USA

  • Tax-Efficient Retirement Account (USA)

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    We are delighted to announce the eagerly awaited additional feature to our International Retirement Plan. Recently launched, the new Alexander Beard US based TERA (Tax Efficient Retirement Account) will accept transfers in from existing IRPs making for a smooth transition process for returning US plan members. The purpose of the TERA (USA) is to b...
  • The US Stock Market

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    There is no doubt the US stock market has been strong since the new administration took over. Here are some facts: Second-quarter GDP rebounded, but the first-half growth of 1.9 percent is similar to prior years. Spending for business equipment did rise in the second quarter, but it's unclear how much of that was from a rebound in oil drilling tha...
  • Putting the glamour back into air travel!

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    Once upon a time, commercial air travel was one of the ultimate luxuries reserved for the rich, famous and powerful, primarily because of the expense involved in doing so. The world where that was true now feels like one from a very long time ago, with ever-advancing technology making flying cheaper and easier and the rise of budget airlines making...
  • The U.S. Health Care System

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    The U.S. health care system is unique among advanced industrialized countries. The U.S. does not have a uniform health system, has no universal health care coverage, and only recently enacted legislation, the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) informally known as “Obama Care” mandating healthcare coverage for almost everyone. Rather than operating a...
  • Interest Rates and Inflation – a delicate recipe

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    I like to compare investment portfolios to recipes, not because I am a good cook - I have (without any exaggeration) made people retch with my dishes - but because I imagine they work in a similar way. This is because a tiny pinch of a powerful ingredient can make a huge difference. Starting in the kitchen, a slight increase in the amount of cinnam...
  • What will the ‘hole in the wall’ of the future look like?

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    Whilst contactless payment may still feel like a relatively new phenomenon, the first card to offer this capability – Barclaycard’s OnePulse, which combined a credit card with the Oyster card used on London transport systems – celebrates the tenth anniversary of its launch later this year. Making a contactless payment for small purchases now feels...
  • Travel insurance: what to look for in a good policy

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    It’s that time of year when you may be starting to think about booking a holiday. Travelling without insurance can be a gamble, particularly if you are going overseas, leading to many jet-setters now seeing it as an essential purchase before they leave. However, the variety of travel insurance policies out there can seem overwhelming, especially i...
  • 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...
  • Should I transfer out of my final salary pension scheme?

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    Retirement consultancy Mercer recently revealed that the final salary pension deficit of the 350 largest companies listed in the UK had reached £137 billion by the end of last year, despite the FTSE 100 index closing 2016 at a record high. That figure is more than three times the corresponding deficit amount of £39 billion at the end of 2015. “This...
  • Alexander Beard France are pleased to announce the launch of €uvest

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    Following the success of their USA facing SIPP – AMVE$T - for US based Brits with pensions left behind in the UK with no cross border transfer options other than QROPS. A similar scenario now exists in France with most UK pension providers refusing to transfer funds to French PERPS because they believe that they do not meet the QROPS rules. In resp...
  • UK to lose out this Christmas in VAT

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    VAT avoidance could cost the UK tens of millions of pounds this Christmas thanks to the increasing number of non-EU sellers on sites such as Amazon and eBay. The huge increase in traders from countries such as the USA and China is difficult to control, resulting in an overly complicated system which is open to abuse. The problem is caused by intern...
  • Remember this?: “RBS advised clients to brace for a ‘cataclysmic year’ ” (Telegraph 11 January 2016)*

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    It is an inescapable fact that all investment advisers must take a view on the future. Even a simplistic approach of avoiding ‘fund managers’ and using stock market index tracking funds relies on a view that stock markets will out-perform everything else in the long run. When RBS predicted a cataclysmic year for 2016, with US and EU markets predict...
  • US election – the outcome and implications for the UK economy

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    With Republican candidate Donald Trump defying both the polls and expectations across the globe and convincingly winning the US election over Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton, 2016 will undoubtedly go down as the year of the political upset. The US dollar took a considerable hit after Trump’s victory was confirmed, but bounced back to a thirteen-...
  • LOOKING BACK AT 2016: LOOKING FORWARD TO 2017

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    These notes were written on Monday 12th December, and all the information is accurate at that date: where quoted, stock market figures are as at 30th November. 2016 is a year that has seen some remarkable developments, but surely on 12th December we are now safe to look back over the year: nothing else can happen in the last two weeks of the year....
  • How’s global growth doing?

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    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently published its ‘World Economic Outlook’ report which suggests that whilst global growth in 2016 has been substandard, this is set to improve somewhat during 2017. The IMF’s report states that stifled global growth this year has been caused largely by the Brexit vote and the economic slowdown in the US,...
  • COMMENTARY: DONALD TRUMP RECEIVES MANDATE TO “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.”

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    “While this US election was supercharged emotionally driving down the financial markets, stock valuations are based on earning per share and other fundamental business factors. It's likely, based on the recent impact of the British vote to leave the EU which had a similar downward impacts on the global stock markets, that the Markets will recover o...
  • 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...
  • This summer’s market trends insight - from Investec

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    Sterling fell sharply immediately after the UK’s 23 June vote to leave the EU. GBPUSD slumped from $1.49 the day of the Brexit vote to $1.32 the following Monday. We think that the decline reflects two factors. First, heightened uncertainty about the UK’s future economic relationship with the EU has raised the risk premium associated with UK assets...
  • Travel insurance: what to look for in a good policy

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    The summer months mean we’re at the peak of the holiday season, with countless families, couples and individuals jetting off for a break during July and August. Going on holiday without insurance can be a gamble, particularly if you are travelling overseas, leading to many jet-setters now seeing it as an essential purchase before they go away. Howe...
  • TRUMP VS CLINTON: THEIR ECONOMIC POLICIES AND WHAT THEY MIGHT MEAN FOR YOU

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    As expected both the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions formally nominated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the respective parties’ presidential candidates. The USA will go to the polls on Tuesday November 8th to choose the 45th President of the United States. They’ll be choosing between two candidates who actively dislike each...
  • The financial implications of Trump vs. Clinton

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    No matter what your personal feelings about those currently battling it out to be the 45th President of the United States of America, there’s no doubt that this campaign year will be remembered as one of the most unusual and unpredictable in history. Although the election won’t have a direct impact upon the UK, it’s fair to say that all eyes are li...
  • No Sign of Recession in the Data

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    If you are a market-watcher, you know the S&P 500 is down around 9% since the beginning of the year and has been down as much as 10.5%. As investors watch their accounts, the fear is always TWICE as significant as any euphoria over gain. This is the investor’s dilemma. How to fight the urge to cash in your chips and run for the hills. But this...
  • Brits resident in the USA – QROPS pensions

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    You may or may not have heard of a QROPS but if you have a UK personal pension, as many ex-pat Brits do, this article may be of some interest to you. There is much uncertainty surrounding this subject for individuals that are now considered as US tax resident/citizens. Although this short article is by no means comprehensive, it will aim to make cl...
  • GBP/USD Update

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    Despite sterling strengthening over the first half of 2015, the Pound has fallen over the last year and a half - GBP:USD stood at $1.72 in July 2014, compared to $1.39 today. What have been the main drivers?  On the UK side - a Scottish referendum that was too close for comfort, a UK General Election that caused uncertainty in the build-up, the slo...
  • The new decluttering craze. Could it apply to your office… or your finances?

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    Two books are first and third in the current US Best Sellers list – both by Japanese-American tidying guru, Marie Kondo. Her tidying wisdom has swept the US as a way to feel better about yourself and your home and it’s now heading to the UK. She recently shared her top tips for ‘decluttering’ and it made us wonder whether her new form of ‘healthy l...
  • February Market Commentary

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    Twelve green bottles, standing on the wall Twelve green bottles, standing on the wall And if one green bottle, should accidentally fall… Yes, yes, we know the song is really ‘ten green bottles,’ but in January 2016 the world’s leading stock markets resembled nothing more than the row of proverbial bottles. As one fell, so they all fell – with one...
  • 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...
  • A timely reminder about the importance of making a will, from Lesley Stevens

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    So what happens if I die without a Will in place? Figures show that over 50% of adults with children in the US and UK do not have a Will in place. You are said to have died 'intestate'. If you die intestate the results could be catastrophic for your family. Should this happen, the state sets out who should deal with your affairs and who should inhe...
  • Should I leave my investments, assets and pensions in the UK, or liquidise and move them to the US?

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    If you are moving to the US from the UK then, at some point, you will come across the question of what to do with your financial assets. Assuming you have worked and lived in the UK for some time then it is likely that you will have accrued savings and other assets. You might have contributed to a private or workplace pension, for example, saved so...
  • Video: FATCA explained for Brits in the US

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    If you’re a Brit living in the US, or if you plan to move to the States any time soon, then you need to know about FATCA. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is a new US government policy, that could pose a big risk to your assets, once you complete your move to the USA. Our video explains exactly what FATCA is, why it particularly affects Briti...
  • November Market Commentary

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    Introduction Well, what a splendid month October was, with all the major world stock markets that we cover in this Bulletin skipping merrily upwards. Germany and China led the way with gains of 12% and 11% respectively, and if you only looked at the figures you’d be quite justified in thinking that everything in the world economic garden was rosy....
  • Everyday financial concerns for Brits in the US

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    In our guide, ‘The Only Financial Guide You Need as a Brit Living in the USA’ , we talk about a range of financial considerations that are important for any Brit emigrating to the US. For those heading off to a new life in the States, a key concern will be your everyday finances; things like banking, paying rent and generally knowing what you shoul...
  • Emigrating to Florida? Top 4 Considerations for Brits

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    If you’re moving to the US then Alexander Beard Group’s The Complete Guide for Brits Moving to the US has all the information you need relating to finances; from the everyday, to larger concerns such as house buying and moving large investments. Each American state is different, however, so we’ve put together our Top 4 tips for those moving to Flor...
  • Have you stranded your pension in Malta?

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    Due to the historic inability to move a pension from the UK directly to the US, many UK expats, who are now US residents, moved their pensions to Malta. Malta has a favourable tax treaty with the US and allows pension access from that country, so a move to Malta may have made sense in the past. Now, however, with the advent of FATCA and the knock-o...
  • October Market Commentary

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    The end of September, and the end of the third quarter of 2015 – a quarter which, as all the financial press reported, was the worst for global equities since 2011. As CNBC put it: A sustained collapse in commodity prices, China’s stunning market rout followed by its shocking currency devaluation as well as fears of a Greek default and a US interes...
  • Video: Struggling to move your pension to the USA? We have the answer!

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    Moving a UK pension to the United States can be difficult. As well as all of the usual UK rules around pension movements, the US rules are equally complex, meaning many people can get into difficulties. Alexander Beard Group have the answer though! It’s called AMVEST and it’s so simple, we can explain how it can benefit you in just a few minutes of...
  • $ 600 Fine? ......... Don't be caught out!

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    The USA Affordable Health Care Act calls for each individual to have Qualifying Health Cover (known as Essential Coverage) for the entire year. As a non resident US citizen you may apply for an exemption if you have Essential Cover from your overseas employer. Do not assume you have opted out simply because of your non resident status. It's the IRS...
  • Emigrating to New York? Top Four Considerations for Brits

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    New York is one of the most popular destinations that Brits emigrate to. With plentiful international companies making the city their home, and an exciting city environment in which to live your life, it’s little surprise that many choose to make ‘the big apple’ their home in the US. If you’re heading to New York from Britain, your main questions a...
  • September Market Commentary

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    Introduction “Markets can fall as well as rise…” Never was that statement more true than in August, when virtually all the major world markets headed down, led by the plunging stock market in China. It became virtually impossible to watch a news bulletin without seeing a shell-shocked fund manager or a weeping private investor. It is, however, impo...
  • Currency update from TorFX

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    GBP/USD Exchange Rate News and Short-Term Forecast Over the last month the Pound Sterling to US Dollar exchange rate has been stuck trending in a fairly narrow range, moving between lows of 1.5435 and highs of 1.5677. Mixed economic reports from both the UK and US, a dramatic selloff in commodities and global economic concerns have conspired to pre...
  • Currency exchange and more to help with your move to the US

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    Working with a specialist currency exchange According to research quoted in The Telegraph, the average UK family move abroad with £250,000 of assets, likely to be fairly liquid due to the sale of a house and/or a car. If you were to take a fairly poor market exchange rate, with just $0.05 difference from a better rate then you could end up thousand...
  • August Market Commentary

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    July was a dramatic month. Greece held a referendum and emphatically rejected the austerity package offered by its creditors. Motor-cycle riding Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned,  calling the creditors “terrorists”, and the new finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, was seen going into yet another final, final crisis meeting with his negoti...
  • Discriminatory expat state pensions

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    Retiring abroad is a common desire for many in the UK. For those that move to the sunny Mediterranean countries of the EC their UK state pension is preserved and increased each year. If you move to the United States, it is preserved and again increases each year in line with state pensions paid in the UK. This is not the case for every destination...
  • July Market Commentary

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    An essential part of writing this bulletin each month is making daily notes on the main business and stock market news. This month we have comfortably broken our record – more than six pages of notes. And as you might expect, about half of those pages are about Greece and its debts. ‘An agreement was in sight’ on the debt repayment – but then the f...
  • UK and Cross Border Pension Sharing service

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    At Alexander Beard, we offer a UK based, FCA regulated service to individuals who are to receive pension funds when instructed by a court order. It is quite simple for the order to be made, however the actual facilitation of the request can be very difficult to complete, especially if the beneficiary is non UK resident. An example of the service we...
  • FATCA and a warning to Brits in the US

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    The Foreign Account Tax Compliance ACT (FATCA) became law in March 2010. A key focus of this piece of legislation is reporting by US tax payers of certain foreign financial accounts and offshore assets. It also covers reporting by financial institutions about financial accounts held by US tax payers. The objective of FATCA is ensure the US Governme...
  • US Dollar (USD) Exchange Rate Outlook – Is the Tide Turning for the ‘Buck’?

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    For the first three months of 2015 the US Dollar enjoyed a bullish relationship with the majority of its currency counterparts as investors priced in the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates in June. The US Dollar notably outperformed both the British Pound and Euro as UK election concerns reduced demand for Sterling while the common currency...
  • Market Commentary from Guy Baker

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    There are three things going on in the markets right now. First, most of us know that long term performance smooths out short term volatility. By definition, weekly, monthly, or quarterly data will always be more volatile than the long term trend. Go back to the 1980s or 1990s, when real GDP growth was 4%, a “slow” quarter was 2%. But today, our Pl...