18 Jun 2019

The Innovative Finance ISA is the newest of the several ‘flavours’ of Individual Savings Account that have been tagged on to the original ISA in recent years. Investors are attracted by headline rates of return of 6-10%, but we think these schemes are much, much riskier than they look and that most investors should avoid them.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
5 Jun 2019

Woodford Equity Income Fund has never been on our recommended list Woodford Equity Income Fund is not held within discretionary portfolios managed for clients on Standard Life, Nucleus, Transact or Parmenion platforms.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
17 Jun 2018

A massive thank you to everyone who has sponsored us so far for the Rainbow Run, we have currently raised an amazing £2,911.25 for the Children’s Hospice South West.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
15 Feb 2018

FiveWays Financial Planning has given Children’s Hospice South West an initial £1,000 after selecting the charity for its support.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
13 Feb 2018

Five advisers have launched FiveWays Financial Planning, a new IFA business, in Weston super Mare. Two former directors of Churchill Investments, Chris Gilchrist and Stephen Poland, are involved in the new venture, which aims to benefit from impending changes in regulation of advice by offering a clear fee-only proposition to clients.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
13 Feb 2018

Budgets are usually much more political than economic. Chancellor Philip Hammond – referred to in Westminster as ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ – is generally seen as a dullish ‘safe pair of hands’ type of chap. But it seems his political antennae are on the blink. He is getting it in the neck not just from the left-leaning media but from from the Tory press (especially the Daily Telegraph) and his own Conservative Party backbenchers, many of whom want him to backtrack on two tax changes he announced in his Budget.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
13 Feb 2018

Writing in the Financial Times (17th February) the boss of fund management group Fundsmith, Terry Smith, asks why investors are pouring money into funds that track emerging stock market indices. These tracker funds invest in shares according to their market capitalisation, so they invest most in the big companies, which in emerging markets are often inefficient and partly state-owned. Mr Smith says the ten largest emerging market companies earn well below-average returns for their shareholders, so they are not shares that quality-conscious investors like him want to buy.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
13 Feb 2018

The austerity years produced many small changes to the tax and benefit system that cut people’s entitlements. One of them was the restriction of child benefit payments where either parent earns over £50,000 a year. For every £100 of earnings above that level you lose 1% of your child benefit – in fact you still get the benefit paid, but part of it is clawed back from higher income tax payments via your tax code. If you earn over £60,000 you get no child benefit at all.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
13 Feb 2018

Almost any day some news programme or newspaper carries an item about the crisis in care. NHS chiefs complain about bed-blocking by patients who cannot be discharged because social services cannot find accommodation for them. Care homes teeter on the verge of bankruptcy because the rate local authorities pay them is barely enough and costs have risen due to the Minimum Living Wage. Local authorities’ increasingly desperate pleas for more money from the government have had no response.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
13 Feb 2018

We had yet another case this week of an elderly person being discharged from hospital after an illness, who was no longer capable of looking after herself, but who was not – as the rules require – given a needs assessment by social services.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
13 Feb 2018

A rising tide of pension scams is an unwelcome consequence of the ‘pension freedoms’ introduced in 2015. Because people can now get access to their whole pension fund if they wish once they reach age 55, it is worth fraudsters’ while to try and persuade them to transfer this money to dodgy investment schemes. Such frauds, where victims have lost all the money they had in their pension fund, are reported in the Press almost every week. Mostly, they involve investment in schemes or companies that transfer your money to the fraudsters.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
13 Feb 2018

Our lawyer friends regularly tell us about problems and costs that have arisen because someone did not register a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Here are details of one such case.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
13 Feb 2018

We are celebrating our change of regulatory status with this fine cake, gratefully received from business process consultants Jigsawtree.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
18 Jan 2018

With Donald Trump in the White House, it’s unlikely that a week will pass without generating some new anxiety for investors. On top of the fears of armed conflict (even nuclear war) with North Korea, we have the possibility of a US trade war with China, and a potential close-down of the US government if Congress refuses to approve the Mexico border wall. By next week there may be more worries.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth
18 Jan 2018

In his Spring Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond reduced the tax-free dividend allowance from £5,000 a year to £2,000 with effect from April 2018. The change came only a year after his predecessor George Osborne had changed the way dividends are taxed and introduced the £5,000 allowance.

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Posted by Jim Bloodworth