Staying Focussed Through The Market’s Volatility

As you will no doubt be aware, stock markets have been extremely jittery in recent days, due to the political situation on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK, the FTSE 100 has bounced back to some degree after a heavy fall on Thursday, however, with so much at...

read more

A Good Divorce… Yes You Did Read That Correctly!

That headline will undoubtedly have caused a fair few of our readers to splutter whilst drinking their morning coffee, however, this week sees a series of events and press activity by Resolution, the national organisation of family lawyers committed to...

read more

Rightsizing – Downsizing With A Vision

According to recent data released by the Centre for Ageing Better (CfAB), young people struggling to get on to the housing ladder face a new threat, which comes in the form of retirees competing for private sector rented accommodation. Generation Rent, as those...

read more

The Importance of Trusts in Financial Planning

Financial adviser research1 carried out by Old Mutual International highlights the importance of trust planning and the increase in demand from Clients. Financial Planners add real value when advising their clients on tax and financial planning aspects, and trusts...

read more

The Office Christmas Party Tax Benefit

With the Christmas office party season looming into view, small business owners have a lot to contemplate if they want to provide a memorable festive celebration for their staff to enjoy.  Rewarding hard-working staff is central to any office party, but it is often...

read more

Prestigious Award For FPG’s Platform

The software platform The Financial Planning Group uses to manage our clients’ investment portfolios has been recognised by an independent panel of judges, chaired by Personal Finance Society chief executive Keith Richards, as the best platform provider for funds over...

read more

Make The Right Equity Release Decisions

To many older home owners, using some of the equity that is locked within the value of their home is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition, but choosing the right product, or lender, often makes research confusing and decision making daunting. Lifetime...

read more

Newly Qualified Professional Mortgage News Boost

Young professionals looking to purchase their first home, or move up a rung on the property ladder, were handed some positive news this week after the Clydesdale Bank launched a home loan deal offering more generous income limits for those who have qualified within...

read more

Five Year Fix Deals Becoming More Attractive

With some experts predicting a small interest rate rise by the Bank of England in August, mortgage lenders have reacted by narrowing the gap between two and five-year fixed products – the interest rate for five-year deals is currently 1.89%, with a two-year deal...

read more

Lasting Power Of Attorney Guide

As people get older, unfortunately, there may come a time when they are no longer able to make financial decisions for themselves. As that time approaches many people choose to set up a lasting power of attorney arrangement whereby a trusted friend, or family member,...

read more

Penny Planning Versus Penny Pinching

Enjoying your retirement, after years of hard work, is a situation we all hope to achieve, however, many pensioners struggle with fears about over spending, or running out of money later in life, meaning that when it becomes time to relax and enjoy their savings,...

read more

Are Families Feeling The Pinch?

New data issued by financial services firm, L&G, shows that although parents are still contributing significantly to help their children get on the property ladder, there has been a sharp downturn in that generosity over the past twelve months. According to the...

read more

General Data Protection Regulations

General Data Protection Regulations In line with our obligations under the new general Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that come into effect on the 25 May 2018, we have prepared a detailed privacy notice which sets out the personal data that we collect and the...

read more

New Mortgage Options For Pensioners

The introduction of more choice into the retirement mortgage industry will be seen as a welcome development by millions of people in the UK who are concerned about their financial security in later life – none more so than credit-worthy pensioners stuck with...

read more

When Confidence Is Absolutely Key

          Having absolute confidence in those entrusted to look after your hard earned money is imperative – whether that is the bank you choose to manage your day to day financial affairs, or the investment specialists tasked with ensuring you are maximising the...

read more

Avoiding The Retirement Tax Traps

After a lifetime’s hard work, and years of getting up at the crack of dawn ahead of a long commute, the thought of a well-earned, long and happy retirement is certainly an appealing prospect to men and women of a certain age. However, to ensure the finance side of...

read more

Bushy Park Chestnut Sunday Takes Place On May 6th

One of Teddington's most looked forward to events, the annual Chestnut Sunday Parade, takes place on Sunday 6 May this year. The avenue of chestnut trees in Bushy Park was established during the reign of William and Mary (late 17th century) after Sir Christopher Wren...

read more

Buy To Let Mortgages At Historically Low Rates

As we approach to the second anniversary of the additional 3% stamp duty levy that was introduced for Buy To Let (BTL) purchasers, landlords should be reminded that BTL rates are now running at 1% lower than they were in 2016, with many BTL providers also having...

read more

Pension Warning For Mums

Higher income earning mums with young children are being warned they could face a hit to the tune of £23,000 to their state pension due to changes to the child benefit rules. The government introduced a ‘high income child benefit tax charge’ in 2013, which affects...

read more

Advice For Potential Bank Of Mum And Daders

Over the past 12 months we have witnessed a sharp rise in demand for mortgage products which allow parents to give a financial leg up on the property ladder to their children – to many first time buyers the Bank of Mum and Dad offers the only realistic solutions of...

read more

Stock Market Volatility – Stay Disciplined

Investment discipline can be difficult. Despite best intentions many investors chase performance and react emotionally to market swings. Trying to adapt to changing market conditions and altering investment holdings is speculating and often leads to increased costs...

read more

Avoid The Gender Pension Gap

  With so much media attention currently being given to the disparities between men’s and women’s salaries within large organisations, and equal pay for equal value issues in general, you may not be surprised to learn that the gender gap in pension funds is also a...

read more

Family Mediation Awareness 

Family Mediation Week aims to raise awareness of mediation and how it can help separating families manage their issues collaboratively and productively. Here at The Financial Planning Group we have 25 years experience working in conjunction with solicitors to achieve...

read more

Equity Release Booms – But What Are The Other Options?

Figures released this week the Equity Release Council show this form of lending reached record numbers in 2017 – more than £3 billion was lent to home owners in this sector, growth of 42% on the previous year.  The final quarter’s lending alone totalled £833 million,...

read more

Insuring Women’s Futures

Insuring Women’s Futures (IWF) is a programme established by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), aimed at promoting and enhancing the insurance industry’s role in relation to women and risk. The UK insurance industry alone contributes £29bn to GDP and employs...

read more

Don’t Become A Crypto Investment Casualty

If you’ve had your ears pricked recently by reports regarding amazing returns from investing in Bitcoin or other Crypto currencies, or investigated other buzzword topics such as Blockchain technology, then it can be quite a baffling learning process to even...

read more

Platinum Rating For FPG’s Wrap System

The Financial Planning Group are delighted to announce that our main WRAP provider, Standard Life, have qualified for an AdviserAsset Platinum rating for the third year in a row – one of only five UK WRAP providers to receive the highest platform rating. The Platinum...

read more

Divorce Day Advice

The first working Monday of the New Year has been dubbed ‘Divorce Day’ by lawyers who witness an annual spike in demand for their family law services – unfortunately the season of good will is far from that for many couples – and the extra financial strain that...

read more

Supporting Crisis & Shooting Star Chase This Christmas

The Financial Planning Group have donated to two charities close to our hearts this Christmas, instead of sending Christmas cards. Crisis Crisis at Christmas is a unique volunteer effort that provides immediate help for homeless people at a critical time of year. By...

read more

Homeowners Need To Be Savvy

Savvy UK homeowners are taking advantage of a unique economic landscape – in which further interest rate rises are predicted in conjunction with a myriad of near record low fixed term mortgage deals – ensuring they are protected against unexpected hikes in the medium...

read more

Autumn Budget 2017 – What It Means For Investors

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, delivered his Autumn Budget to Parliament, in which he outlined sluggish growth for the UK economy over the next four years – according to Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) figures – with weak productivity named as one factor for...

read more

Eight Times More Choice By Going Independent

Over half (55%) of UK consumers do not realise mortgage brokers can offer more product choice than banks or building societies, according to a report published by Legal and General. The report showed that 48% of homeowners and prospective buyers who did not use a...

read more

Time To React To Today’s Interest Rate Rise

The news that the Bank of England has raised interest rates for the first time in more than a decade – from 0.25% to 0.5% – may not have come as a total surprise, however, the hike should come as a wake-up call to many home owners who could have been more protected...

read more

Information Is Power – So Keep Your’s Secure

Phoenix, the pensions group which owns Axa, SunLife and Abbey Life, have released some worrying information that says more of its customers have reported approaches from unregulated companies after obtaining personal details about their pensions. Around 10% of the...

read more

Mixed Forecasts On Interest Rate Rise

Economists have once again offered contrasting views on the short-term chances of a rise in interest rates following this week’s published inflation figures that showed the UK’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) had climbed to 3%, it’s highest level in more than five years....

read more

Stress Test Your Pension Pot Before Taking A Dip

Ever since reforms to the Pension industry rules came into force in 2015, those over the age of 55 have been able to ‘dip in’ to their pension pots – but with those extra freedoms has come the temptation to spend in the short term on ‘living today’ rather than in...

read more

Pounds With Principles – Good Money Week

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X-QdPtc4ZQ Sustainable and ethical investment and finance allows you to have a positive impact on the environment and society without sacrificing financial performance. Good Money Week, which runs between October 8-14, raises awareness...

read more

Baby-Boomers Could Be Far Better Off Taking Advice

A recent report into pension advice behaviour of those aged between 54 and 71 has found that those who had planned for their pension provision after taking professional advice were, on average, 39% a year better off in retirement than those who had made their...

read more

London House Prices Fall For First Time In Eight Years

September’s Nationwide House Price Index report shows that London has become the weakest performing region in the UK for first time since 2005, with house prices down 0.6% year-on-year. However, nationally, annual house price growth stable at 2.0% in September. The...

read more

Putting Family Finances Before Retirement?

  According to figures released this week, one in five workers aged over 50, which equates to almost 2 million people, will face having to work longer before they consider retirement because of implications caused by their children’s or parents’ financial needs. The...

read more

Quirky Facts About A Better Planned Future

Here’s seven quirky facts that also help focus our minds on the importance of pension planning and investing in our futures. £40,000 The current annual allowance of £40,000 could buy you one night in The Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons in New York - the...

read more

North Korea: Why Haven’t Markets Been Affected?

Following North Korea’s latest missile launch, and with tensions in the Korean Peninsula escalating, many concerned observers are asking why this potential for international conflict has yet to affect the world’s stock markets. Hydrogen bombs and medium range...

read more

Inflation Hike Leads To Interest Rate And Mortgage Fears

The Bank of England’s Consumer Price Index cost of living benchmark for August matched May’s five-year high figure, prompting talk of an interest rate hike sooner than previously expected. The Bank’s policy makers meet later this week to discuss whether to raise the...

read more

High Earning Families’ Child Benefit Entitlement

Reports suggest that thousands of higher-earning parents are unaware of the link between their pension contributions and their family’s child benefit entitlements. If either parent earns over £50,000 per annum then annual payments per child of £1,076 tax free start to...

read more

Busy Doing Nothing

If you are fortunate enough to be looking forward to unwinding by the pool, or contemplating life whilst sipping a cold drink on the beach this August, then maybe you’ll appreciate the fact that, sometimes in life, you just need to relax and do as little as possible....

read more

Equity Release Reaches New High

The amount of people opting to release equity from their home, rather than downsize or relocate, reached a record high in the second quarter of 2017, with over-55s withdrawing more than £700m from their homes. That is a 36% increase on a year ago and they highest...

read more

Inflation ‘Blip’ Triggers Mortgage Deals

The unexpected fall in the latest inflation figures seems to have seen off any imminent threat of an interest rate rise in the UK, however, some Economists see this data as a blip, meaning those looking to grab one of the currently available low rate mortgage or...

read more

Rate Caution After Dip In UK Inflation

  They suggest that The Bank of England (BoE) is in an anomalous position… “ The US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank are gearing up for ‘normalisation’ of monetary policy in the absence of inflationary pressure, whilst policymakers at the BoE must decide how...

read more

Good Advice Certainly Pays Off

Research released this week shows that people who receive either independent or restricted financial advice are, on average, £40,000 better off than their unadvised peers. The data, which is supported by Royal London, found those who received financial advice...

read more

Life Expectancy Rate Falls In The UK

After more than 100 years’ growth in life expectancy levels in the UK, experts have claimed there has been a sharp dip in recent years. Lifestyle choices, as well as an increase in Alzheimer’s diagnosis, are contributory factors it is claimed. The increase rate has...

read more

Mortgage Availability Expected To Reduce

Lenders expect a slight reduction in mortgage availability over the next three months, the Bank of England said today. This is expected to affect only borrowers with loan to value (LTV) ratios of more than 75%, and in particular those with a LTV ratio of more than...

read more

The Financial Planning Group Summer Newsletter

Or download the PDF version here FPGnewsletterJune17 If you would like more information on any of the topics in this newsletter, or to arrange a financial planning consultation, please fill in your details below, or call us on 0800 731 7614...

read more

More Tempting Mortgage Deals Announced

Barclays have launched some very attractive new residential and buy-to-let mortgages as well as sweetening many of its current deals. These include a new 1.65 per cent two-year fixed rate house purchase loan at 75 per cent LTV, with no fees and a higher value...

read more

Local Expertise Outperforming City Wealth Managers

For the past eight years, Wealth-X, the leading global wealth information researchers, have collaborated with the Financial Times newspaper to inform readers of the top performers in the UK’s wealth management industry. This year’s results were published in the FT...

read more

Bank of Mum and Dad Need To Stay Within The Rules

According to recent research, ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’ risk incurring accidental inheritance tax (IHT) bills due to not fully understanding the rules on gifting money to family members and friends. Nervousness and confusion were cited as key factors in not fully...

read more

A Broker To The Rescue!

Remarkably, in an era when so many of us shop around to find the best available deals on our car insurance, utility bills and will spend hours trying to shave a few pounds off holiday flights, would you believe that 58% of people have never remortgaged to a better...

read more

The Tempting Alternative To A Buy To Let Investment

The phased removal of tax relief for would-be buy to let landlords, plus a stamp duty surcharge on second property ownership, has seen a big fall in demand since April 2016 when the new rules came into effect, as well as a reduction in mortgage approvals from lenders....

read more

From Saga to Aga to Gaga

According to an insightful article in the Financial Times recently, Saga, Aga and Gaga are the three phases of retirement; “Firstly, the “Saga phase”, when you’re sprightly enough to travel the world, take endless cruises and do the things you’ve always wanted. Next,...

read more

Mortgage Approvals Tighten – But Help Is At Hand

According to figures released by the Bank of England, mortgage companies have tightened their lending criteria in recent weeks, which has led to a reduction in approval rates and fewer loans being offered. House prices have grown 5.8% in the year to February according...

read more

April’s Arrival Heralds Some Big Financial Changes

A report by the BBC highlights why April could be a month of tightening the purse strings in households all over the land, with a list of changes coming into effect throughout the month. A rise in the National Living Wage, an increase in personal allowance income tax...

read more

Article 50 Triggered: Brexit Begins

Prime Minister Teresa May has signed the letter of notification to the President of the European Council, which triggered the much-discussed Article 50 and outlines the UK’s intention to withdraw from the European Union. This historic event is a real landmark, but...

read more

Is Childcare Help On Its Way?

Juggling work commitments with often complicated and expensive child care arrangements is a situation that all parents struggle with – especially during the pre-school years – and it is no exaggeration to say that it can be a exhausting combination. The Institute of...

read more

House Prices Rise Further In 2017

According to the first significant UK house price report published in 2017, prices are continuing to rise by almost 6.5% on average in the first month of the year. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that the average UK house price was £218,000 in the...

read more

National Insurance U-Turn Leaves £2bn Black Hole

The government’s decision to halt its Budget announcement plans to raise National Insurance rates for self employed people, following stinging criticism from Conservative back-benchers and a significant section of the public, has raised concerns that the U-turn will...

read more

Spring Budget – Some Talking Points

  Although many of today’s newspaper headlines accuse the Chancellor of moving away from a manifesto pledge, after launching a £2 billion tax rise on self-employed workers to provide extra money for social care, there were no other significant tax or pensions changes...

read more

Avoid The Standard Variable Trap At All Costs

Homeowners who delay the decision to remortgage their homes at the end of fixed-rate deals, thus moving onto the lender’s standard variable terms, are facing avoidable monthly expenditure. For example, somebody with a £200,000 repayment mortgage over a 25-year term...

read more

Job Vacancy – Senior Administrator/Junior Paraplanner

  A fantastic opportunity has arisen for an experienced IFA Senior Administrator/Junior Paraplanner to join a well-established Chartered Financial Planning Practice providing a highly personalised financial planning service. As part of the existing team, you will be...

read more

A Quarter Of Neighbourhoods Are Unaffordable

According to new data issued by the Office of National statistics (ONS) a quarter of neighbourhoods in England and Wales were off-limits to many prospective homeowners last year because average income in these areas was below the level needed to buy an entry-level...

read more

Will New Loan Deals Ease Landlords’ Concerns?

Buy-to-let landlords fear that new ‘stress test’ regulations that were introduced this year, which dictate that a landlord’s rental income must cover 125% of their mortgage interest costs, as well as a hypothetical interest rate of 5.5%, will make remortgaging their...

read more

Acceptable Tax Planning Versus Tax Avoidance

HMRC's latest weapon in the battle against tax evasion and avoidance is the introduction of new penalties against 'enablers' of unacceptable tax avoidance schemes. HMRC's specific avoidance armoury now consists of: DOTAS (Disclosure Of Tax Avoidance Schemes) - their...

read more

Santander Unveil Lowest Ever Deals

If you are considering moving home, or re-mortgaging your existing property, the unveiling of Santander’s new product range could have come at the perfect time for you. The lender launched its lowest-ever fixed rate mortgage, a 0.99 per cent 18-month loan at 60 per...

read more

New Tax Incentives For Pensions Advice

Pensioners who find themselves confused by the myriad of options available to them, yet are put off seeking professional advice because of the possible cost implications, will be heartened to learn that from April 2017, those planning for later-life financial...

read more

The Curse of Long Term Cash

As bad financial habits go, ‘saving too much’ does not, on the face of it, seem too bad a position to be in. However, according to data issued by pension provider, Royal London, the amount of money squirreled away in low-interest cash Isa accounts could be costing the...

read more

Ten Reasons To Pay Into Your Pension Before April

Pensions remain the most tax efficient way to save for retirement. And the new freedoms have removed any lingering barriers to accessing funds and passing on unused funds on death. To ensure our clients don't miss an opportunity for a top up, we've put together 10...

read more

Markets Reward Discipline – 2016 in Summary

  In 2016, the UK market reached new highs and stocks in a majority of developed and emerging market countries delivered positive returns. UK investors with overseas assets benefited from the decline of the value of the pound, with Sterling falling 16% against the US...

read more

Housing Market Forecast For 2017

Predicting how the UK’s housing and mortgage market will shape up in the year ahead is certainly more of an art than a science in the wake of a highly eventful 2016, however some outcomes are more likely than others in 2017. For example, mortgage experts believe that...

read more

Are You An Ostrich or a Splasher?

According to a fascinating feature in the Financial Times this week, each of us fits into one of six financial personality types: these include The Hoarder, The Splasher, The Anxious Investor and The Ostrich… Which one are you? In life, no two people are the same, so...

read more

Its Time IN The Market NOT Timing The Market

Economists’ failure to predict the 2008/9 global financial crisis was described as a ‘Michael Fish’ moment by the Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, who was referencing the BBC weather man who failed to see a huge storm heading for Britain in 1987....

read more

Don’t Be Duped By Unrealistic Returns

Few of us consider ourselves gullible enough to buy into a scam investment scheme, however, the story of Deanne Forrest highlights that ‘absolute zero-risk’ ‘high return’ sales patter could fool even so called street-wise investors. Reports in the press this week tell...

read more

An End To Super-Cheap Home Loans?

HSBC have taken the symbolic step of ending its record-low 0.99% two year fixed rate mortgage deal, as the bank raised rates across its portfolio of home loan products – the move has left many industry analysts asking whether this ‘turning point’ marks the end of...

read more

Autumn Statement 2016

Philip Hammond's first Autumn Statement didn't contain much in the way of major news regarding tax or pensions changes, which gives clarity when planning for the tax year-end and 2017 as a whole. There was welcome news that pension tax relief will remain untouched,...

read more

A Long-Term Perspective on Short-Term Volatility

Every now and then, unexpected events can take people by surprise. That happened recently with the UK’s EU referendum, plus of course this week's US election result, and it caused a flurry of activity across world markets. Short-term volatility can make investing in...

read more

Good Governance & Ethical Investment Choices

For many of us, making the right financial decisions probably features quite high on our list of priorities. For others, the state of the planet and the kind of world we are handing down to the next generation, may be of concern. Climate change, poverty, access to...

read more

Younger People Unsure Of What A Bank Actually Is

New research of British adults reveals that, among 18-24 year olds, 37% feel unsure of what a bank is and 83% of this age group also felt unable to explain what sustainable investments are.  An independent poll by YouGov surveying British adults aged 18+ –...

read more

Death Happens – Plan For It

Nobody wants to spend too much time thinking about the unsavory issue of death, however, according to a thought-provoking article published by moneysavingexpert.com this week, planning for the end isn’t about being morbid, it’s about making crucial decisions to help...

read more

£38bn Worth Of Maturities Between Now And The New Year

That is the staggering amount of re-mortgage business that banks and building societies are looking to cater for in the final weeks of 2016 – with home owners’ fixed-period deals coming to an end – enabling them to shop around to find themselves a new deal. And what a...

read more

Pensioners On Cusp Of A ‘Mis-Buying Crisis’

A warning by one of the UK’s leading pension providers, LV=, suggests that over-55s who have drawn down contributions from their retirement pots are on the ‘cusp of a mis-buying crisis’ if they risk reinvesting these funds in products without the help of an advisor....

read more

Take Advantage Of Record Low Mortgage Deals

The full implications of Brexit on the UK housing market in the medium-long term remain largely unknown to industry analysts, and although estate agents are reporting a post-referendum downturn in demand, with modest price reductions reported in some regions, the Bank...

read more

Further Rate Cut Considered In Medium Term

Base rates remained unchanged at 0.25% following the Bank of England’s monthly meeting in London on Thursday, although the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) suggested that it may consider cutting rates further in coming months, despite the post-Brexit landscape...

read more

Bank of England Governor Defends Brexit Position

Mark Carney faced questions from MPs on the Treasury Select Committee this week, and defended the Bank of England’s stance ahead of the Brexit vote after criticism of his handling of the referendum outcome and the Bank’s decision to cut interest rates to a record low...

read more

Will Dinner Party Lending Rival The Bank of Mum and Dad?

Much has been written about the so-called ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ in recent years – a period that has seen a large growth in the amount of parents and grandparents helping their offspring on to the property ladder – 2016 has seen £5bn leant in this way already. Every...

read more

Exam Results And Parents’ New Found Freedoms

It’s been a nerve-wracking couple of weeks for students and their parents who have been waiting for the release of those all-important A level and GCSE results with baited breath. For many, opening that envelope will bring good news – with university and collage...

read more

Moody News – Positive Data Eases Economic Blues Fears

Moody’s, one of the world’s most renowned economic rating agencies, has produced data which they suggest demonstrates that although the UK economy is slowing down, it is not to the level that more pessimistic commentators have feared. The US company, who provide data...

read more

FTSE Up Despite ’Mild Recession’ Rumours

A recent poll by news agency Reuters has hinted that the UK economy could contract by 0.1% in each of the next two quarters, which would be classified as a recession and could prompt the Bank of England to shave a further fraction off of the Base Rate later in the...

read more

More Home Owners Staying Put

August is always a quieter month for estate agents, with potential buyers traditionally taking a break from house-hunting, however, this year’s summer season seems to be slower than usual, which some analysts suggest shows more home owners have decided to put off...

read more

Mortgage Lenders Give Mixed News Following Rate Cut

There has been a mixed reaction from the UK’s mortgage experts following the Bank of England’s base rate cut, with industry commentators predicting that the reduction may not mean cheaper mortgages, despite the Governor insisting banks have ‘no excuse’ not to pass on...

read more

Rate Cut Follows Reduced GPD Forecast

The Bank of England’s announcement that it would cut the UK interest rate from 0.5% to 0.25% was widely predicted by financial commentators and investment analysts, however the Governor, Mark Carney, warned that banks had ‘no excuse’ not to pass on the lower borrowing...

read more

Governor Becoming “A One Man Stability Mechanism”

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, made a statement on Tuesday to give a further economic update following the Brexit vote result on June 23rd. Although equity markets have largely recovered, with the FTSE100 currently at pre-referendum levels following...

read more

Can You Take Advantage Of Falling Mortgage Rates?

The implications of Brexit on the UK property sector was widely predicted to have a negative impact on both commercial and residential markets, and in the coming weeks and months, homeowners will be nervously looking at the economic forecasts for any signs of a...

read more

A Stormy First Day Following Brexit Result

As was widely expected, this morning’s Brexit announcement saw financial markets react adversely as the City opened for business, both the FTSE and Pound fell sharply in early trading. However, since then, both have regained some of the lost ground – at close of...

read more

Britain’s Decision To Leave The European Union

Britain went to the polls on Thursday to decide whether to remain in, or to leave, the European Union. The result has just been announced, and Britain will exit Europe. It is impossible to know the long-term economic implications of Brexit. Financial markets will...

read more

Ladies Are Losing Out When Investing 

High achieving, dynamic, independent women may be every bit as capable and financially aware as their male counterparts, however, data shows that for some reason, women are less likely to invest on the stock market than men. Women will be the first to agree that in...

read more

How Can We Help Young Home Buyers?

An interesting article appeared in the Financial Times earlier this week, written by Merryn Somerset Webb, who suggests that despite the continuing problem of first time buyers not being able to afford to purchase a property, an issue that is particularly acute in the...

read more

Have Property Prices Really Reached The Limit?

The Chief Executive of one of the UK’s leading estate agents has warned that months of rising property prices could be about to come to an abrupt end, and that ‘trouble in paradise’ was likely following a slump in buyer demand. Paul Smith, CEO of Haart, which has 100...

read more

Your Thoughts On A 25% Fall In Your Home’s Value?

What are your thoughts on a potential 25% fall in the value of your home as a result of Britain voting ‘Leave’ on June 23? Whatever your reaction to that scenario, here at The Financial Planning Group, we don’t envisage local residents will be as cheery as Jeremy...

read more

The Church Alters Direction Towards Ethical Investment

The Church of England, which has an investment fund of more than £9bn, has come under pressure in the past to “offload particular investments to reflect its values" notably a commitment to tackling climate change. And recent reports show, that during 2015, church...

read more

Tackling The Tax Waste Mountain

An increase in pension contributions over the last year has seen the UK's tax waste drop by £300 million, however, as the following infographic shows, pension apathy is still the biggest area of tax waste - people aren't using pensions as much as they should be....

read more

Bank of Mum and Dad Becomes Top Ten Mortgage Lender

According to reports in the press today, ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’ is now equivalent to one of the UK’s top 10 mortgage lenders with an estimated £5bn plus set to be ‘lent’ in 2016. Research conducted by L&G’s Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates...

read more

Buy-To-Let Mortgages: New Restrictions

Ahead of mortgage interest tax relief changes that are due to be implemented in April 2017, some lenders have already started to unveil new affordability criteria to ensure landlords don’t over expose themselves when taking out buy-to-let mortgages in the future. The...

read more

Equity Release Alternatives For BabyBoomers

Figures released this week show that an increasing number of ‘equity rich, cash light’ BabyBoomers are deciding to sign up for Equity Release schemes and are borrowing record amounts against their home’s value. Almost £400m was released from homes in the first quarter...

read more

The Property Price Crystal Ball

Forecasts and press reports that offer opinions on the state of the UK housing market are something that fascinate anyone who owns a property, or those trying to get on the property ladder. The shortage of affordable homes in the UK, alongside steep rises in prices in...

read more

Are You Walking Into An Inheritance Tax Nightmare?

Inheritance Tax and Estate Planning has been in the news headlines constantly over the past week or so, with PM David Cameron and his family affairs coming under very close scrutiny. However, these are topics that affect every single one of us, and issues that will...

read more

Dividend Tax Changes Come Into Effect 

George Osborne announced in the last Summer Budget that the dividend tax credits system, which he described as “arcane and complex”, was to be modernised. Those changes have come into effect this week and will impact anyone expecting significant dividend income....

read more

Four Things You Should Do Before The Tax Year Ends

An article in the Guardian newspaper this week served as a timely reminder of the fast-approaching end to the tax year on Sunday 5th April and flagged four key areas. Advice such as maximising your available Isa and Pension allowances; ensuring you keep your child...

read more

Paying Too Much For Your Barclays/Woolwich Mortgage? 

If you are on a long term tracker with a Barclays/Woolwich account which, until now, has been a great deal – we may be able to better it – without even switching lender. With five-year fixed rates available from 2.25%, and trackers from 1.43%, we can get you a new...

read more

Budget 2016 – What It Means For Savers and Investors?

Chancellor George Osborne delivered his Budget to parliament yesterday, with today's newspapers full of varied reactions. The Daily Mail summed it up as, "A fine Budget, marred by the dreaded  D-word (Deficit)", with The Financial Times' front page suggesting that;...

read more

Will You Trust An Investment Robot?

The term ‘robo-advice’ has appeared in several Press stories this week, following the Financial Conduct Authorities (FCA) decision to allow automated online software and algorithms to be used when offering financial advise to investors. Aware that an increasing number...

read more

Are Interest Rates To Remain Frozen Into The 2020s?

The UK Bank Interest Rate has been frozen at just 0.5% for the past six years, with recent forecasts suggesting that there may be no rise from that historic low until Autumn 2019 at the earliest, and some analysts even suggesting that could continue into the early...

read more

Leap Day Finance Minister Bonus

Leap years are a considered a bonus for finance ministers around the world as the extra day boosts their nation’s annual output by a sliver and so flatters their record. Leap day is an artifact that dates back to the year 46 B.C. Back then, Julius Caesar took the...

read more

Confusion Over Tax Free Pension Rules

Former pensions minister, Steve Webb, caused a stir at the weekend when suggesting an end to the tax-free lump sum that can be be taken from pensions may be announced in the Budget on March 16th. The comments have led to confusion, with many individuals with pension...

read more

Confident Mortgage Market Providing Great Deals 

Mortgage interest rates of around 2% could be with us until 2020, according to the former chair of the Financial Services Authority, Lord Adair Turner. Lord Turner’s prediction was made on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, in which he also commented that the bank lending...

read more

Shocking Statistics Revealed: Is It Time To Talk Tax?

According to a recent survey, as many as 57% of taxpayers admit they have done nothing to reduce the tax they pay in the last year. The reasons behind this vary from not being aware, not understanding tax issues, or simply because they just haven’t thought about it…...

read more

The Year That Was: 2015 In Summary and Context

2015 in Summary After several years of seemingly uninterrupted growth, 2015 was marked by increased volatility. The year got off to a good start with many markets around the world reaching record highs in April, but stocks fell dramatically in August, led by a sharp...

read more

Are Higher Earners Braced For March Budget Attack?

March 16th 2016 looks set to become a very important date for Britain’s higher earners as, according to Richard Dyson writing in today’s Telegraph, “it will be the date that Mr Osborne launches his most violent attack yet on better-off earners and savers.” There are...

read more

Low Mortgage Rates Continue Into 2016  

As we enter a new year, many financial commentators have suggested that the Bank of England may follow their US counterparts by raising the base lending rate during 2016, which is a perennial concern to all home-owners who fear a hike in their monthly outgoings....

read more

Protection Rule Changes Could Cost Savers £100s

As of January 1, savers with large amounts of cash savings could face losing £100s in interest because of new rules which require splitting cash pots to ensure it is adequately protected. A key depositor protection deadline passed along with the 2015 year end, which...

read more

Happy New Year!

The Financial Planning Group would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2016. If you would like to speak to us about your  financial situation or retirement planning options, please call us on 0800 731 7614 or by e-mail...

read more

Pensioner Bond Shock For The Over-65s

Investors who were tempted to place savings in the Governments ‘pensioner bonds’ will be disappointed to discover that the returns they expected have been halved. The bonds had been designed to encourage the over-65s to invest, with attractive returns on cash savings...

read more

Reducing Inheritance Tax On The Family Home

Those who attended our recent Inheritance Tax Seminar were given the inside track on the changes unveiled in the Summer Budget that will reduce the burden of Inheritance Tax (IHT) for most families by making it easier to pass on the family home to direct descendants...

read more

Structured Discipline Is The Answer To Warnings

The Bank of England (BoE) has raised concerns over the amount of buy-to-let home mortgages that are currently being issued and wants commercial banks to rein in their lending in this sector –  however, the BoE hopes it can tackle the issue without having to raise...

read more

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement: Pensions

The Chancellor, George Osborne, today presented his Autumn Statement, which outlined the state of the economy and spending plans for the next four years in the Spending Review. The pension announcements in this year's Autumn Statement mainly centre around the state...

read more

Even More Variety In The Mortgage Market

Over the past few weeks several new Interest-Only mortgage products have been introduced by lenders – an option that had all but disappeared in recent years. There are restrictions however, with the new interest only criteria requiring a minimum income of £75K in...

read more

The True Cost Of Parenthood

For many people, becoming a parent and raising children is the most expensive stage of their lives. But, after paying out for another school trip, a new school uniform, or the latest ‘must have’ video game release, have you ever stopped and thought ‘just how much’...

read more

Millions Sleepwalking Into Poverty-Stricken Retirement?

According to a report in today’s Daily Mail, “Millions of workers could be sleepwalking into a poverty-stricken retirement because they are not paying enough into their pensions.” The newspaper report goes on to suggest that, “average contributions to company...

read more

Cash Worth £3bn Hoarded In UK Homes

According to a recent report, cautious Britons are hoarding bank notes worth at least £3bn in their homes – that’s a lot of cash stashed under floorboards or mattresses in case of emergencies. Despite better protection from banks since the financial crisis, and...

read more

How Much Does Good Financial Advice Cost?

Over the years we have often heard people ask us whether it’s worth their while to seek financial advice, or have been put off doing so because of concerns about the potential costs. However, a recent unbiased.co.uk Value of Advice Report found that those who had...

read more

Good Money Week 2015 – 18th – 24th October

For many individuals, knowing that their money is invested with ethically and socially responsible companies is of great importance, therefore we will once again be supporting Good Money Week’s campaign to raise awareness of sustainable, responsible and ethical...

read more

Our Top Five Retirement Dreams

  Most of us dream of what we’ll do when we stop working — seeing more of the world and more of our families are just two dreams that top the list according to a survey by unbiased.co.uk. The top five retirement dreams are as follows: The ability to go on regular...

read more

Your NI Number… Did You Know?

It is the only essential UK-wide adult identity reference. The ‘number’ itself is made up of both letters and numbers, however, they do not include D, F, I, Q, U or V to (historically) reduce handwriting errors… the combinations BG, GB, NK, KN, NT and ZZ are also...

read more

Defusing An Interest Only Mortgage Time Bomb

It has been dubbed the ‘Interest Only Time Bomb’ by the press in recent weeks, with many column inches and online reports dedicated to painting a bleak picture in which as many as 1.7 million people have no means of repaying their mortgage debt. The reports also...

read more

Households Braced For Rises

The Bank of England policymakers’ message surrounding forthcoming interest rate rises are being heeded by UK households it would seem – with a report this week claiming that 78% of us now expect rate rises within the next year, with 48% anticipating the upward curve...

read more

Six Month Warning Over Interest Rate Rises

Following the Bank of England’s  ‘Super Thursday’ meeting in London, the Bank provided the latest Quarterly Inflation Report alongside its August Interest Rate decision – although the base rate remained frozen at its historical low 0.5% figure, the Bank pushed back...

read more

Fresh Pension Pot Fraud Warnings

Figures released this week underline how scammers are continuing to target pension pots... to the tune of £4.7m in May alone. It appears that fraudsters are using tactics to aggressivly dupe savers following new freedoms, which allow over 55s to spend their retirement...

read more

£1.8 billion Liberated From Pension Pots Already

Figures released this week show that April’s pension freedoms, which allow those aged 55 and over to cash in their pensions to release a lump sum, are proving popular – more than £1.8bn has been ‘liberated’ from around 235,000 pension pots in just three months....

read more

Budget 2015 Bullet Points

   Taper of annual allowance for those earning between £150,000 and £210,000 from £40,000 to £10,000  read more Pension input periods will be aligned to tax years for all schemes from April 2016 read more Second hand annuity market delayed until 2017 Pension wise...

read more

Interest Only Mortgages Are Back On Offer

Interest-only mortgage deals have re-emerged as an option for borrowers after virtually disappearing for the past five years.  Interest-only deals, where the borrower only pays off the interest each month and not the capital, were immensely popular prior to the...

read more

Will George Osborne Reduce Top Tax Rate In Budget?

Reports in the Press this week suggest that as many as 160 Tory MPs support the call to cut the top rate of income tax from 45p to 40p in the July 8th budget. They believe that, by reducing tax rates for the highest earners, it produces more economic activity, which...

read more

Greece: Implications For UK Investors

  It would appear that the Greek authorities have blinked first and come up with a proposal that will allow the EU to throw in the towel whilst still keeping some degree of self-respect. With the FTSE 100 index down a few hundred points from the high, about 5%, in...

read more

Take Full Advantage Of Record Low Home Loans

According to the Bank of England, many of the mortgages advertised to borrowers during May were cheaper than at any time on record. For households with substantial property equity, short-term fixed rates fell to their lowest levels since records began in 1995  – the...

read more

Pension freedom rip-offs to be tackled

According to press reports this weekend, the Government intend to tackle the problems that some individuals are facing since the recent pension reforms were introduced. A Ministerial enquiry has been ordered to investigate the obstacles and rip-offs millions of savers...

read more

Pension Contribution Tax Warning

It appears that the continued aim of the new Government is to move quickly to cut the deficit further. Plans have been outlined to reduce the deficit by £3 Billion pounds ahead of schedule. The stated aim being £13 Billion over the next 2 years. Pledges have been made...

read more

Simply Squirrelling Could Be Nuts 

Keeping larger sums of money squirrelled in basic bank accounts, earning little or no interest, is an all-too-common situation according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – they say that more than £160bn in cash savings is languishing in low-interest accounts...

read more

Have You Registered Following Tax Allowance Changes?

It is estimated that more than four million married couples and civil partners could benefit from tax allowance changes that came into effect earlier this year. Have you registered to make the most of the new rules? From April 6, couples with one non-taxpayer and one...

read more

The Jelly Bean Theory

Visitors to The Financial Planning Group exhibition stand at last week's Richmond Expo took part in a novel, sweet-themed experiment, with guests being asked to estimate the number of jelly beans in the FPG jar. The average estimate of all participants was very close...

read more

Deflation – Don’t Fear The ‘D’ Word Just Yet

The Bank of England’s announcement that Deflation, as had been predicted for several months, has returned to the UK economy for the first time in over 50 years, prompted economists and financial commentators to evaluate the affect a fall in prices will have on the...

read more

The Lowest Five Year Fixed Rate In History

Barclays have launched a five year fixed rate mortgage priced at 1.99% for a limited period of ten days. This is available on both a repayment and interest only basis. This is the lowest five year fixed rate in history. Could you benefit from a quote over the phone?...

read more

Can You Be Trusted With Your Pension?  

The Work and Pensions Select Committee last week proposed that the minimum age at which individuals are able access to their pension savings should be increase from 55 to five years before state pension age. According to reports; “Senior political figures and think...

read more

Collaborate Divorce & Financial Planning

As Chartered Financial Planners we work closely with a number of local professionals involved in family law, particularly divorce. As a member of the team with Collaborative Lawyers and Family Change consultants, our financial planning expertise is employed...

read more

Reclaim Your Forgotten Cash From Lost Bank Accounts

It is estimated that there could be as much as £15 billion of unclaimed financial assets in the UK that is simply sitting in old bank accounts, pensions, life assurance and investments, just waiting to be reclaimed. Tracking this money is becoming ever-easier, with...

read more

Pensioners: Beware Of The Vultures

An article in The Telegraph recently has underlined the fears of many reputable pension professionals – that the vultures are circling in the wake of the Government’s major reform of pension rules, which came into effect on April 6th, 2015. Indeed, David Barrett’s...

read more

Join Us At The Richmond Expo On May 22nd

The Financial Planning Group are pleased to announce that we will be one of the 80-plus exhibitors at this year’s Richmond Expo, which takes place at Twickenham Stadium on Friday 22nd May. The annual exhibition is a vibrant event for local companies wanting to access...

read more

Summary Of Key Impacts: Budget 2015 Update

  Following last week’s pre-election Budget, we have prepared a summary of the key impacts and tax changes that were outlined by the Chancellor. We hope that you or your clients find the information useful, and if you would like to discuss any of the issues in more...

read more

Take Advantage Of Tax Benefits: April 5th Deadline

With the April 5th deadline approaching, we wanted to remind you that every tax year end closes the door on an annual opportunity to take advantage of one of the few tax benefits now available. The 2014/15 annual ISA/NISA allowance of £15,000 per individual cannot be...

read more

FPG’s Free Pension Rule Change Guide Download

New pension rules come into affect on April 6th 2015, which mean that over-55s will be given unfettered access to their pensions. However, these freedoms are peppered with new and complicated rules, which could cost retirees dearly if misunderstood. We have produced...

read more

£160bn is languishing in low-interest savings accounts

With the Bank of England interest rates widely predicted to remain at an historic low, or maybe fall as a measure to stave off the threat of deflation; the plight of Britain’s savers is once again in the spotlight. According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)...

read more

Mixed Pension Warnings Ahead Of April Rule Changes

According to a report in the Press this week, “Pension providers, advisers, regulators and the Government are not ready for reforms which, in less than six weeks time, will give people more freedom over their pension pots…” The Association of British Insurers also...

read more

Be a winner in the fixed-rate price war

The fixed-rate mortgage price war seems to have escalated in recent weeks, with many lenders battling to provide consumers with tempting products at record low rates. For example, details have landed on my desk this week offering my clients Trackers with no penalties...

read more

The Quick Fix To Mortgage Rate Confidence

The Bank of England this week announced the findings of its study into mortgage affordability if interest rates were to rise from their historical low of 0.5%, to 2.5%, in the medium term. Although the report suggests that just 4% of mortgage holders would need to...

read more

The Autumn Statement

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, presented his Autumn Statement to Parliament on Wednesday, with the changes in Stamp Duty Tax grabbing most of the news headlines. However, Osbourne also updated Parliament on wider economic landscape and the Budget...

read more

Mortgages Being Rejected For The Over 40s

The struggle that faces many 40-plus-year-old mortgage applicants when trying to borrow money from Britain’s biggest lenders was highlighted on BBC News again today. Over the past few years certain lenders have made it increasingly difficult for ‘older’ borrowers to...

read more

Interest Rates Look Fixed For 2015

Writing for The Guardian this week, Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: ‘Six years on from the financial crash that brought the world to its knees, red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy.' However, the Governor of...

read more

One In Five Would Rather Die Early Than Retire Poor

The findings of a report from American bank, Wells Fargo, make for very gloomy reading – with one in five middle class respondents admitting that they would rather die early, than retire poor. Financial worries by those looking ahead to their retirement are not unique...

read more

Unbiased Advice On Money Box

Professional advice website, unbiased.co.uk, will be featured on BBC Radio 4's popular Money Box programme this Saturday, to chat about the guidance guarantee and how to find a financial advisor. The show's presenter, Paul Lewis, who writes extensively about financial...

read more

Teddington Property News Magazine

The new issue of Teddington Property News, which can be downloaded for free here, or read below, features up-to-the-minute news and advice for local property investors, landlords, those considering buying an investment property, or home-owners seeking to re-mortgage...

read more

The Growth Of Good Money

You can’t move these days for the different ways there are to ‘go green’. But how many of them could also offer a return on your money? Good Money Week runs from 19-25 October, so perhaps it’s a good time to think about adding a sustainable or ethical option to your...

read more

Death Tax Rate Changes Unveiled

Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled outline changes intended to cut death tax rates for pensioners, with further clarification expected in his autumn statement on December 3rd. It is understood that those under the age of 75 will soon be able to leave drawn down or...

read more

Ethical Investment – Good Money Week

For many individuals, knowing that their money is invested with ethically and socially responsible companies is of great importance. The Financial Planning Group, who are celebrating 21 years in business at the heart of Teddington, will be supporting Good Money Week’s...

read more

NISAs – Part Of Your Investment Strategy?

The 2014 Budget contained some unexpected good news for pensioners and savers, which included the introduction of the New Individual Savings Account, or NISA’s, as well as ‘Pension Liberation’ changes designed to allow individuals to unlock their pensions, or access...

read more

Good Mortgage Advice Is The Key

Whether you are buying a new home, re-mortgaging to take advantage of a better deal, increasing a loan for home improvements, or considering a buy-to-let investment, it is always advisable to seek the best possible independent advice. Banks and Building Societies are...

read more

FPG Celebrate 21st Birthday

The Financial Planning Group celebrates an important landmark this summer, with our company marking 21 years in business at the heart of Teddington. FPG partners, Alan Clifton and Tim Norris, will be marking the occasion with clients and staff with several events in...

read more

Financial Planning Group Attain Chartered Status

The staff at FPG in Teddington are proud to announce that the company have attained Chartered Financial Planner status – recognition, in our 21st year of business, that we adhere to a strict code of conduct and a commitment to ongoing professional development. The...

read more

The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.