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…
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…..
The amount of money invested in ethical funds has trebled over the past 10 years according to the Investment Association. The growing demand has been backed by increased political pressure for fund managers and pension trustees to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors as part of their investment process. Those that support this responsible investment approach argue that this isn’t just about doing the right thing: it is about managing longer term risks and generating sustainable returns.
The popularity of Cash ISAs is continuing to wane according to new statistics from HMRC. With inflation persistently above interest rates, it’s not hard to imagine why. The Bank of England recently increased the interest rate to 0.75% but inflation increased to 2.7% in August 2018. This means, if you are holding cash in an ISA or considering topping up an existing account, you need ask yourself two questions:….
Is your investment plan making the most of the opportunities out there? Ryan Marshall, Investment specialist and Independent Financial Adviser at Pembroke Financial Services of Shoreham says “ The third quarter of 2018 especially presented mixed results for global stock markets. In the US, shares have continued to power ahead, despite another rise in interest rates in late September and Mr Trump’s trade battles. It has been a different story in emerging markets, which have suffered from two key US factors: a strong dollar and those rising interest rates….
The Lifetime ISA (LISA) may not survive after low uptake by providers and fresh criticisms from parliament. The LISA has been reviewed by the Treasury Select Committee, which was critical of, “its complexity, its perverse incentives, its lack of complementarity with the pension saving landscape and its apparent lack of popularity with the industry and pension savers”…
The prospect of a flat rate of tax relief on pension contributions has resurfaced in the national press. The cost of pension relief has been chipped back in recent years, mainly by reducing the annual allowance. However, a report in The Times in early July suggested the Treasury is looking at flat rate tax relief, which would give the same rate of tax relief on contributions, regardless of personal income tax rates. The Times reported a flat rate of 25% is being considered, meaning a gross pension contribution of £100 would require a net outlay of £75 instead if the current £80….
Interest rates for the Eurozone and US diverge leading to currency fluctuations as investment markets prepare for base rate rises. The US Federal Reserve (the Fed) announced its seventh 0.25% increase in interest rates since December 2015, taking the level to 1.75%-2.00%. This rise had already been factored in to market prices by the time it arrived, so of more interest were the press release and other papers which accompanied the announcement….