The Importance of Diversification

investment diversification

Every commentator will have a different idea about which areas and which funds are the best bet and these varying opinions can cause confusion for anyone relying on their expertise. It’s also important to note that none of these talking heads will be privy to your specific financial circumstances and goals – no matter how […]

Don’t fall for a pension scam

pension scams

Frank Field, Labour MP and chair of an influential parliamentary committee, has called for legislative action to help keep pension savings safe. This comes after Police data shows that more than £43m of people’s retirement savings have been lost to fraud since the pension freedom reforms were announced. Figures from The Pensions Regulator estimate that […]

Some unusual insurance claims

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If we asked you to list the most common reasons for claiming on your household insurance, you’d probably say theft, accidental damage, or damage caused by storms and flooding. The following claims, however, are slightly more unusual… Animals do the strangest things You may have blamed the dog for homework disasters in the past, but […]

Advice matters – whatever stage in life you’re at

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The financial products and services we need to navigate through life will change with our circumstances. In the early years, our financial needs are likely to be more straightforward, getting increasingly complex as whatever your circumstances. 20 – 30’s: From single and sorted to settling down Ah, those carefree days of being young, free and […]

Are you thinking of downsizing?

Moving to the smaller home

According to a survey by Lloyds Bank, 45 percent of empty nesters have no plans to downsize, despite the potential windfall moving to a smaller place could create. For these empty nesters then, life seems pretty comfortable, but their new-found well-being could be at risk if a study by the London School of Economics (LSE) […]

Omnis Market Update


Please see the market update below from Omnis Investments: Omnis Market Update 11th September 2018 Omnis Market Update 3rd September 2018 Omnis Market Update 28th August 2018 Omnis Market Update 20th August 2018 Omnis Market Update 13th August 2018 Omnis Market Update 6th August 2018  

2018: the half year report


The first half of 2018 had no shortage of political tussles and diplomatic standoffs to deliberate on. Here, we consider some of the big economic events across the globe that have kept us busy, including incidents that have come completely from leftfield. UK Brexit has understandably dominated the headlines, and no doubt will continue to […]

Auto-Enrolment Update


It’s reasonable to suggest that auto enrolment has been a major success story. In fact, more than 1 million employers and 9 million employees have made pension saving a part of everyday life since its introduction in 2012. 6 April 2018 saw the second phase in the development of auto-enrolment; when employer and employee minimum […]

What is Private Medical Insurance?

What is Private Medical Insurance

If you’re a resident of the UK, chances are you’re covered for free healthcare from the government. However, you will find yourself limited to NHS facilities, which can include long wait times, work against your schedule, and not cover certain specialists. Private medical insurance not only covers you for procedures and benefits you may not […]

Securing your company’s future


Business Protection is a crucial element in a company’s financial future, but how many have cover in place? According to a study from Legal & General, 53% of the UK’s small businesses think they would cease trading in less than a year, should a key employee die or be diagnosed with a critical illness and […]

With protection comes choice


How many times have you heard the phrase “It won’t happen to me” when it comes to the chances of suffering a serious illness? Unfortunately, given that 1 in 2 people born after 1960 in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime we should perhaps adopt the lottery approach […]

What’s your General Insurance start date?


When you’re in the process of buying a house, you might think the best time for your Home Insurance cover to kick in is on the day you move in. Right? In fact, you must make sure you’re covered on the day you exchange contracts, because it’s at that point that you become legally responsible […]

Need help to buy?

young couple in bad financial situation stress asking for help

2018 began with a surprising pick-up in house price growth, up 0.6% month-on-month with January seeing a ten-month high increase of 3.2 percent. Even with the wider economy and Brexit developments, the housing market activity is only expected to slow a modest amount. This is great news for those already enjoying the benefits of home-ownership, […]

It happened to him


Don’t let the ‘it won’t happen to me’ approach affect your decision on whether or not to take out critical illness cover. David thought he was a fit, healthy, middle-aged man, with a good exercise regime and diet. He was a keen runner, and had even completed the New York marathon. It was only when […]

Is now the right time to fix?

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November 2017 saw the Bank of England raise interest rates for the first time in a decade, from 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent, causing a number of lenders to increase their mortgage rates. The Bank of England has indicated there could be further rate rises, so if you’re on a Standard Variable Rate […]

Going, going, gone to the auction!

Real Estate Law concept.  Model of house and a gavel.

If you think property auctions are only for professional property developers or investors think again. They can be a great place to pick up a family home. In 2017, some £3,190 million worth of UK residential property was sold at auction, accounting for 21,024 properties. Even though this is just a drop in the ocean […]

Major changes in taxation for owners of buy to let properties

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Major changes in taxation for owners of buy to let properties are being phased in over the four years starting April 2017. If you own buy to let properties, it’s important to take a look at how these gradual changes may affect you over the next few years in order to avoid any nasty surprises. […]

Freehold or Leasehold – the ins and outs

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When buying a property, you can do so either on a leasehold or freehold basis and there are important differences to be aware of before you sign on the dotted line. With a leasehold property you own the property and its land for a fixed period, depending on the agreement you have with the landlord. […]

Spring Statement

Downing Street

March has traditionally been the month for Budgets, but no longer. In Autumn 2016 the then-new Chancellor, Philip Hammond made clear he thought the propensity of previous Chancellors to turn their Autumn Statements into second Budgets was not a good idea and that he wanted to make only one set of tax announcements each year […]

Let Property Campaign

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If you let out a residential property but haven’t declared the rental income, you might be interested in a new campaign from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). HMRC estimates landlords fail to pay £550m every year and their ‘Let Property Campaign’ aims to reclaim the lost income tax on undisclosed rental income. The campaign targets […]

Are You Considering Pensions to Get Money Out of Your Company?

New research has suggested that UK’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are optimistic about the global economy and their role in it.  If this applies to you and you have built up a healthy balance sheet, you may be considering how you can release money from your business in a tax-efficient way. Most business owners […]

Is Your Pension Tax Efficient?

saving tax efficiently2

Since April 2015, pensioners have had greater freedom over how they manage their retirement savings. No longer forced to buy an annuity, they can now leave their money invested and draw an income from it (known as flexi-access drawdown). Whether you’ve already stopped working, or you’re planning to retire soon, you should be familiar with […]

Are You Missing Out on the Advantages of Pension Freedoms?

Retirement Plan and Pension - two folders on wooden office desk.

It can seem like we work our entire lives, but retirement comes faster than you think. The average person works around forty-five years of their life and then relies on a pension for another twenty-five years. That means the money you save towards your pension needs to go a long way. Whether you have multiple […]

Considering Investing in an ISA? Read this first.


Much of the discussion and commentary around ISAs is positive, particularly comments that come from the government. However, is an ISA the best place to invest your hard-earned money? What interest can you expect to earn? Here’s what you need to know. What is an ISA? ISA stands for Individual Savings Account, a title which […]

Eggs aren’t just for Easter

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The original use of the term ‘nest-egg’ comes from an artificial egg being put into a nest to induce a hen to lay. These days we often refer to our hard-earned savings as our nest-egg, and the recent rise in the ISA allowance gives additional incentive to encourage savings to grow tax-efficiently. Egg-cellent ISAs On […]

Interest Rate Rise


In 2007 Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union, Lewis Hamilton got his first drive in Formula 1 partnering with Fernando Alonso at McLaren, the final book in the Harry Potter series was published and England played their first match at the new Wembley Stadium. It was also the year in which the Bank of […]

The Value of Protection

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Buying a new home is possibly one of life’s biggest and most exciting events. It’s also a major financial commitment – one that could be with you for 25 years or more. Your ability to maintain your mortgage payments relies on a constant income, so how would you continue to make your mortgage repayments if […]

Taking a Global View

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Keeping your investments close to home may have its advantages, but only by looking globally can you be sure you’re making the most of diversification. Imagine mealtimes without choice; your culinary options limited only to British food. No stir-fries, no fajitas, no sushi – no burgers even, and fewer curries (our British national dish the […]

The ABC of Junior ISAs


The Junior Individual Savings Account (ISA) was introduced in 2011, 12 years after the launch of the original ISA in 1999, which recently celebrated its 18th birthday. In a nutshell, the Junior ISA is a long-term, tax-free savings account for children. It effectively replaced the Child Trust Fund and aims to enable parents to save […]

Are You Retiring Soon?


If you are planning on retiring soon there are a few things you may like to consider before you make any important decisions. Gather all the information You need to gather information on all your assets, including pensions as well as savings and investments. Don’t forget to include your State Pension. There are ways to […]

How To Choose a Good Conveyancer

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Conveyancing is an important part of the home buying process, and it’s important to note it’s required when both buying and selling a property. So, what should you consider when choosing a property solicitor to carry out your conveyancing? It’s important to use a qualified property solicitor who’ll be able to take care of a […]

7 Questions You Should Ask a Financial Adviser Every Year

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When was the last time you did a personal financial review? If it was more than a year ago, you should get in touch with a financial adviser today. Here are seven questions you should ask a financial adviser every year to ensure you achieve your financial goals. How will recent changes in my personal […]

Why Crowdfund The Cost of Your Healthcare?

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Crowdfunding is becoming increasingly common among people who need healthcare that’s not freely available through the NHS. Protection Websites such as, and are full of campaigns from families trying to raise funds for treatments, or seeking help to avoid the financial hardships that a serious illness such as cancer or stroke can […]

Thinking of Fixing Your Mortgage?

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If you think an increase in your mortgage repayments could have a negative impact on your lifestyle or financial wellbeing, you may want to consider fixing your mortgage. With a fixed rate mortgage, your payments are set at a certain level for an agreed period, regardless of whether your lender changes its Standard Variable Rate […]

The State Pension – all you need to know


Changes to the State Pension which took effect on 6 April 2016 were designed to simplify the system. With the earnings-related part applying to employed people removed, what you could qualify for depends on your National Insurance (NI) record For the current tax year 2017/2018, the new State Pension is £159.55 per week. To be […]

The Ninth Largest Lender

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34% of first-time buyers relied on their parents for financial help, making the bank of mum and dad’, the equivalent of the UK’s ninth largest lender in 2017. If you’re trying to get on the housing ladder, you’ll know how hard it can be: The average price of a first home is over £200,000 in […]

The matter of trusts


Taking out a life insurance policy gives you valuable peace of mind: you know you’ve protected your family against financial hardship, should the worst happen. But how can you make sure your policy will pay out quickly, to those who’ll need it most, if you died unexpectedly? The answer might be to write your policy […]

Pension Advice Allowance


Financial decisions affecting your retirement income will be among the most important you’ll make during your lifetime and investing in timely financial advice could provide a welcome boost. Since April 2017 it has been possible to withdraw £500 from pension pots (defined contribution or hybrid pension scheme savings with an element of defined contribution) in […]

Is your pension tax efficient?


Since April 2015, pensioners have had greater freedom over how they manage their retirement savings. No longer forced to buy an annuity, they can now leave their money invested and draw an income from it (known as flexi-access drawdown). Whether you’ve already stopped working, or you’re planning to retire soon, you should be familiar with […]

Buy to Let Mortgage Market Changes

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The UK’s Buy to Let market is in a state of flux, with an extra 3% Stamp Duty on the purchase of additional properties and changes to the way a landlord’s income is taxed. Landlords used to be able to deduct all finance costs from their rental income, with net profits taxed at their marginal […]

Lasting Power of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney, financial advice dartford, financial adviser dartford

A will deals with matters in the event of your death, but what if you became unable to handle your affairs while still alive? As you get older, a physical or mental illness could affect your ability to manage personal affairs. If the prospect of this worries you, you should consider setting up a Lasting […]

Are Cash ISAs worth the investment?

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After the Bank of England (BoE) cut interest rates to reassure the market following the Brexit vote, cash ISA returns plummeted. According to Telegraph Money cash ISA returns fell by as much as 35% in the six months after the BoE’s decision. A quick Google shows the best rates on offer currently are just over […]

A Sporting Chance

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Are you one of the one in three parents who worry about the risk of serious injury from school sports? Research from MetLife has found that one third of parents with school age children are concerned about serious injuries from sport – and there could be real reasons to be worried. The research shows that: […]

What’s the cost of a comfortable retirement?


Have you ever stopped to think about the monthly income you’d need to provide for a comfortable retirement? If you’re thinking it would be the equivalent of your current salary you’ve probably overestimated. Remember, by the time you retire, you will hopefully have paid off your mortgage, your kids (if you had them) will have […]

Don’t Pay For Your DIY Disasters

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Are you covered if your DIY goes awry? With a free supply of hints, tips and video guides available at the click of a button, you might feel confident about saving a bit of money and tackling tasks that you would otherwise leave to an expert. Before you get started though, it’s worth bearing in […]

The Value of Mortgage Advice

The Value of Mortgage Advice

With so many mortgage lenders offering their products on the high street and online, it can be tempting to cut out the middleman and ‘go direct’. When you’re making such a huge financial commitment, the guidance you can get from a qualified mortgage adviser can be invaluable. Here are five reasons we can make a […]

Simple ways to cut your spending


Most of us would like to reduce our outgoings and put a bit more money away each month, so here are our tips to help cut out unnecessary spending. Write a budget Creating a monthly budget plan can seem like a hassle at first, but it is the most effective tool to track your spending. […]

Time For An Upgrade?

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Have you upgraded your mobile phone in the past two years? If the answer’s yes, your choice may have been driven by a change in your needs or wants. Perhaps you opted for a better deal, a different contract, or a handset with new features that weren’t available with your previous model? When it comes […]

Investment Jargon Buster


Investment jargon explained. In this post, we explain everything from ‘asset classes’ to ‘default risk’. Assets: anything an individual, company or fund owns which has economic (tradable) value. Asset classes: Groups of securities or investments with similar characteristics that behave in a similar fashion and are subject to the same laws and regulations. The most common […]

The Importance of Protection

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Millions of pet owners have purchased insurance in case of an expensive trip to the vet, but who will pick up the bill if something happens to you? Many pet owners will know the stress and financial burden caused by an expensive vet’s bill and have taken out pet insurance to avoid having to make […]

Business Survival Planning

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If something happened to you, your co-owners or employees, could your business survive? A study by Legal and General shows 40% of businesses would fold in less than a year following the death or critical illness of a key person. The loss of a key person within a small or medium-sized business can cause unexpected […]

The New £1m Inheritance Tax Allowance

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In the wake of the 2015 General Election, the Conservative Party confirmed it would deliver on its Manifesto promise that parents could pass their property up to the value of £1m to their children free of Inheritance Tax, thanks to a new ‘family home allowance’. The allowance is called the Resident’s Nil Rate Band (RNRB) […]

Pensions for Stay at Home Parents

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Could you survive on £8,000 a year or less, in retirement? If you’ve given up work to look after your family, you’ll be among those least likely to save for retirement simply because you have no income. And when it comes to the State Pension, you’ll usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your […]

First-Time Savers

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The news is always full of stats about first-time buyers In 2016 there were an estimated 335,750 first-time buyers – the highest figure since 359,900 in 2007 The average first-time deposit has more than doubled since 2007 to more than £32,000 • the average price of a first home broke through the £200,000 barrier for […]

The Downside of Downsizing

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The decision to sell up and move to a smaller property could come as a result of children flying the nest, the need to free up cash, or both. Whatever the reason, there are costs to downsizing that are important to know about before you make the move. The ‘hidden’ fees Research from online estate […]

Tax changes impacting Buy to Let landlords

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The way landlords can claim tax relief on their mortgage finance costs has changed. Up until 5 April 2017, landlords could deduct mortgage interest from their rental income before calculating how much tax they   should pay. Now, however, tax relief on Buy to Let mortgage interest will gradually be reduced. The restrictions will be phased […]

Just About Managing

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Two thirds of working households in the UK consider themselves to be ‘just about managing’ financially, according to research. The Resolution Foundation, which researches the living standards of those on low to middle incomes, has identified six million Jams (as they have become known) spread across Britain. Jams tend to have at least one person […]

Inflation: this time it’s personal

Inflation Blog Post Image 10th July 2017

Much is made about the impact of inflation on the ‘real’ value of your income and investments. That is, the impact inflation has on your ability to continue affording your lifestyle. The magic number The Bank of England Monetary Policy Framework has an inflation target of 2%. The remit is not to achieve the lowest possible […]

Protecting your employees and assets

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Whatever business you’re in, having the right insurance in place is essential to protect your assets and responsibilities. We’ve put together a short description of the most common types of cover for small businesses, along with a brief checklist to get you thinking about your current arrangements. Common types of business insurance Employer’s Liability insurance […]

Protection Through The Years

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When it comes to protection insurance, we hold two firm beliefs: it should form the foundation of your financial plan. cover should be reviewed regularly to make sure it continues to meet your needs. The latter is particularly important when you are at a particular ‘life stage’. Whether that’s buying a house, getting married, starting […]

The Value of Mortgage Advice

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With so many mortgage lenders offering their products on the high street and online, it can be tempting to cut out the middleman and ‘go direct’. But when you’re making such a huge financial commitment, the guidance you can get from a qualified mortgage adviser can be invaluable. Here are five ways we can make […]

Are Your Contents Underinsured?

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When it comes to insuring your home and contents, many people take out far less cover than they need, risking potential upset if it comes to making a claim. The average UK home contains around £55,000 worth of possessions, but an average insurance policy covers just £35,000, leaving a huge £20,000 worth of uninsured valuables […]

Achieving Your Financial Goals

Tax Planning 1

We lead complex lives in an increasingly complex world. As your financial adviser we can help you better understand your financial challenges, goals and needs, and help you find appropriate ways to meet them. Even a seemingly straightforward financial goal can involve numerous decisions and a lot of time and effort getting it right. Whether […]

Automatic enrolment and you

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Automatic enrolment and you Auto-enrolment is a Government initiative where all workers will be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension. New figures show that by 2020 over 10 million people are expected to be newly saving or saving more as a result of automatic enrolment. This means that an additional £17 billion a year is […]

Pension Death Benefits


  With the introduction of pension freedoms in 2015, we now have a range of options when deciding how to fund our retirement. But few of us stop to consider what might happen on our death: retirement itself seems far enough away! Under the previous regulations, only one dependant of the pension plan holder could […]

What Makes a Good Buy to Let Investment?

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With property prices continuing to rise, Buy to Let can be an attractive way to invest. But whether buying your first Buy to Let property, or adding to your portfolio, it’s important to consider what’s involved. Being a landlord As well as the obvious duties of finding tenants and making sure they pay their rent […]

Buying for the first time?

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For first-time buyers, getting onto the property ladder may seem a daunting process, but there’s more help available than you might think. With supply and demand at an imbalance, the average UK house price has been pushed beyond the reach of many first-time buyers. August data from Land Registry shows an annual price increase of […]

Keeping your heart healthy

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Dementia and Alzheimers have replaced heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales, but the latter still accounted for 11.5% of all deaths in 2015. In fact, every three minutes someone in the UK has a heart attack and 30% of those are fatal. The good news is there’s a lot […]

Britain’s Happiest Places

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Leigh-on-Sea tops Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index, with Harrogate dropping to third. Rightmove’s annual study asks 24,000 people across England, Wales and Scotland to rank where they live against 12 factors relating to their local area. The factors range from neighbourliness and how much there is to do in the area, to how safe people […]

What’s your repayment plan?

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Thousands of people with interest-only mortgages expiring this year do not have a repayment plan, putting their homes at serious risk of repossession. 40,000 interest-only mortgages are set to mature in 2016, but experts suggest that only half of these homeowners have the capital in place to repay the loan. And according to the charity […]

The Search for a Reliable Retirement Income

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The April 2015 pension changes scrapped compulsory annuities, giving pensioners greater choice over how to take their retirement income. In principle, this historic change to UK pension legislation opened up a range of investment opportunities. With increased control of their pension, investors can seek to position their portfolios to deliver the income required, while retaining […]

Risk vs Reward


While homeowners can still benefit from low mortgage rates, savers will be struggling to enjoy any kind of growth on money they have on deposit, leading some to consider a riskier investment. If you’re considering investing in the stock market, one crucial and very personal issue is how you feel about the prospect of putting […]

Pack Up Your Troubles

insurance 2

Moving home can be stressful, especially if you’re new to the property ladder. But, by following a few simple tips, you can help ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible. Seek mortgage advice Try and get a mortgage offer in place before you start the buying process. It can be tempting to cut out […]

Quarterly Investment Committee Report

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This is the latest Openwork quarterly Investment Committee Report. Second Quarter 2018 Openwork Investment Committee Report First Quarter 2018 Openwork Investment Committee Report  

Managing your money as a freelancer or contractor


Research carried out by the Small Business Research Centre at Kingston University revealed there are an estimated 1.9 million freelancers in the UK, representing 36% growth over the past eight years. Almost two thirds of all freelancers work in four main industry groups: Education, health and social work (21%) Professional, scientific and technical (20%) Arts, […]

New State Pension: What’s Your Entitlement?


Between December 2015 and May 2016 around 400,000 people accessed their State Pension statements, a 40% increase on 2015 when there were 400,000 requests in total for the entire year. This significant increase is down to the launch of a new online system which calculates your likely State Pension entitlement based on your National Insurance […]

Are you considering remortgaging?


With continuing low interest rates, you may be considering remortgaging to save money. Even if your mortgage provider has recently reduced its Standard Variable Rate (SVR), moving to a new mortgage deal could save you money. But before you’re tempted by an attractive introductory rate, it’s worth considering the bigger picture. Should I stay or […]

A Year on From Pension Freedoms

A year on from pension freedoms

In April 2015 the government introduced the most significant pension reforms for a generation. The reforms give people who’ve worked and saved hard greater flexibility over how and when they access their pension savings and mean anyone reaching retirement age has been able to withdraw some, or all, of their pension (subject to tax on […]

A Financially Rewarding Retirement


A financially rewarding retirement is not the only contributor to a satisfying, healthy and enjoyable life, it’s still a pretty important one. For most, during working life, financial wellbeing will depend on whatever they do to earn money. However, as well as securing the living standards you want when you’re working, it’s also important to […]

Are Cash ISAs Still Relevant?


Since 2012, the average cash ISA rate has fallen from 2.84% to just 0.82%, while stocks and shares ISAs are performing far better, delivering an average growth of 7.4% during the 2014/15 tax year. Clearly the latter carry a varying degree of investment risk (depending on the type of funds you invest in), but does […]

Bank of Mum and Dad


With rising house prices outpacing income an increasing number of young people will borrow from parents and family in order to get onto the property ladder. The 10th largest mortgage lender The combined amount which parents and grandparents will be prepared to gift or loan their children to help them buy their first home is […]

Financial advice during a divorce


Going through a divorce, dissolution or separation is one of life’s most stressful events, so it’s important to have people around you to help with the practicalities. This is particularly true when it comes to financial matters, which can be complex and emotionally straining in these situations. Achieving a fair financial settlement As well as […]

Don’t Be a Victim of Online Fraud


With cyber crime hitting the headlines more and more these days it’s not just big businesses like TalkTalk and Ashley Madison that are in the fraudsters’ sights. What’s the worst that can happen? You may be thinking an email hack could lead to nothing more than someone reading the endless emails you’ve received from Groupon, […]

Financial back pains


Back pain is a common problem that affects most of us at some point. In 2014/15 9.5 million working days were lost due to musculoskeletal disorders including back pain. To put that figure in perspective that’s just over 26,000 years of lost productivity. In some cases the back problem will be temporary and the sufferer […]

Have you found your forever home?

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When you think about your dream home – the one you can see yourself growing old in – what do you imagine it looks like? A modern architectural masterpiece built of glass and metal, or something more old-fashioned and cosy? If you asked your friends and family what their ideal ‘forever’ home looks like they […]

Help to Buy ISA – things you might not know

feature image- downton

If you’re saving for your first home you may have heard about the Government’s latest initiative, the Help to Buy ISA. This is effectively a cash ISA where you can save up to £200 a month, but the government will boost your savings by 25% up to a maximum of £3,000 (provided you’ve saved at […]


US election comment 2016

This has become a very divisive election. It appears neither candidate is well liked and it sometimes feels this will be a vote for the lesser of two evils. However, it is a binary result: one of them has to win. According to the major polls, Hillary Clinton has a narrow lead over Donald Trump. […]

Interest-Only Mortgages

Feature image DOWNTON

Thousands of people with interest-only mortgages expiring this year do not have a repayment plan – putting their homes at serious risk of repossession. 40,000 interest-only mortgages are set to mature in 2016, but experts suggest that only half of these homeowners have the capital in place to repay the loan. And according to the […]

Lasting Power of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney

A will deals with matters in the event of your death, but what if you became unable to handle your affairs while still alive? If you’re worried that, as you get older, a physical or mental illness could affect your ability to manage your personal affairs, you should consider setting up a Lasting Power of […]

School Sports Day


Are you one of the one in three parents who worry about the risk of serious injury from school sports? New research from MetLife has found one third of parents with school age children are concerned about serious injuries from sport – and there are real reasons to be worried. The research shows in the […]

Shared Parental Leave


Shared Parental Leave (SPL) was introduced in April 2015, effectively granting fathers the same rights as mothers in the first 12 months following birth or adoption. SPL – the basics The new laws offer flexibility over when and how parents wish to share their leave. They can both be off at the same time, or […]

The Accidental Landlord


European legislation introduced in March 2016 created a new category of Buy to Let lending: Consumer Buy to Let. Its principal aim is to distinguish borrowers who become landlords by accident and therefore require consumer protection, from experienced landlords operating Buy to Let as a business. Unlike an investment Buy to Let, where the landlord […]

The Cost of a Child


It’s official: Raising a child is now more expensive than buying the average house. Average price of a semi-detached house in the UK = £219,255. Cost of raising a child to age 21 in the UK = £231,843. You’ve insured your home, but how do you go about insuring your kids? The breakdown Obviously costs […]

The Risks of Being Underinsured

Income Protection, the risks of being underinsured

Most of us wouldn’t think twice about protecting our home, car, TV or smart phone – we even insure our holidays and pets. But there’s one aspect of protection that too few of us consider – what happens to our homes and our livelihoods in the event we have an accident, serious illness or die? […]

The value of financial advice

Financial Planning

Everyone is unique. We all think – and work – differently. Some people are good with words, and others, numbers. The same might be true when it comes to planning and managing our finances. But however different our approaches might be, we probably all have similar goals for our money. Whichever way you come at […]

What’s your flood risk?

Flood Insurance

Between 3 December 2015 and 3 January 2016 there were over 22,000 flood claims, with an estimated £1.3bn being paid by insurers following the destruction caused by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank. How do you know if you’re at risk? More than 5.5 million homes are at risk of flooding, with those in the highest […]

Alternative Funerals


If you’ve ever imagined your own funeral do you think of a grand procession and a marble headstone or an altogether more demure affair? Before you start planning your funeral make sure you know fact from fiction. For instance, did you know: you don’t have to use a funeral director to organise a funeral you […]

Dividends Allowance


Dividends Allowance As of April 2016 the Dividend Tax Credit has been replaced by a new tax-free Dividend Allowance. This means you won’t have to pay tax on the first £5,000 of your dividend income, no matter what non-dividend income you have.  Any dividends you receive over £5,000 will be taxed at the following rates: […]

European Legislation Hits The UK Mortgage

European legisiation hits the UK mortgage market

European legislation hits the UK mortgage market Back in March 2011 the European Commission proposed a new directive on credit agreements for consumers secured on property, referred to as the European Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD). The new rules came into force on 21 March 2016, but what do they mean for you? Protecting consumers MCD […]

Ever bought something online that doesn’t quite fit?

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Ever bought something online that doesn’t quite fit? Sticking with the same provider year-on-year for financial products such as insurance or savings accounts may mean you’re not getting the best deal. But using price comparison sites when renewing your policy isn’t always the best way to find a better one. Added extras An investigation by […]