Blog

  • 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...
  • To Brexit or not to Brexit? – that is the question

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    If you have any views on the following please do engage with me through pdb@abg.net 1. How did we arrive at the present situation? The glib response would be “have you got a week?” but to bring it down to its basic level, it seems to be a case of “realpolitik“, at the recent General Election David Cameron had little choice but to offer the citizens...
  • Basic Bank Accounts Become ‘Fee-Free’

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    Millions of bank customers across Britain stand to benefit by hundreds of pounds as nine major banks launch fee-free basic bank accounts. The accounts will be available to anyone who doesn’t already have a bank account, is ineligible for a standard current account or who can’t use their existing account due to financial difficulty. For the first ti...
  • 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...
  • Will we get a fairer state pension deal for women?

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    A recent Saga article claims that the battle to give women a fairer deal over their state pensions scored a significant victory early in January, when it was the subject of a House of Commons debate. Although the debate had no power to directly alter government policy, it represented yet another important step in bringing the campaign into the publ...
  • Early Budget teasers, as the Prime Minister lays out plans for ‘an all-out assault on poverty’

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    Reported recently across the media, David Cameron has promised an ‘all-out assault on poverty’, with a series of social reforms to include better mental health services and mentoring schemes. The PM said new mothers and teenagers with anorexia were among those who would benefit from improved services. He also promised to flatten ‘sink estates’, hel...
  • More debate on care costs, as four out of ten say they would deplete wealth to avoid paying

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    Forty-three per cent of people in England would deliberately deplete their wealth to avoid paying for care, leading to more pressure on state finances than ever before, statistics from the latest Partnership Care Report show. Findings in the report show the number of people prepared to reduce their assets below the £23,250 annual threshold to ensur...
  • Pension tax changes: Should you pay more before relief rates are curtailed?

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    Given recent comment from George Osborne, and mentions of the same during the Autumn Statement, it appears as though pension tax is set for a shake-up in 2016. With that in mind, there appears to be a potential opportunity for higher-rate taxpayers to make the most of their savings while the good times last. Though not confirmed at this current tim...
  • 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...