoyant stock markets have defied analysts' prediction so far this year.

2019 stock markets defy analysts’ predictions

By Richard Jackson | 4th July 2019

The world’s stock markets had a buoyant first six months. The final few months of 2018 were a dark time for the world’s stock…

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