Summer Budget 2015 Overview

Introduction

It’s a parliamentary tradition that while making the Budget speech, the Chancellor may drink whatever he wishes. Previous Chancellors have opted for whisky (Kenneth Clarke), gin and tonic (Geoffrey Howe) and even sherry and beaten egg (William Ewart Gladstone). Reflecting more sombre and health conscious times, both Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown went for water and the current Chancellor, George Osborne has followed this dour, modern tradition. Read more …

UK General Election – The Results

When the polls opened at 7am on Thursday 7th May, the pundits and the pollsters were as one: the only certainty was a hung parliament. It was the most difficult-to-predict election for generations. The opinion polls had the parties running neck and neck, but the Conservatives led slightly in the predicted number of seats. A rough average from the pollsters seemed to be around 290 for the Blue team, 267 for the Reds and with the Lib Dems sinking to 25 or 26. Meanwhile, UKIP looked to be struggling to achieve its leader’s predicted “handful” and north of the Border, the SNP tsunami was gathering force. Read more …

2015 General Election Preview

There are now only weeks to go until the General Election, which – by common consent – will be the most closely fought and difficult to predict in a generation. Since only last week, a dozen opinion polls have been published and not one of them has made forecasting the likely outcome on May 7th any easier. Read more …

Autumn Statement Preview 2014

Last year, George Osborne took to the micro-blogging site Twitter to announce his Autumn Statement. Sadly, there was no mention of this year’s speech on the Chancellor’s social media account, but we do know it will be on Wednesday December 3rd and if he follows last year, Mr Osborne will be on his feet around noon.
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Financial Planning Week: 23rd – 29th November 2014

The 23rd November marks the start of the annual Financial Planning Week, a scheme run by one of the leading bodies in our industry, The Institute Of Financial Planning (IFP). During the week, the IFP and firms from around the country will join together to promote the benefits of financial planning and we are more than happy to lend our support to the initiative.
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New Intestacy rules are no substitute for a properly drafted Will

The intestacy rules – that is, the rules for distributing estates where the deceased has not made a Will – changed from the 1st October for the first time since 1925.

The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 came into effect in England and Wales. The legislation introduces a number of important changes, based on the recommendations of the Law Commission, to a multitude of issues that affect Will drafting and the administration of estates.

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Over-55s failing to include family when it comes to planning for retirement

Millions of over-55s are failing to include their family in important decisions about their retirement income with potentially devastating consequences. Read more …

Can we talk about our money, please?

It’s good to talk. But talking about money can be difficult, particularly as doing so has traditionally been taboo in this country. Despite many of us getting better at talking about other personal issues like relationships or our health, we still find money a tricky topic. Read more …

What is a paraplanner?

BoardquestionmarkClients will probably be aware that we employ a number of paraplanners at Brunel but even our current clients, as well as anyone who does not currently work with us, may be at a loss as to what a paraplanner does.

Although they are not often seen on the client-facing side of things, Sarah, Andy and Dan – the Brunel paraplanners – fulfil a vital role for clients within Brunel. Indeed, paraplanners in the wider industry make a great contribution to financial planning, acting as a vital and expert research, analysis and client services function, working in tandem with the financial planner to deliver clients’ financial plans.

The role is a sophisticated one and many paraplanners are equally as qualified as the financial adviser they work with, often holding Certified Financial Planner status or other relevant financial planning qualifications. At Brunel, Sarah holds the IFP Accredited Paraplanner qualification and Andy and Dan are both on track to achieve the same very soon. Whilst the adviser will see the client on a regular basis and gather the details of their aims and goals, the paraplanner will then work with the adviser and this information to establish the plan for the client.

If the plan is already in place, either entirely or in part, the paraplanner may produce something called a suitability report which is essentially a thorough assessment of the financial plan. This is extremely important, as it operates as a ‘second check’ to make sure that the plan being put in place meets things such as the client’s attitude to risk and puts them in a good position to achieve their financial goals.

Paraplanners make up a great part of the Brunel team and are vital in ensuring our planning service for clients is accurate, timely and works towards their financial planning goals. You might not see Sarah, Andy and Dan often but rest assured: they’re here, working for you!

ISAs: now much NISA

Virtually all the headlines surrounding George Osborne’s recent Budget were about the changes to the pensions rules. Rightly described as the biggest changes to pensions legislation for a hundred years, they will have far-reaching implications for the financial planning of many of our clients.

With all the attention devoted to pensions, it was easy to overlook a radical overhaul of the rules governing Individual Savings Accounts – ISAs as they were formerly known and NISAs (New Individual Savings Accounts) as they’ll now be called.

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Brunel Capital Partners is a sister company of Pilgrim Financial Planning