As the days have been lengthening, so markets have developed a rather different feel to that which had been established as spring blossomed, following a difficult start to the year. Shares in the UK touched an eight week low recently, with investors spooked by worsening economic data in the US (jobs growth there was way below expectations), growing evidence of the slowdown in China and seemingly rising expectations of Britain voting to leave the European Union.
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 …
If those little everyday acts of kindness are what makes your day then good news! You live in the right place!
New research by the Co-Op, reported on by Metro, has found that Bristol is the kindest city in the UK, closely followed by Belfast, Aberdeen and Southampton, with Liverpool, Glasgow and London making up the bottom three.
Whilst it may not have made national headlines, there was good news for the local region from the March 2016 Budget.
Though it won’t quite pay for our retirements or suddenly mean we can all splash out on overseas holidays, a 50% reduction in a tax is always welcome! In this case, the ‘tax’ is the toll charge on the Severn crossings, which is currently used to pay for the cost of constructing the crossings. In 2018, the cost will have been repaid and the bridges will revert to public ownership.
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 …
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 …
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.
Has the bear market finally come to an end? Shares have certainly rebounded recently, taking heart from a more buoyant mood in Asia. Indeed, the Japanese stock market recorded one of its biggest one day rises ever, gaining more than 7%.
In January, we took the opportunity to run a survey to ask you what the most important financial planning activity was for you in 2016. Thank you very much to all who participated.
First and foremost, feedback showed that it is very difficult to narrow down your financial planning priorities to just one choice!
If you remember, we ran both a Twitter poll and a survey through our regular email communications with you.
As a business based in Bristol, we delight in the diversity and vibrancy of all the great enterprises to be found in our city. Following on from our previous articles, we’ve highlighted another five businesses to celebrate what they contribute to the local economy. If you’ve not yet come across them, why not check them out.
(P.S. if you are involved with a local business or organisation with a success story then do let us know – we would love to feature you here in a future article!)