What keeps us happy and healthy?

Looking back, if you were going to give some advice to your former self, where would you recommend investing the most time and energy to lead a happy and fulfilling life?     

In a recent survey of millennials (i.e. those born between 1982 – 2000) over 80 per cent said that a major life goal for them was to get rich. And another 50 per cent of the same group said becoming famous was a major goal – a sad reflection of  the celebrity culture we live in, it would seem. Read more …

Use it or lose it time for your ISA

As the end of the financial year draws ever closer, it’s important not to forget about any ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) you have and any remaining payments that you’re allowed to make. The maximum allowance for ISAs for the 2015/16 financial year is £15,240, so it’s important that you invest any funds that you have left to pay into your ISA as close to that amount as possible, as soon as you can. Read more …

Retirement ‘class of 2016’ owe less than last year’s

The amount of money owed by those planning to retire over the course of the next 12 months has fallen for the fourth year in row, according to the latest research by Prudential. This year’s retirees who still have debts owe an average of £18,800, a fall of £3,000 or 14% from last year and a drop of nearly £20,000 since 2012 when the average amount owed was £38,200. However, despite the continued fall in average debts, Prudential’s unique research into the financial plans and aspirations of people planning to retire in the year ahead – the Class of 2016 – shows that the proportion of retirees in debt remains stubbornly high. Read more …

Budget 2016 Overview

Introduction

It was famously said that ‘all roads lead to Rome.’ In British politics, all speeches currently lead to the EU Referendum. George Osborne’s Budget speech, delivered on Wednesday March 16th, was no exception.

More than ever, the Chancellor was seeking to balance politics and economics as he rose to speak. On the politics front, there were a good many restive backbenchers behind him who had already put paid (at least for now) to the Chancellor’s widely-trailed intentions to reform tax relief on pension contributions. There was also an electorate to convince – and the Chancellor’s own political ambitions. Make no mistake, if the ‘Leave’ camp wins the EU referendum, George Osborne’s chances of succeeding David Cameron in the inevitable leadership battle are almost non-existent.

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January 2016 – A Month of Wanton Hubris

Markets have begun the year in distinctly wobbly fashion and there is certainly more than a whiff of fear in the air. At times like this it is important not to get too caught up in the dramatic headlines but to stand back, take stock, and question whether or not “it really is the end of the world this time”?

We manage your portfolio with deference to our three guiding principles that include ‘Belief in the Future’, ‘Patience’ and ‘Discipline’, which basically means that we get on with the job and are not side-tracked by all the noise. Getting on with the job means that we diversify your portfolio, we rebalance it every 6 months and we let its asset allocation drive the returns. We do not get caught up in the short term.

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Top ten Christmas reads for business owners

If you’re a business owner with a bit more time than usual over the Christmas period, why not try one of these great titles?

Or if people struggle to know what to buy you as ‘the business owner who has everything’, why not drop a few hints – there’s still time!

At this time of year bestseller lists abound so we thought we’d make our own list and share just a few of our favourite business titles; some published this year, some from a few years ago but all with some great insights into how you can perform better in the world of work.

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Presents that are for life not just for Christmas

The Big Day is fast approaching.

Have you done all your shopping or are you tearing your hair out for inspiration? Maybe there are people on your list that are just really difficult to buy for?

If you feel it’s a waste of money when you grab yet another bumper pack of socks, or a book you know they’ll never read or a DVD they’ll never watch, then don’t despair – we’ve come up with some really alternative experiences, which will hopefully fit the bill.

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Our story so far and where we’re going

We wanted to take a pause this month from our normal coverage of financial news and personal finance stories to give you an update from ourselves at Brunel. With 2016 fast approaching, we are beginning to look to the year ahead and to our plans for the firm, to continue to improve our services for you, our clients.

Many of you may be familiar with our Company Values document, which is always available on our website and continues to govern every decision we take, as well as the overall direction of the firm.

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Market Comment – Banking on Santa

Now that we are in the meteorological winter, which weather forecasters claim runs from the 1st December to the end of February and Advent, what is important for investors is whether we will enjoy a “Santa’s rally” this year. Past experience suggests December is more likely than not to deliver a positive result for investors, though why this should be the case is far from clear.

Market Comment 2nd December 

Road to Nowhere

Have you ever jumped into your car, started the engine and just driven aimlessly, with no thought of where you are headed? No, I thought not. It is amazing, however, how many people take this approach with their investment portfolio. This will often involve huge sums of money that have taken many years of hard work and disciplined saving to accumulate.

Without a clear objective or idea of what you are trying to achieve, it is very difficult to bring meaning to your money. When faced with the question, “What are you trying to achieve?” common answers include ‘Growth’, ‘Income’ or even ‘Outperformance’. This is why it is important for us as financial planners to reframe the question and talk in terms of aspirations, goals, dreams, beliefs and visions.

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Brunel Capital Partners is a sister company of Pilgrim Financial Planning