From a record high in the first quarter of 2019, dividends were knocked by some high-profile cuts in May. Recent dividend announcements have been an unwelcome reminder for some investors that peaks also have downsides. Dividends matter to investors in UK shares. The UK stock market has historically been one of the higher yielding of the world’s major share markets. For example, on 24 May the average dividend yield in the UK, based on the FTSE All-Share Index, was 4.26% against just 1.94% across the Atlantic, as measured by the S&P 500 Index…
It is not only Chinese mainland shares which are now attracting investor attention. China is in the investment news again as Bloomberg opens its bond market index to mainland Chinese securities. Is it time to review your international portfolio? Over the past few years, the relevance of shares quoted on the mainland Chinese stock exchanges to global investors has grown considerably. China has opened access to its share markets via the Shanghai-Hong Kong and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock connect schemes.
A brief dip in US Treasury securities yields illustrates the benefits of holding your nerve amid investment ‘noise’. On 22 March the US stock market caught a sudden – and brief – chill. One of the main reasons was the red line in the graph shown….
ISAs celebrate their 20th birthday this April. If you haven’t reviewed yours in a while, this a good opportunity to ensure they are still the right vehicle for you. When the ISA was introduced in 1999, many thought it to be little more than a rebranding of the two schemes it replaced: the Personal Equity Plan (PEP) and Tax-Exempt Savings Account (TESSA)…
Chinese investment markets set to become increasingly important part of investment portfolios as share of Emerging Markets Index likely to quadruple. China has been at the forefront of the headlines recently, whether about the protracted trade dispute with the US, the alleged dangers of using Huawei’s 5G equipment or the first landing of a spacecraft on the far side of the moon…
Buy-to-let investors will be hit by the latest phase of tax changes coming in from April, coupled with changes to CGT payment terms. When George Osborne announced in his summer 2015 Budget a variety of tax changes aimed at discouraging buy-to-let (BTL) investment, they came as a surprise. To ease their impact, the then Chancellor phased in the most significant reform, a revised treatment of interest relief, over four years and deferred its start date to April 2017. Anecdotal evidence suggests some BTL investors did not know what had happened until they found a larger than expected tax bill in January….
It’s the 20th birthday for tax-free investment in ISAs. With the deadline for contributions approaching, have you made the most of your allowances? The arrival of the new tax year on 6 April means that it is time to consider your Individual Savings Accounts (ISA) investments, which will celebrate their 20th birthday in April. Over the past 20 years, the maximum annual contribution has risen from £7,000 per tax year to £20,000 for 2019/20.
2018 was a much more volatile year than its predecessor for investors as Brexit and Trump worried the markets. 2018 was a very different year for investors from 2017. During that year, the share markets generally produced positive returns with very little volatility. Both years had their fair share of dramas, with Brexit and Donald Trump sources of concern across the 24 months. However, whereas in 2017 stock markets seemed relatively unphased by events, the opposite was true in 2018. In sterling terms, the MSCI World Index was down 4.9%, much less than the main UK indices. However, this hides two factors:
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is warning consumers about investment scams that purport to invest in crypto-currencies. The watchdog has seen a rising number of cases, with fraudsters often advertising on social media, claiming celebrities have made significant sums investing in digital currencies, such as Bitcoin and Ether. Consumers should be wary of such claims…..
New year, new resolutions to break? Try our four financial resolutions with long term benefits. Have your New Year resolutions fallen by the wayside already? You know, the ones about eating better, drinking less and exercising more. The problem is they all require you to make a change to your lifestyle, which is never easy, particularly in the dark days of mid-winter….