Blog

  • Perspectives on Active and Passive

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    One of the things I love most about working with investments is that it is impossible to isolate a single idea, cause or theme. All of the information is interlinked somehow, whether it is hard data or a philosophy of investment. As a result, the investment world can occasionally take you in surprising directions. This is what happened when I quick...
  • 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...
  • Death in Service and the Lifetime Allowance

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    Given the current trend for large Defined Benefit/Final Salary transfer values, we are seeing more people than ever being affected by the lifetime allowance which currently stands at £1 million. However, one very important but sometimes forgotten consideration is death in service (DIS). When assessing the value of pension benefits in relation to th...
  • 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...
  • Quarter 3: Update from our Netherlands Office

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    On October 10th two Liberal and two Christian parties came to an agreement about a new coalition. It took 4-5 months of negotiating to get to this point. The main message of the coalition is “Vertrouwen in de toekomst” (Trust in the future), and with which they claim everybody in the Netherlands will be better off. For employee benefits the followi...
  • Offset - Why is it no longer fashionable?

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    Offset Mortgages were the belle of the lending ball ten or so years ago. Innovative products from lenders like First Active and Intelligent finance were heralded as the future of Mortgage repayment. So why has the marketing stopped? It could be argued that as interest rates declined the benefit of the offset minimised. Also the true current account...
  • How long would your savings last?

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    A recent survey has found that the typical working person in the UK has around a month’s worth of savings to be able to maintain their current lifestyle should their income stop without warning. The data collected from 2,000 people found that the average person’s savings would support them for 32 days. More worryingly, 26% of those who responded sa...
  • Could buying a home be the worst financial decision you’ll ever make?

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    However, Chris Reining, an American self-made millionaire who retired at 37, has recently described purchasing a house in his mid-twenties as ‘probably the worst financial decision’ he has made in his life. Reining bought a $200,000 house in Madison, Wisconsin, paying a deposit of $40,000, but now says that, thanks to not making the right financial...
  • Free password managers: what’s available and how they compare

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    As more and more services become available online, the number of login details you need to remember also increases. But whilst the growth of internet banking, shopping, film and TV streaming offers ever more convenience, it also puts your sensitive information at increased risk. This is because it can be tempting to help yourself to remember all yo...
  • How to combine work/life balance, job satisfaction and retirement

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    Two of the biggest concerns faced by workers when they reach their 50s and 60s are those of achieving job satisfaction and a work/life balance. Recent studies have offered fresh insight into the reasons behind these issues and the best ways to tackle them. One study conducted by economists at the University of Southern California and California Sta...