Investments

  • The Consensus View

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    With the hung parliament following the UK election result - it turns out that there isn’t a consensus view!   But perhaps what the UK now has is a parliament that better reflects more of the views of the UK people, a generally well diversified bunch.  So what does this mean for investment markets? When you take a much wider view, considering the gl...
  • The humble £1 coin 34 years on – what it could have made you

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    Tuesday 28th March 2017 saw the Royal Mint release 300 million new £1 coins. The updated design is dodecagonal (that’s the fancy word for twelve-sided), bimetallic like the £2 coin and, perhaps most importantly, impossible to fake according to the Mint, thanks to a closely guarded security feature. The old £1 coin will remain in circulation until S...
  • Investing in a New US Climate

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    An acquaintance of mine was a state legislator representing a district within California. When “Then Movie Star” Arnold Schwarzenegger was running for Governor of California, the legislator said to me, “...if Schwarzenegger gets elected, he won't get anything done. We won't let him get anything done.” His point was, Schwarzenegger was an outsider a...
  • Which is best? Save or invest?

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    Whilst you might expect an increase in the cash and investment ISA limit to be welcomed, at least one dissenting voice has come from Steve Webb, former Pensions Minister and current policy director at Royal London. Webb has warned that the rise in April from the current annual limit of £15,240 up to £20,000 could encourage poor long-term investment...
  • LISA warnings highlight the need to make sure your investments are suitable

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    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently voiced concerns that new Lifetime Individual Savings Accounts (LISAs), due to launch this year, could be putting some savers at risk if the product is not fully understood. LISAs are being sold as a way to earn bonuses if the money put into them is put towards the purchase of a home or saved for re...
  • What will the new government-backed savings bond mean for savers?

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    Amongst a generally gloomy Autumn Statement, chancellor Philip Hammond offered a potential ray of hope for those looking to achieve better returns on their nest egg, thanks to the announcement of a new government-backed savings bond. Set to become available from spring 2017 through National Savings & Investments (NS&I) for those prepared to...
  • LISA warnings highlight the need to make sure your investments are suitable

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    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently voiced concerns that new Lifetime Individual Savings Accounts (LISAs), due to launch next year, could be putting some savers at risk if the product is not fully understood. LISAs are being sold as a way to earn bonuses if the money put into them is put towards the purchase of a home or saved for re...
  • ERNIE turns 60!

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    The first premium bond was sold on 1st November 1956, with £5 million worth of premium bonds sold on the first day alone. There are now 21 million people holding more than £63 billion in premium bonds, proving that they are still a popular form of investment. The first draw was held on 1st June 1957 for a top prize of £1,000. In the intervening six...
  • Does buy-to-let still pay?

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    The popularity of investing in property to fund retirement remains prevalent, in spite of the government’s attempts to make buy-to-let less and less attractive. But is buy-to-let investment really a viable alternative to a pension pot, for example? A recent study has investigated the numbers behind each option. The research looked at how £100,000 w...
  • Would you be happy renting in retirement?

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    A major goal for many during their retirement will be to enjoy their home after finishing paying off their mortgage. Depending on when you purchased your house however, and with house prices seeing a rise of 30% in the past decade, owning outright is becoming more difficult to achieve for some. Renting during retirement is therefore becoming more a...
  • Does buy-to-let still pay?

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    The popularity of investing in property to fund retirement remains prevalent, in spite of the government’s attempts to make buy-to-let less and less attractive. But is buy-to-let investment really a viable alternative to a pension pot, for example? A recent study has investigated the numbers behind each option. The research looked at how £100,000 w...
  • Fireworks

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    One aspect of investment management that never fails to amaze me is that events don’t take a ticket and wait in line.  Any number of crises or threats can run simultaneously and there is nothing to prevent a number risks from all blowing up at the same time like a well-coordinated firework display. Another aspect of investment management that const...
  • ‘Alternative investments’: from children’s books to memorabilia

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    If you’ve got some spare cash left over from more traditional, structured investments, then you could follow in the footsteps of the growing number of people investing in collectibles. As well as providing something physical to enjoy and look after in a way that other investments can’t, many collectible items can increase in value as time goes on....
  • Downsizing, retirement and proper planning

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    A recent study has found that 2.3 million UK homeowners aged 55 and over – almost 40% of people in that age bracket – are planning to downsize their home in order to raise money during their retirement. However, if downsizing wasn’t always the plan for these people, then it potentially shows poor financial planning for their later years. The averag...
  • Financial face-off: men vs. women!

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    A study by the worldwide research, consulting and professional development organisation, LIMRA, that compared the financial approaches of men and women, has found that there are key differences between the two sexes in both their methods of financial planning and in their decision-making processes. When it comes to sharing financial decisions, over...
  • Alexander Beard Group’s EU Referendum summary and viewpoint

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    Britain Takes Back Control. Or Does It? This somewhat, necessarily, lengthy note covers the likely consequences of Britain’ historic decision. It our attempt to give you an overview of how things currently stand following the Leave campaign victory; but you will appreciate that events are moving very quickly. ‘I declare that the total votes cast f...
  • Don’t Worry, Be App-y: three great money-saving apps for your smartphone

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    Apps have transformed the way you can do almost everything in life, from tracking your fitness regime to ordering a takeaway. For those interested in saving money, there are hundreds of finance-related apps out there, but it’s hard to know which of these will actually help you manage your hard-earned cash and which will just take up space on your s...
  • P2P Lending online

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    Peer-to peer or P2P is the new kid on the block for most investors. Peer-to-peer lending websites are offering very attractive rates compared to banks & building societies. In these times of very low bank rates this can appear very tempting. However, these attractive returns come with risks. Peer-to-peer websites, which appeared in Britain abou...
  • Investment Portfolios and the EU Membership Referendum

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    Good news - the impossible task of predicting the future just got easier! Usually there are many different potential outcomes to events making it hard to say exactly what will happen in the future.  With the EU Membership Referendum there’s only two possible outcomes: LEAVE or REMAIN.  So you have a 50/50 chance of calling it right.  The value of y...
  • What is diversification?

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    If you’re new to the investment world, or even if you’re not, it’s likely that you’ve heard the term ‘diversification’ used in relation to your investments. However, you’re certainly not alone if you don’t have a clear idea of what the word actually means for your investments. Read on, and learn everything you ever wanted to know about diversificat...
  • CML urges restraint on Stamp Duty proposals

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    Responding to the HM Treasury consultation on the 3% surcharge on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) proposals for second properties, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) urges reform of the implementation plans to mitigate potentially negative impacts on the housing market as a whole. The CML view is that even without the new surcharge, the forthcoming...
  • Stormy Markets

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    Stock markets have been stormy of late, with relatively large changes in values on a daily basis.  At the time of writing we have seen three consecutive days of falls. The headlines are all about market falls, but what is really going on? The real answer, is that nobody knows for sure.  When you look at charts of investment returns in the past it i...
  • 7 Reasons why you should review your Pension’s in 2016

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    1 - Major changes to pension Tax Relief likely We already know high earners will be hit from 6 April 2016. The amount they can invest in a pension and receive tax relief on will fall to as little as £10,000. You are likely to be affected if your income is more than £150,000, although those with lower incomes could also be caught. But further chang...
  • The Old Year

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    The Arab Spring is turning into an Islamic Winter for the middle east, with some added cold wind, reminiscent of the Cold War. Russia and Iran are seemingly aligned against a US-backed Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The intricacies of the religious, political, military, and historical events taking place are complex to say the least. “Outrageously unstab...
  • Stamp Duty Hike

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    Mike Shakespeare, Financial Planning Associate - Chester branch For those of us who feel a property portfolio is a valuable part of our financial planning the coming year will include some added costs. People buying additional property, including buy-to-let or second homes, will face a 3 percentage point surcharge on stamp duty rates from April 20...
  • Asset Allocation and Trivial Pursuits

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    This Christmas I bought Trivial Pursuits as a gift to all the family. It was a great way to switch off from work, challenge the old grey matter and feel smug - because it was one game I could actually beat the kids at (unlike their games consoles). On my return to work in January I realised that this enjoyable general knowledge game could also prov...
  • When should you keep faith with an underperforming active fund?

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    Investors who entrust their savings to active fund managers do so in the hope they will achieve market-beating performance. When the fund starts to dip, it is possible that some investors may forget that short-term bouts of underperformance must be endured along the road to potentially superior long-term results. Ultimately, whether to stick with a...
  • What is the difference between active funds and passive funds?

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    You may have heard the terms active and passive with regard to investment funds, but what exactly do they mean and how can they impact your investing? Actively managed investment funds are run by professional fund managers or investment teams who make all the investment decisions, such as which companies to invest in or when to buy and sell differ...
  • Path Sensitivity in Investing

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    There are many ways of viewing the performance of investments.  For example, we could compare the returns against an objective benchmark such as the FTSE 100 or the S&P 500, we could compare to a target return, or we could adjust the returns to take into account the risks taken.  However, the recent volatility in stock markets has highlighted t...
  • Strong investment demand for retail warehouses continues

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    International real estate advisor Savills has reported that total transaction volumes in the UK retail warehouse investment market totalled £1.264 billion in the first half of 2015, marking a 28% increase on the £981.95 million transacted in the same period last year. The firm highlighted a significant increase in deals over £50 million, with nine...
  • Watch out for online Pensioner Bond fraudsters

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    The National Fraud and Cyber-Crime Reporting Office recently issued an ‘Alert Notice’ regarding fraud focused on the new Pensioner Bonds. Fraudsters have set up a bogus website claiming to be the official site of National Savings & Investments (NS&I) and are contacting members of the public through cold calls to offer them the chance to inv...
  • Investment Funds – Active Versus Passive Management

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    If you want to put your money into an Investment Fund, there are two main strategies you will come across: • Actively managed investment funds, which are run by professional fund managers or investment research teams who make all the investment decisions, such as which companies to invest in or when to buy and sell different assets, on your behalf....
  • 10 New Year’s Resolutions for your Financial Planning

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    With recent reports from the Autumn Statement suggesting most of the UK economic indicators are moving in the right direction, it doesn’t mean we can suddenly afford to ignore our personal financial planning. So in the best traditions of New Year here are ten financial planning resolutions that will hopefully help make 2015 a prosperous and secure...
  • The top ten economic risks for investors in 2015, according to HSBC

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    Acknowledging that the forecasting consensus has missed many of the big stories of recent years, a team of analysts at HSBC has attempted to outline the biggest potential risks for investors in 2015. The team stressed that forecasts have been notoriously unreliable since the crash, particularly concerning regional growth. Nonetheless, they argue th...
  • The importance of understanding investment risk in financial planning

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    Many people have successfully made substantial fortunes from investing over the years, in various ways and styles, using many different methods. They would have had one thing in common: a fixation on the management of their downside risk. Risk is inherent within the investment structure. “It comes with the territory” – to achieve a return there wil...
  • One in three of us plan to use the markets in retirement

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    New research from MGM Advantage, the retirement income specialist, suggests that UK adults are planning to use equity investments to help them outstrip inflation and manage the rising cost of living. Over half (53%) of UK adults rate the rising cost of living as their number one fear for retirement, and almost a third (32%) of pre-retirees surveyed...
  • Announcing the Complete Property Investment

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    Alexander Beard Group are today delighted to announce a new service designed specifically for UK expatriates who want an easy way to invest in property back in the UK. Our specially designed Complete Property Investment Service contains all of the elements required to make investing in a property in the UK as simple as possible, so you can get on w...
  • Managing Your Portfolio

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    A recent Dalbar study showed investors, who manage their own portfolios have earned less than 3% annually over the last 20 years. Yet, the market, over this same period has returned nearly 10%. Why? The answer is relatively simple, they do not understand how volatility can be their friend. They don’t know how to structure a portfolio to take advant...