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Autumn Budget Highlights

Written By: Mark Cooper on January 12th 2017 Autumn Budget Highlights

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered, with unexpected confidence and wit, his first and last Autumn Statement back in December, his most notable point being that such statements are to end, reverting to solely a Budget each spring, the next set for Wednesday March 2017..



Pension Tax incentives

Written By: Mark Cooper on January 9th, 2017 Personal Tax incentives

The Government, HM Treasury to be precise, recently published this infographic illustration called “Ways to Save in 2017” and conspicuous by its absence was the option to contribute to a Pension..



Savings Interest Rates Hit New Lows

Written By: Mark Cooper on October 26th, 2016 Savings Interest Rates Hit New Lows

In the wake of the unexpected EU Referendum outcome the Bank of England have reduced their base rate from the 2008 “emergency level” of 0.5% to a previously unthinkable 0.25%, with Governor Mark Carney’s assistant already suggesting a further cut may be imminent...



Investments – the Brexit Bounce

Written By: Mark Cooper on August 15, 2016 Investments – the Brexit Bounce

The historic decision on 23rd June 2016 by the British public to leave the EU was a largely unexpected outcome that caused immediate havoc in global financial markets, notably UK and other stockmarkets and currency exchanges. I wrote to all clients the day after in order to reassure, keep their eye on the longer-term and,..



Sorry, (Almost) No Vacancies

Written By: Mark Cooper on August 16, 2016 Sorry, (Almost) No Vacancies

We have just returned from a much-needed two weeks holiday on the Isle of Wight. Blessed with sunshine it is such a beautiful and largely unspoilt gem of a holiday destination, just a short ferry crossing away. Wightlink do, it is said, run the most expensive ferry crossing per mile in the world, however it..



Investments – the Brexit Bounce

Written By: Mark Cooper on August 15, 2016 Investments – the Brexit Bounce

The historic decision on 23rd June 2016 by the British public to leave the EU was a largely unexpected outcome that caused immediate havoc in global financial markets, notably UK and other stockmarkets and currency exchanges. I wrote to all clients the day after in order to reassure, keep their eye on the longer-term and,..



EU Referendum Result – It’s Time to Leave

Written By: Mark Cooper on June 24, 2016 EU Referendum Result – It’s Time to Leave

I must confess this is version two of this Blog post, having convinced myself late thursday afternoon that the “remain” camp had won I wrote a lengthy tome in the evening whilst awaiting the results into the early hours, at which point I would have slumped off to bed. Of course it turned out very..



State Pension Changes Arrive in April 2016

Written By: Mark Cooper on March 28, 2016 State Pension Changes Arrive in April 2016

From 6th April some very significant changes to the UK State Pension commence and it is fair to say the communication of these changes and their implications and outcomes for future retirees could be a lot clearer than at present. Like most “simplification” projects at Government level it has become devilishly complicated, seeking not to..



March 2016 Budget Highlights

Written By: Mark Cooper on March 25, 2016 March 2016 Budget Highlights

It was an interesting, at times surprising and certainly wide-ranging Budget, to say the least, delivered by a long-time Chancellor clearly comfortable in his own shoes. Rather than going through every detail here, these are the salient points for my clients in relation to saving towards or facing retirement and those living in retirement: Income..



Lifetime ISAs – a Pensions Trojan Horse?

Written By: Mark Cooper on March 25, 2016 Lifetime ISAs – a Pensions Trojan Horse?

In a curiously give-away Budget, most unusual so early in the 5 year electoral cycle, Chancellor George Osborne announced the introduction of the Lifetime ISA for the under 40s to be introduced from April 2017. In a nutshell young adults between 18 and 40 will be able to contribute £4,000 per year and receive a..



Pension Ch-ch-ch-Changes

Written By: Mark Cooper on February 7, 2016 Pension Ch-ch-ch-Changes

The death of David Bowie last month, at an untimely 69 years of age, received huge media attention and rightly so, being surely the most significant passing of a hugely influential and ground-breaking singer/song-writer since the tragedy of John Lennon’s murder in 1980. Music has the power to shape our lives, our thinking and our..



Buy-to-Let Bubble?

Written By: Mark Cooper on February 7, 2016 Buy-to-Let Bubble?

A relative has just sold a two bedroom flat in a less desirable part of South London in order to help fund Care Home fees. The sale price achieved was an eye-watering £265,000, sold to the very first viewer, time being of the essence. Money is cheap to borrow, in fact has never been cheaper..



State Pension Age – The Harsh Reality

Written By: Mark Cooper on January 14, 2016 State Pension Age – The Harsh Reality

The speed at which the UK State Pension age has increased and is still set to rise, in particular for females, has been dominating Parliament and the news in recent days with the UK Government under fire for such “injustice”. Whilst not a popular view, I have been voicing my rarely held back opinion within..