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A Guide to Investing for Children

As seen on FT.com   With the Child Trust Fund no longer available to babies born since the start of the year - even children haven't avoided the Age of Austerity - parents looking to save for their children don't have many options at the moment.  A "Junior ISA" has been promised, but isn't expected until later in 2011.  Yet the Child Trust Fund had its limitations...

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Latest Kennedy Black Wealth Management Quarterly Private Client Newsletter

Please see below a link to February 2011's Quarterly Private Client Newsletter from Kennedy Black Wealth Management.   In this edition, we focus on some year end tax planning topics such as ISAs and Capital Gains Tax planning.  The first article outlines how stocks and shares ISAs are almost as tax efficient as pensions - and since we all should recognise the tax benefits of pensions, perhaps...

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Latest Kennedy Black Wealth Management Quarterly Private Client Newsletter

Please see below a link to the latest Kennedy Black Wealth Management Quarterly Private Client Newsletter.  In this edition, we focus on one of our favourite pet topics - Behavioural Finance, and how to beat it (well, perhaps that should be "how to identify it").  We could go on for days, but fortunately (for you) we're limited by space here!  If it's something you'd be...

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Pension Auto-Enrolment (and NEST) – what it means for employers

In what could be the most revolutionary changes to pension legislation in decades, the Department of Work and Pensions ("DWP") has recently published "Making Automatic Enrolment Work" (October 2010), a review into two new proposals: Auto-enrolment and NEST (short for "National Employment Savings Trust").  For employers, the implications are significant so here is a summary of what has been proposed and what it means.   Firstly, from...

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Spending Review – some pension reforms to salute for a change

So the Spending Review has now been and gone.  I won't dwell on the more general elements here, but I will cast an eye over the pension changes announced - less than a week after the last set of pension reforms.   In summary, the State Pension age for everyone will rise to 66 by 2020.  Not too big a deal, you might think, since it's currently...

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New pension rules just announced

The Coalition government has this morning announced the changes to pension legislation that were first contemplated in June's Budget.   To summarise, from April 2011 the Annual Allowance will reduce from £255,000 to £50,000. This is the most an individual can put into a pension in any tax year and get full tax relief. Furthermore, from April 2012 the Lifetime Allowance will reduce from £1.8m to £1.5m....

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Follow us on Twitter

In response to the global influence of Twitter, we will be publishing these blog articles and more using Twitter.  We promise not to bore you with what we've just had for dinner, instead we will focus on providing key updates on the ever-developing world of personal finance.   I've already posted the very first tweet, so it would great if you could join us.   ...

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Reaction to BBC Panorama programme on pensions last night

I'm very pleased to see lots of focus on pensions by the BBC at the moment. First Newsnight, now Panorama.   Some initial thoughts on last night's Panorama programme.   Firstly, the positives: They are right to name and shame pension providers for high charges (for the record, HSBC, Co-op and L&G were the three worst offenders); They were also VERY right to focus on fund rebates as a...

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Do you need life assurance?

On Monday, Swiss Re published its annual European Insurance Report, highlighting a worrying EUR 10 trillion gap in life assurance across Europe.  The UK ranks third worst in terms of consumer protection in the event of death or serious illness (behind Germany and Sweden).  Worryingly, only 11% of Europeans believe themselves to be 'financially well positioned' if they die or suffer long-term illness or disability,...

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Latest Kennedy Black Quarterly Private Client Newsletter

Please see below a link to the August edition of our Quarterly Private Client Newsletter.  Now that the Budgets are out of the way, I've decided to shift from focusing on tax changes to focusing on some investment-based topics.  I have tried to contribute to the active versus passive investment debate, and have included some rules of thumb when it comes to saving towards your...

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