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Category: News

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July Focus – It’s difficult to make predictions especially about the future! … but a goal without a plan is just a wish!

My career in financial services commenced 50 years ago, and I started our firm 45 years ago. During that time we have worked through, and advised clients throughout, the many vicissitudes that life presented – the 1973 oil crisis; the secondary banking crisis that followed; the stock market crash when our stock market fell 73%….
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June Focus – That age-old question! … and how to go about answering it!

In the UK, we are faced with the challenge of an ageing population. Many of us will live longer than we might have expected and, because of improvements in healthcare and nutrition, this figure only looks set to rise. A demographic shift to an older population brings unprecedented change to the way the country would…
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May Focus – Your cash reserves! … Can you bank on them?

Following the financial crisis of 2008 when a number of big British banks came close to collapsing, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) was strengthened by the government to the extent that the FSCS currently guarantees the first £85,000 of a person’s cash savings per banking licence in total, and including interest. But what does…
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March Focus – “When we have shuffled off this mortal coyle … the rest is silence”

“When we have shuffled off this mortal coyle …the rest is silence” … but not for our pension death benefits, methinks! Hamlet’s words in Shakespeare’s longest play (30,557 words if you want to count them!) reminded me of a very, very important aspect about death. Well, not so much about death – more about the…
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February Focus – Let me tell you a ‘storey’! Once upon a time … well, now’s a good time as any!

Whenever we are in market conditions such as those affected by Brexit, it is sensible to review the balance of our investment portfolios – and to assess our income and capital needs over the next few years. For example, looking at asset allocations, many balanced portfolios contain holdings in property funds when appropriate. While such…
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January Focus – 20-20 Vision: Janus had it – and you can aim for it, too!

I started writing this Newsletter on the 1st January 2020. The first day of the first month of the new decade. The Romans dedicated January to their god Janus – god of Endings, Transitions, and new Beginnings. He is depicted with two faces since he looks back to learn from the past and the year…
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December Focus – It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark! …plan ahead

You and I know that life is not all plain sailing but, as far as financial planning is concerned, if you plan ahead you can maximise your resources for your future income and capital needs and for those of your family – and reduce the risks while on life’s journey. We call it Lifetime Financial…
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November Focus – You’re NICk’d! … and that could be very arresting news!

In this month’s Focus we are taking the opportunity to … err … Focus … on why you should check your National Insurance Contribution situation and State Pension entitlement and, if eligible, consider topping up your NICs. We also suggest you do this before next April. First because you can usually only go back six…
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October Focus – Is it a Colander or a Calendar? … avoid the former and ‘focus’ on the latter!

“Planning” is the process of deciding in detail how to do something before you actually start to do it – it’s sensible and it fits a calendar! It’s what we do! Failing to plan where financial planning is possible, is the process of witnessing opportunities disappear through the perforations of our financial life – it…
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September Focus – Have you checked your payslip Tax Code?… or do you need a few clues to help decipher it!

According to recent research(1), approximately 14.3 million people across the UK (44% of employees – 7% in the last year alone) have paid too much tax as a result of being on the wrong tax code. HMRC sometimes makes errors (allegedly 2.8 million times last year) with deductions, or other elements of their calculation such…
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