Don’t Panic ! Volatility in the UK and worldwide stock markets is scary, but..

There has been a lot of noise in the press concerning the markets following a sudden dip in world markets on Monday, August 24th, and again today, Tuesday, September 1st. I thought I might weigh in with a few thoughts of my own since this is a matter of concern to people, and many investors are wondering what to do for the best.

world markets pic

One thing to remember is that it is impossible to “time” one’s investments into and out of the markets with any consistency. You will never buy at the bottom nor sell at the top. What an investor needs is a good plan and to stick to it.

Investors who are exposed to the markets should really be looking at 5 to 10 years, as the longer you are invested the more likely you are to make expected returns – i.e. time mitigates risk.

A person’s investment portfolio needs to be diversified across a number of different asset types, and across different geographical regions, in a sensible combination designed to reflect that investors ability to withstand loss, and their taste for risk. For those who follow this line of diversified investing, there is probably little to do at the present time except sit tight, or perhaps re-balance their holdings if necessary.

You might ask yourself whether your portfolio still reflects your long-term objectives and taste for risk, but try not to be negatively influenced by short-term fears in such an assessment. When in doubt, discuss with your investment adviser. If you don’t have an investment adviser, I suggest you get one since the long term improved returns can be expected to outweigh the fee charged.

When there are sudden market drops, investors are likely to focus on other perceived negatives – this is just human nature. But this just reinforces the negative view, leading to an escalation in negative sentiment all round. This can cause irrational selling. And remember, the automated trading programs plugged into the markets nowadays control literally £ billions (if not £ trillions) of assets, and if they trigger we can see huge sudden shifts in stock prices – in the USA massive blue chips like Microsoft lost up to 10% in a very short period before mostly recovering. When a sell-off is driven by adverse sentiment rather than by adverse fundamentals, it tends to be relatively short term, and savvy fund managers are likely to take advantage of buying opportunities.

Of course, whether a dip in the market is indicative of further falls to come is extremely difficult to predict. But one thing most investment experts will agree upon is that you should never sell at a significant low point in the cycle. In other words, try not to give in to fear, but be prepared to ride out the storm, i.e. stay invested. The chart below shows how staying invested is likely to be better in the long term than trying to jump in and out of the market. Market rises can be just as sudden as market falls and the chart shows clearly the cost to an investor of being un-invested on certain “best” days over a ten-year period.


The chart above (courtesy JP Morgan) demonstrates the cost to an investor of being out of the market at the wrong time. It is impossible to time the market with any consistency, so why try?

Putting some of the recent market drops into perspective, by far the biggest has been the Chinese stock market. You will note from the chart below that the Shanghai Composite index at the time of writing this article was at 3166 following its high in mid June of 5166, a drop of nearly 40%.


But please also note that over the last 12 months, it is still over 38% higher than where it stood a year ago on September 3, 2014!

What is more, it has been falling quite rapidly since mid-June. In other words, weakness in China has been anticipated for quite some time leading up to the global dip on August 24th 2015. Clearly some of the recent volatility in the global economy was caused by uncertainty over China, including the relatively sudden Chinese devaluation of its currency in mid August. But this was not a significant devaluation, only a little over 3% against the US dollar. Again, this need not have a fundamental effect on the global economy. China has been a trigger to a more general correction.

I have been telling my clients to expect volatility during 2015-2016, whilst also anticipating overall positive returns, (though not of the scale of the preceding twelve months). I still hold this view. A serious long-term fall in world financial markets needs to be accompanied by a serious worldwide recession, and we simply do not have that situation at present.

Clearly, when the FTSE, the Dow Jones, the European markets and Asian markets all take a hit it is cause for concern. But I think what we have seen is a market correction, or re-pricing. It was a pretty big one, and has caused some pain, but I don’t think it precedes a major crash. Indeed many pundits felt it was due. Going forward, we may see a fairly rapid recovery in those markets where the fundamentals remain unchanged.

So, I still believe the sensibly diversified investor should see overall growth during the next 12 months. Lacklustre growth overall perhaps, but growth nevertheless. If you would like to discuss your investments portfolio feel free to call on 0345 013 6525. In the meantime, in the immortal words of Corporal Jones:

cpl jones don't panic


I smell a rat

money rat

Keep this guy away from your dosh!

Maybe it’s the cynic in me, or maybe my natural in-built auditor, but it seems to me that dodgy investments and tax schemes are on the increase.

One reason for this may be the fact that our authorities continue to be particularly lenient to companies which make promises, collect cash, fail to deliver and then are liquidated (or just disappear), only to reappear in a similar form and under a new name shortly afterwards, while the creditors receive nothing or only pennies in the pound.

Another reason is that there is just too much fraud around, and the country’s fraud squads are spread far too thinly.

Sometimes downright fraud is at the core of the issue, but there are varying degrees.  There seem to be quite a few who carry on in this manner who have a nose for what they can get away with, just about staying within the statutes or knowing how to work the areas that simply aren’t enforced. Either way these people are duplicitous and acting without any level of integrity.

Sometimes, as an independent financial adviser, I am feted by some pretty dodgy looking companies to act as an introducer of clients to them. This is usually by way of an email, and often  the company has a very impressive website. The promoters, who make much of the introducer commissions they offer,  may be pushing unregulated investments, such as property developments (particularly holiday property overseas), or maybe tax schemes  – particularly for persons contracting through their own limited companies, and so on.

Occasionally, the business and its product are bone fide, but nevertheless non-mainstream and requiring significant due diligence from anyone who might recommend or otherwise promote them. Frequently they are not.

So can I make a few basic recommendations here? (spot the over-used old sayings):

  • With only a very small number of exceptions (linked to the UK Treasury or National Savings and Investments), there is no such thing as a guaranteed return on an investment. 
  • If you are a UK contractor and are encouraged to join a scheme that involves any kind of offshore trust, loans back to you personally, gifting of income or invoicing an unrelated entity, it will almost certainly fail as and when it comes under HMRC’s spotlight. This is likely to have very serious implications, and additional costs to the contractor. Occasionally, you end up with a very large debt due to the offshore company involved too. Avoid these schemes. If you are a UK contractor and want to minimise your tax bill, come talk to me for sensible tax advice.
  • There are no free lunches!
  • If you are contacted by anyone who is promoting any kind of investment product which they profess to be either a hot stock, something with guaranteed returns, low risk and high returns, or whatever, agree to nothingAlways always run it past a trusted professional such as your independent financial adviser. But before you even do that, try asking some common sense questions of that person and write down the answers so that you can check their story. What is the full name of the individual calling and of the company which they are a part of,  where does it have its office address and what is its telephone number? You can easily check the existence of a UK company at companies house online, and it is even operating a free documents service at present allowing you to look up the directors and officers, and even look at the accounts of the company. By clicking on the directors names, you can see other companies with which they are connected. This is my first port of call in any basic due diligence.
  • And never never never agree to pay money over the telephone for anything. There are some very persuasive people out there with some very clever, well honed stories to tell. Assume it is dodgy. One may not be able to prove it is dodgy, indeed maybe no investors have been screwed (yet), but if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.  

Of course, there can be exceptions to anything and occasionally a tax scheme or unregulated investment promoted direct that initially seemed dodgy can be a pretty decent proposition to certain people at certain times. But in all cases I would recommend you keep your chequebook in your pocket until you have spoken to a seasoned professional adviser. There are a host of excellent investment opportunities out there and a good investment adviser will be able to help you find the appropriate investments with which to populate your portfoli, which carry a suitable amount of risk in line with your requirements and achieve your objectives.

Now I really must get on. Apparently I’ve won the Nigerian lottery (!), and I need to sort out a rather complicated claims process……………….



Our New Website

Our new website is, apparently, responsive. Rather then meaning something to do with good handling, accelerates at the slightest touch of the throttle etc. it means it responds to whatever kind of viewer the user has – PC, tablet or smartphone, and displays itself accordingly.

So please let me know if you see any problems with it on your smartphone or tablet, or indeed if it refuses to render properly on IE, Firefox or Chrome on your pc, and I’ll try and get it sorted.

More to the point, please feel free to comment on this blog – the more comments the better. And please do share using the social media buttons at the foot of every blog.

Best regards


July 2015 Budget – what this means for you

There's only been another flamin' budget Ern...

There’s only been another flamin’ budget Ern…

The following is reproduced by kind permission of Standard Life’s technical consulting team. I’m holding a week of free consultations Monday July 27th-Friday July 31st, so if your finances need some analysis and guidance, give me a call on 0345 013 6525 to set up an appointment:

Two bites at AA as PIPs are aligned with tax years from 2016 As a small step towards re-simplification of the pension rules, from 6 April 2016 all pension input periods (PIPs) will be aligned to the tax year. And it won’t be possible to change them. But related transitional rules potentially create an extra £40k annual allowance (AA) for the 2015/16 tax year, giving some savers two bites at the AA cherry this year. As ever, the devil is in the detail. Look out for our article and case study for insight on how to help your clients make the most of this change.

AA cut for high earners from 2016 – get it while you can Those with ‘adjusted income’ over £150k will have their annual allowance (AA) cut from the 2016/17 tax year, creating a ‘get it while you can’ pension funding window this tax year. The standard £40k AA will be cut by £1 for every £2 of ‘adjusted income’ over £150k in a tax year. The maximum AA reduction is £30k, giving those with income of £210k or above a £10k AA. Carry forward of unused AA will still be available, but only the balance of the reduced AA can be carried forward from any year where a reduced AA applied. The ‘adjusted income’ the £150k test is based on is broadly the total of:

  • the individual’s income (without deducting their own pension contributions); plus
  • the value of any employer pension contributions made for them.

The reduced AA won’t however apply where an individual’s net income for the tax year plus the value of any income given up for an employer pension contribution via a salary sacrifice arrangement entered into after 8 July 2015, is £110k or less.

Pension tax framework under review The Government has kicked off a fundamental review of the pension tax framework to ensure it remains fit for purpose, and sustainable, for a changing society. In a consultation launched today, HM Treasury is seeking views on a range of very open questions around what changes (if any) would:

  • reduce complexity and increase transparency;
  • make best use of available tax reliefs;
  • increase engagement and aid retirement planning.

This welcome consultation raises the prospect of radical reform to restore the vision of a genuinely ‘simplified’ retirement saving framework. The consultation closes on 30 September. Jamie Jenkins, Head of Pensions Strategy, comments ‘Pensions tax relief was ripe for review. Despite some suggesting that the industry was resistant to any change in this area, quite the contrary, we have been calling for a more fundamental review rather than constant tinkering. This consultation provides us with a great opportunity to simplify the pensions tax system once and for all.

Other pension news

  • Lifetime allowance: The proposed reduction in the lifetime allowance from £1.25M to £1M will go ahead as planned from the 2016/17 tax year. It will be indexed in line with CPI from 2018/19. Details are awaited of a new transitional protection option for those with existing pension savings already over £1M who would otherwise face a retrospective tax hit.
  • Death tax: As promised as part of the ‘freedom and choice’ reforms, all pension lump sum death benefits paid after 5 April 2016 in relation to a death at age 75 or above will be taxed as the recipient’s income (removing the flat 45% tax that applies in the 2015/16 tax year).
  • Salary sacrifice: Despite wide pre-Budget rumours, there are no changes to salary sacrifice rules. The Government will, however, be monitoring the growth of such schemes and their impact on tax take.
  • Transfers: To improve consumer access to ‘freedom and choice’, the Government will consult about how to improve the pension transfer process and, potentially, cap charges for over 55s.
  • Annuities: The ability for pensioners to sell their annuities will be delayed until 2017. This allows more time to ensure the related consumer safeguards are in place. More details will be announced in the autumn.
  • State Pensions: The Chancellor has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to retaining the ‘triple lock’ State pension increase promise, giving more security to older people.

Individual tax allowances Both the personal allowance and higher rate income tax thresholds will increase over the next two years as follows: 2016/17:

  • Personal Allowance increases to £11,000;
  • Higher rate threshold increases to £43,000.

A basic rate taxpayer will be better off by £80. Higher rate taxpayers will be better off by £203.


  • Personal Allowance increases to £11,200;
  • Higher rate threshold increases to £43,600.

A basic rate taxpayer will be better off by a further £40, and higher rate taxpayers by £160. These increases are on the way to meeting government pledges to raise the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate threshold to £50,000 during this Parliament.

New dividend allowance The system of dividend tax credits will be abolished from April 2016. It will be replaced by a new tax free dividend allowance of £5,000. Dividends in excess of this allowance will be taxed at the following rates, depending on which tax band they fall in:

  • Basic rate – 7.5%;
  • Higher rate – 32.5%;
  • Additional rate – 38.1%.

This means that from April 2016, a basic rate taxpayer could have tax free income of up to £17,000 pa when added to the personal allowance of £11,000 and the new ‘personal savings allowance’ announced in the Spring Budget of £1,000. Higher rate taxpayers could have up to £16,500 (as the personal savings allowance is restricted to £500 for these individuals). Certain individuals may also have savings income falling into the £5,000 savings rate ‘band’, currently taxed at 0%. There is no mention of any change to this band, in which case certain individuals may have tax free income of up to £22,000, depending on the sources of their income. Making full use of these new allowances can make savings last longer in retirement and potentially leave a larger legacy for loved ones. And strengthens the case for holistic multiple wrapper retirement income planning.

Inheritance Tax: family home nil rate band – but not yet The Government will introduce a new IHT nil rate band of up to £175,000 where the family home is passed to children or grandchildren. This is in addition to the current nil rate band of £325,000 which has been frozen since 2009 and will remain frozen for the next 5 tax years, until the end of 2020/21.

Who will benefit The extra nil rate band will be fully available to anyone who:

  • passes the family home to their children or grandchildren on death; or
  • or had a family home, then downsized (passing on assets of equivalent value to children/grandchildren); and
  • has an estate below £2M.

However, the full £175,000 won’t be available until 2020/21. The allowance will first become available in 2017/18 at £100,000 and increase to £125,000 in 2018/19, £150,000 in 2019/20 and £175,000 in 2020/21. It will then increase in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Like the existing nil rate band the new property nil rate band can be transferred between spouses or civil partners. This means a married couple could pass £1M in 2020/21 to their children tax free on death provided the family home is worth at least £350,000, saving £140,000 in IHT.

Who may miss out But not everyone will benefit from the additional IHT free allowance. Anyone with a net estate over £2M will begin to see their property nil rate band reduced until it is completely lost once the estate is over £2.2m (2017/18) £2.25m (2018/19), £2.3m (2019/20) or £2.35m (2020/21). It will only apply to transfers to children and grandchildren. Meaning those without children will miss out. And it is not possible to use the exemption for lifetime transfers which may discourage some clients from passing on their wealth during their lifetime. Clients who could benefit from the property nil rate band may need to revisit their existing wills to ensure they continue to reflect their wishes and remain as tax efficient as possible.

ISA changes Replacing withdrawals The proposed changes to ISA, allowing savers to dip into the savings and replace them without it affecting their annual subscription limits, will go ahead from 6 April 2016. The new contributions would have to be paid within the same tax year as the withdrawal for it not to be counted. These new flexible funding rules will only apply to cash ISAs and any cash element within a stocks and shares ISA. However, it is now possible to move ISA holdings between cash and stocks and shares without restriction, so clients in stocks and shares will be able to benefit provided they move into cash first.

Help to Buy ISA First time home buyers will get help from the Government when saving to get their foot on the property ladder. The Help to Buy ISA will be available from 1 December 2015. The scheme will provide 25% tax relief on savings up to £12,000. So someone saving the full £12,000 would see the government add a further £3,000 to their savings, giving them £15,000 towards the purchase of their first home. This tax relief isn’t given at the point of saving in the same way as a pension contribution, but is instead added when the saver buys the home. The new scheme will be a form of Cash ISA and, in line with current rules, it won’t be possible to subscribe to two separate Cash ISAs (Cash & Help to Buy) in the same tax year. Savings will be limited to a maximum single initial premium of £1,000 and regular savings of £200 each month. And to get the Government bonus, property values can be no more than £250,000 (£450,000 for properties in London).

Non Doms – deemed domicile after 15 tax years, applies to all taxes ‘Non-doms’ are individuals who, although resident in the UK, can legally claim that another country is their home (‘domicile’). This means that they can access some tax benefits not available to those who are resident and domiciled in the UK. New rules apply from April 2017 to restrict this. Individuals will become ‘deemed domicile’ (taxed in the usual way that UK domiciled residents are taxed) more quickly – after 15 tax years spent in the UK instead of 17. And ‘deemed domicile’ will apply to more taxes – income tax, CGT and IHT, instead of just IHT. Excluded Property Trusts used with offshore bonds can continue to benefit from an advantageous IHT treatment. But individuals with their affairs set up to take advantage of the remittance basis may wish to review their investments to ensure this will still be tax efficient under the new regime.

Source: Standard Life Technical Consulting – “Our team of technical experts has more than 300 years experience in the financial services industry. This experience, along with relevant qualifications, ensures we have the skills and knowledge to deliver this invaluable service to you.” 

How Financial Advisers add value to their clients’ portfolios

I have just received a communication from Fidelity which invites me to (yet another) seminar). It contained a rather nice assertion from Peter Westaway, Chief Economist at Vanguard Asset Management, and I quote:

“Vanguard’s research shows that financial advisers typically add around 3%* a year to their clients’ investment returns.

They call this added value Adviser’s Alpha, and define it as the difference between the return that investors might achieve with an adviser, and the return that they are likely to achieve on their own.

Building on deep experience in the US, Canada and Australia, their Investment Strategy Group has identified seven key areas where UK advisers can make a critical difference, and estimated values for each area. Among the most important from an investment perspective are:

  • Asset allocation – Often the most important driver of long-term performance.
  • Rebalancing – Keeping the portfolio balanced over time adds real value.
  • Cost-effective implementation – Every pound paid in charges is a pound off your clients’ potential returns.
  • Behavioural coaching – Helping your clients avoid common behavioural pitfalls can substantially increase their chances of investment success.

*Source: Putting a value on your value: quantifying Vanguard’s Adviser’s Alpha in the UK. “

It’s nice to see some objective evidence of the added value a good investment adviser creates for his clients.  With a typical ongoing fee of only 0.5% p.a. of funds under administration (that’s my standard fee), most people see the economic sense after they begin a relationship with an independent financial adviser or other wealth manager, and begin to relax a little over their investments as they let a professional take the strain. So if you have pensions and/or investments of at least £100,000, and would like to see how you might benefit, please give me a call on 0345 013 6525  for a free initial assessment and see how I can help you.

Tax Year-End: VCTs and tax mitigation

Where an investor is more adventurous and interested in the significant tax rebates available from HMRC, I favour Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) over Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS).

They are both higher risk than typical equity -based funds as they invest in smaller, relatively new companies. Simply put, a VCT is an investment trust comprising a number of different investments, and an EIS is typically just a single investment. It’s an eggs and baskets thing for me – an EIS requires a greater leap of faith.

The tax breaks on VCTs are significant. Provided they are held for the qualifying term (5 years) they offer 30% tax rebate based on the amount you invest (invest £100k, get £30k reduction on your current year’s tax bill – but you must have incurred that much income tax in that tax year in order to benefit) – and all income streams – dividends and capital gains, are tax free.

Innovative providers of VCTs have designed “lower risk” limited life offerings which are designed to liquidate after the qualifying period is up (in practice this is around a 6 year cycle). They invest mainly in asset-backed businesses (e.g. those with significant real estate) and/or those with predictable income streams. Staying within the rules, they  offer fairly modest gross returns whilst mitigating risk as far as they can. When added to the 30% initial tax saving, the IRR on such investments might for example be 7% to 9% for a higher rate taxpayer. After liquidation, the funds can be re-invested again and obtain a further tax rebates. Limited Life VCTs also avoid the criticism levied against traditional VCTs – where encashment is nearly always at a discount price compared to net asset value. A limited life VCT liquidates, so the investor receives full NAV.

But for those who like to buy and hold, then “Evergreen” VCTs can offer more risky but often more rewarding returns, with no tax on the income streams from year to year.

There is a VCT “season which commences in December each year and carries on past the tax year-end, offering investment in one or both tax years for a particular offering. Up to £200,000 per tax year means a maximum of £400k can be invested across the tax year-end. Minimum investments are usually £5,000 to £10,000.

If you would like to hear more about VCTs, please contact me.

Tax Year-End: Capital Gains considerations

Just a quick note to remind those of you with non-ISA investments that just because you haven’t earned crystallised  capital gains in excess of your annual CGT allowance (£11,000 in 2014-15) doesn’t mean you can ignore the planning. The markets have been pretty good over the past few years and many non-ISA investors will have holdings “pregnant” with potentially taxable gains.

And this applies to trustees too – your CGT allowance is 50% of the personal allowance at £5,500.

Unless your investments are modest, my advice is to try and crystallise gains up to just under your annual allowance, so that your portfolio is no longer carrying those gains into a later year, when future sales may cause aggregate gains over the allowance and tax becomes payable.

Even where you do not wish to make any wholesale changes to your investments, it is possible to swap one share (or fund) for another which is very similar. For example, swapping one UK tracker fund for another. This crystallises the gain into the current tax year.

Or maybe you have brought forward capital losses from earlier tax years. Can you utilise them against current gains in an efficient manner?

No reporting of capital gains under the annual allowance is required on a self-assessment tax return to HMRC.

Just sensible housekeeping really 🙂

Tax Year-End: Capped Drawdown plans have one big advantage over their Flexible new friends, but will disappear April 5th 2015

In all the hype over the new pensions rules and flexibility beginning next April, it is easy to miss the rules concerning contribution allowances whilst in drawdown.

There can be reasons and/or advantages to an individual in running a drawdown arrangement and taking income from it whilst simultaneously making contributions (or keeping the option to make future contributions). Care needs to be taken not to fall foul of rules prohibiting the recycling of tax-free cash.

Existing capped drawdown plans which are maintained within their GAD withdrawal limits will retain the annual allowance for further contributions of £40,000, whereas an active flexible plan will have a reduced allowance of £10,000 after April 5th 2015. However, capped Drawdown will no longer be an option after April 2015, when all new drawdown plans will qualify as “flexible” regardless of withdrawal levels. After April 5th, as soon as a “trigger” event occurs, such as taking income or cashing in a small pension in its entirety, the new reduced annual allowance of £10,000 applies.

So, investors wishing to carry on an active drawdown arrangement yet take advantage of the £40,000 contributions limit in future, who do not currently have such a plan,  would need to quickly set up a plan (and make a crystallisation event – e.g. a small withdrawal of tax free cash) prior to April 2015, to be able keep that greater level of annual contribution allowance.

To maintain the £40,000 limit going forward, capped drawdown members must not exceed their GAD income limits in any tax year. To do so creates an event which triggers the smaller contributions allowance going forward.

This is an area where financial advice is essential – in fact drawdown plan providers will generally only deal with you through an adviser(!)

Most new drawdown plans are initiated via a transfer of existing pension money from one or more other pension plans, but in view of the rapidly closing window (realistically you’d need to get a new application in by around March 20th at the very latest),  for a capped plan I would suggest the time for that is already past. However, if you have a reasonable cash lump sum which you can contribute now, then it may still be possible to find a capped drawdown provider and set the account up with instant crystallisation.

NB the above is a brief summary only – we will advise on pertinent rules as appropriate. If you think this sounds suitable for you, we’re happy to advise further – just give us a call on 0345 013 6525 to discuss.

Tax Year-End: Do you want to make more than £40,000 pension contributions this year? – Carry Forward!

The annual allowance for pension contributions in 2014-15 is £40,000, which is the gross equivalent and includes all contributions from all sources (i.e. incl. employer contributions). Unused allowances from the previous three years may be carried forward and used in the current tax year.  (You need to have been a member of any UK pension scheme in a given tax year to qualify for the contribution allowance in that year).

Carry forward of pension annual allowances can have its intricacies, but basically you must first use the current year’s and then work backwards. All of the tax relief obtained is applied against current year’s income. The annual allowance was £50,000 in each of 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 (so potentially an individual could pay up to £190,000 into pensions in the current tax year).

Please give me a call if you are interested in any last minute lump sums into pensions.

Tax Year-End: ISA Allowances

OK they’re apparently “NISAs” following the latest upgrades, but I’m sticking to the old name for now.

This is pretty straight-forward stuff. You must use your ISA allowance in its tax year, or else it is lost. You must be over 16 for a cash ISA, or over 18 for “Stocks and Shares” ISAs (typically unit trusts or similar mutual funds).

The allowances are:

  • 2014-15 (up to)£15,000 each
  • 2015-16:(up to) £15,240 each

From 2014-15, you can invest any proportion into cash or Stocks and Shares – e.g. you can now invest £15,000 into just a cash ISA, or  £15,000 into Stocks and Shares ISA, or anything in between.

A married couple could invest £60,480 across both tax years. Most of the larger ISA providers will facilitate a double payment now – (they just hold next year’s part of the payment for a week or two and the invest it for you on April 6th).

(Junior ISAs apply for younger people, which have lower allowances than for adults – see  earlier posts).


Made It!

If you leave it to the last minute and are having difficulty with your provider, or you’d like to set up a new ISA account this year, please give me a call. We have last minute facilities with most of the big platforms (Fidelity, Old Mutual, Cofunds etc.) where we can get your application in. And don’t forget we offer an investment advice service – customised portfolios built around your preferences. Our on-going fee for this service is just 0.5% per year.