Investors take steps to protect against a downturn

Fears of a global downturn and other pressures such as Brexit are prompting UK investors to take a defensive stance. Higher-growth equities are being ditched in favour of more stable bonds and gold, which are seeing extraordinary demand. The US-China ‘trade war’, economic slowdown in Germany and worries about a no-deal Brexit have given the … Continue reading “Investors take steps to protect against a downturn”

Raise state pension age to 75, says think-tank

State pension ages are rising across the world, and the UK is no exception. By October 2020 Brits will have to wait until their 66th birthday to start drawing their state pension, and many born in the 60s and 70s will be 67 before they can draw theirs. The final scheduled increase is for 2028, … Continue reading “Raise state pension age to 75, says think-tank”

Virgin boasts the longest fixed-rate mortgage

Super-long fixed rate mortgage deals continue to make a comeback, as Virgin Money launches the first 15-year fixed since 2008.  The mortgage is available for buyers with surprisingly low deposits – but such long deals may not be right for every buyer. The first 15-year fixed rate mortgage in a decade has come onto the … Continue reading “Virgin boasts the longest fixed-rate mortgage”

Is there life after Help-to-Buy?

The Help-to-Buy ISA is closing to new savers after 30 November 2019. Existing account holders will still be able to keep their Help-to-Buy ISAs, but must claim their 25 per cent bonus (payable on completion of a first home purchase) by 1 December 2030. For nearly four years this ISA has helped prospective first-time buyers … Continue reading “Is there life after Help-to-Buy?”

Enquiry launched into leasehold malpractice

For years many homeowners in leasehold properties have been vulnerable to a raw deal, if their landlord chooses not to play fair. A new government enquiry seeks to establish the extent of the problem, with a view to achieving greater protection for homebuyers. Help may be on the way for people who own their homes … Continue reading “Enquiry launched into leasehold malpractice”

Drawdown pensioners unaware of risks, study suggests

A new study by Age UK reveals growing anxiety among pension providers that retirees do not fully understand the risks of drawdown products – which may lead to a future ‘scandal’. Pension freedom has yet to face its toughest test, and the consequences could hit retirees hard, warns a report from Age UK. Although the … Continue reading “Drawdown pensioners unaware of risks, study suggests”

Lifetime ISA investors losing out to high fees

People using the Lifetime ISA to save for a first home, or to boost their retirement income, may be sacrificing thousands of pounds to avoidable management fees. But lower cost alternatives are available. The Lifetime ISA (LISA) has been a godsend for first-time buyers, offering the fastest way to save a deposit for a first … Continue reading “Lifetime ISA investors losing out to high fees”

Financial advice and the fishing rod riddle

Three fishermen, three rods, three price tags, but only one answer. What can fishing teach us about the value of financial advice? *Ding*. The bell rings above the door of Hartley’s Fly Fishing Supplies. Three men enter, all equally determined to win this year’s Lower Kimbleton angling tournament. The first, Andrew, makes a beeline for … Continue reading “Financial advice and the fishing rod riddle”

How to save up a deposit in 6 years (or less)

Saving a deposit for your first home can seem like a mountain to climb. However, if you approach this challenge in the right way you’ll find it can be conquered – just as mountains can be. There’s a cruel paradox at the heart of the housing market, which is that it’s usually more expensive to rent … Continue reading “How to save up a deposit in 6 years (or less)”

Put pensions into renewables, says minister

Climate change poses a financial risk ‘too important to ignore’, according to pensions minister Guy Opperman, particularly for the working generation saving for retirement. Pension funds with a high exposure to investments in fossil fuels are likely to take a hit to their long-term growth, as countries around the globe move towards greener energy sources. … Continue reading “Put pensions into renewables, says minister”