All Posts By

philteale

Higher inflation in 2021? What it means for investing

By | Investment Planning

UK inflation has been rising in 2021. It more than doubled in April to 1.5% as clothing, footwear and energy prices rose. Inflation erodes the “real returns” of investments – e.g. if an equity fund rises 4% in value over a 12-month period but inflation also rises 2%, the “real value” of your returns is 2%. As such, many investors are concerned about what this could mean for their investment strategy. Unfortunately, there is no cast-iron method to predict whether inflation will rise significantly within a given timeframe – or by how much.

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How to diversify your portfolio effectively

By | Investment Planning

Pension rules in the UK are notoriously complex. Not only are there multiple types of pensions to deal with, but drawing from them needs to be planned carefully. For instance, did you know that the State Pension is accessible from your State Pension age – 66 in 2021 – but you can only access your defined contribution pension(s) from age 55 (under the 2015 Pension Freedoms)?

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Side-step this key pension trap

By | Pensions

Pension rules in the UK are notoriously complex. Not only are there multiple types of pensions to deal with, but drawing from them needs to be planned carefully. For instance, did you know that the State Pension is accessible from your State Pension age – 66 in 2021 – but you can only access your defined contribution pension(s) from age 55 (under the 2015 Pension Freedoms)?

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5 ways to become a more savvy investor

By | Investment Planning

How do you get higher investment returns and grow your wealth? This is usually the motivation behind wanting to become a better investor. Yet people have different understandings about what investing is, and how to do it successfully. Here at WMM, our team in Oxford offers their thoughts on what defines investing – and how to invest effectively.

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A short guide to better money management

By | Financial Planning

You have your monthly spending and bills. Birthday and Christmas gifts. One-off, unexpected costs (e.g. a broken boiler). Pension contributions. Holidays. Rare, big purchases like a new car. Savings and investments. The list goes on. Money management is difficult, to say the least. Yet doing it well is certainly possible. Here at WMM, in light of the financial hardships many people have experienced with COVID-19, we wanted to offer this 2021 guide below.

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How good are final salary pensions?

By | Pensions

There are many types of UK pension – with final salary pensions often referred to as “gold plated” ones. Also sometimes called defined benefit pensions, final salary pensions pay you a lifetime, guaranteed income in retirement – similar to a state pension.

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Are you keeping too much in cash?

By | Investment Planning

Cash in the bank feels great – especially after a year like 2020, which has shown the importance of having a strong emergency buffer. However, is your cash really working for you? Inflation (i.e. the “cost of living”) stood at around 0.7% in 2020, yet interest rates on easy-access UK savings accounts are currently barely breaking even with this. Therefore, those with large cash savings are likely missing out higher returns offered elsewhere – and may even lose money in real terms later this year if inflation rises, as it might indeed do. As such, what are some other options?

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Lifetime allowance: how to save tax if you’re near £1m

By | Pensions

Did you know that there’s a limit to how much you save into a pension? In 2020-21, this “lifetime allowance” is set at £1.0731 million – with 55% tax levied on any withdrawals which exceed this amount (or 25% when taken as income). Unfortunately, many people in the UK are unaware of this limit throughout their careers, only to face difficult and costly decisions as retirement nears and the realisation dawns. Here at WMM, our aim is to help people avoid these kinds of errors and enjoy their hard-earned wealth once their careers wind down. Below, you’ll find some ideas about how to avoid breaching the lifetime allowance – as the rules currently stand.

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Brexit 2021: how does it affect my investment strategy?

By | Investment Planning

The UK’s four-year wrangling with the EU for a Brexit “trade deal” has finally ended. At 11pm on the 31st of December 2020, the “transition period” – during which the EU’s rules for trade, travel and business temporarily still applied to the UK – ended. From the 1st of January 2021 the relationship between the UK and EU will be governed primarily by the formal Brexit deal that has been agreed.

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The tax efficiency of a well written will

By | Financial Planning

Many people think that a will’s main purpose is to ensure that your possessions go to the right people upon your death. This is partly right, but a will also holds immense power to help reduce a future inheritance tax (IHT) bill if you plan it carefully. In 2019-20, the UK government collected £5.13bn in IHT receipts – much of which was needlessly paid. How, then, can you ensure that you keep as much as your hard-earned wealth as possible within the family?

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