Category Archive Savings

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Setting and achieving financial goals

Get your finances ready for the new yearNow we are into 2018, how many people actually made new year resolutions? You may think this can be too woolly, especially when you make some and never achieve them. It is different in financial services, especially when done through MAP.

Let us start with possibly your main goal – pensions. If you sit down with a MAP adviser and tell them what you would like to achieve and by what date, they could tell you if this was feasible or not. They will be more than prepared to work through things with you to set logical goals, and then work with you over the period concerned to reach them.

Let’s say for example, you would like to get £20k per year in pensions. If we deduct the basic DWP pension of £8,100 per year at age 65, you would only need to get £11,900 per year from any personal pension.

Using very conservative growth rates would give us an indication of how much you would need to save every month to achieve your target. More importantly, when we reviewed your pension at regular intervals, we would keep you updated as to how you stand in terms of achieving your target. Our existing clients find it very helpful when we put things down simplistically like this – finances that are then easy to understand.

If you are saving to repay a mortgage, or maybe even save up enough for a deposit for house purchase, MAP can keep you updated at regular intervals, and also where you are in percentage terms of achieving your targets/goals.

We have seen a lot of people saving money and they just haven’t a clue as to whether they are putting away the right amount or not. And if it’s not, by the time some people realise it, it’s far too late.

Why not put us to the test? Tell us what you would like to save for, how much and for what date, and we will guide you accordingly. We are happy to offer that helping hand, and once we have done this, and with our investment process, we are then happy and willing to work with you to achieve your goals. Moreover, we keep it all in simple language.

For further information on any aspect of financial advice and how MAP may be able to assist you, please contact us on 0345 241 1808 or email us at: enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Links to external sites are for information only and do not constitute endorsement.  Always obtain independent professional advice for your own particular situation.  Money Advice & Planning Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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Financial Scams

Getting growth from your money

Where there is easy money to be made, you will always find someone wanting to steal it from you. It appears some scams are “back”, although to be honest, we doubt if they went away in the first place.

They probably lay fallow for a short time to allow people to forget everything they had been taught to watch out for. Some appear to be back with a vengeance, and in the run up to Christmas, you can bet anything they will hit you as hard as they can, if possible.

People call them scams, but we see them simply as stealing, because that is what it comes down to. Those who operate scams are trying to steal your hard-earned cash in one way or another, and are relying on you to slip up in some way, thus giving them a way in.

Some of our staff for example, have recently received emails purported to be from HMRC, telling them their refund is waiting to be paid. They just need to click on the link provided, enter bank details and hey presto! Now, when has HMRC ever written to you in the past to tell you a refund is pending? Never, and in all likelihood, it never will happen either. You always have to write to HMRC and claim money back, and usually you have to work hard and have patience to receive said money.

A similar thing is e-mails looking like they are from your bank, telling you your account has been locked and asking you to reply with your account details to resolve the issue. However, because these scams are not intelligent enough, most of these e-mails will appear to be from banks with whom you have never had any dealings with. Once again, clearly fake.

If you receive any suspicious e-mails or phone calls, in all likelihood it is a scam and you should therefore not disclose anything personal. Where anyone asks you for your bank details, PINs or passwords, it almost certainly is a scam and that person is trying to steal your money. No bank in the UK will ask you for all details at any time – specific ones yes, as they will already have some on file. If in doubt, hang up and speak to the bank or company in question by you phoning them. That way, you know you are talking to the real deal.

It seems today these thieves are using online ticket sites to get your money, and don’t forget that social media is good territory for them as well as it provides them easy access to at least get started. Be careful in anything you do online, and don’t hesitate to stop sending money anywhere until you have checked things out. As soon as you press ‘Submit’ your money may very well be lost forever, so take a minute to think before you jump in. You know the old saying – act in haste, repent at leisure.

For further information on any aspect of financial advice and how MAP may be able to assist you, please contact us on 0345 241 1808 or email us at: enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

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Savings & Investments

Getting growth from your moneyInvesting is not done purely by the rich, and equally, bank accounts are not necessarily the best place to maintain excess savings. So if you have spare income every month and want to earn more than just interest on it, or have a lump sum you would like to invest, MAP can help make your money work harder for you.

We pride ourselves on the returns we generate for our many happy customers by way of our investment process, which contains three three key steps:

  • Select – Choose the best product and range of funds for someone based on their investment attitudes;
  • Review – Regularly review the funds we are happy to recommend to clients, new and existing; and
  • Switch – Recommend fund switches where necessary and if approved, make those switches.

If you currently have an underperforming investment or savings plan, talk to MAP. We can review existing policies and switch funds, should those that are on our Recommended Fund List (RFL) be available to use. This means keeping your money in the same investment(s) but changing the underlying fund(s) to something with better performance, without necessarily taking any more risk.

Should this not be possible, the alternative is to move your money to new investment(s), which have access to funds on our RFL. This then gives the potential for better growth, by way of increased fund selection, fund diversification (so not all your eggs are in the one basket) and cost effectiveness.

MAP can maximise your returns with an ongoing, proactive investment strategy.

So whether you have new money to invest or existing investments which aren’t doing what they are supposed to, we can find the product or plan to suit you, which will maximise growth and the returns payable.

We will regularly review the performance of your savings and/or investments thereafter, to ensure they remain on track throughout your financial journey, at all times taking into consideration your personal circumstances, future goals and requirements.

In order to provide complete transparency, we can also give you 24/7 access to viewing your savings and/or investments, thus allowing you to track and monitor their performance at any time. If you already have access, why not login today to see your money working harder for you.


For more information, click on the most suitable link:

Existing Investments
ISAs
Investment Bonds
Other Investment Products
Structured Investment Products
The MAP Investment Process
Ongoing Financial Reviews

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Client Login

MAP will always work hard to give you a first class service, for as long as you need it. Here are some of the benefits of investing through MAP:

  •  Your money is invested in areas to match your attitude to risk;
  •  Independent and bespoke advice tailored to meet your specific needs;
  •  All funds invested in are tried and tested, with successful track records;
  •  Investments are looked after by a dedicated adviser;
  •  Investments are reviewed regularly to maximise returns;
  •  Ongoing service is provided to complement the initial advice given; and
  •  100% transparency lets you check performance and charges at any time.

If you have a MAP investment with an online facility, you can log-in to it securely, at any time, by clicking on the appropriate provider logo below:

Ascentric logo Prudential logo Transact logo

Do you not know your login details? No problem – just contact us and we will arrange for them to be sent out to you as soon as possible.

If you are looking to invest, or have money invested and would like to find out more, feel free to contact MAP today. One of our advisers can talk through the options open to you and review your existing portfolio and requirements before recommending the best investment(s) to suit your needs.


Intermediary use only

Are you a franchise or business introducer? Click here to login to RouteMAP or WebMail.

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Our Services

Our services and why they can helpIrrespective of what you need to speak to a financial adviser about, MAP will be able to find the best solution(s) to meet your needs. We are fully independent meaning we can advise you on any of the following, taking into consideration your attitude to risk and all options available in the marketplace:

Any and all of these solutions can be provided to you through sound financial planning. By this, we mean structuring a personal financial plan after getting to know you and understanding your goals.

Furthermore, we will stay with you throughout your financial journey, for as long as you need us. Our regular review service will ensure your finances stay on track and continue to reflect what you need, want and expect.

Whatever advice you need for your financial journey, talk to MAP.

Bymapfinancesadmin

Current developments in our recommended funds

Working funds from across the worldEvery quarter we carry out a review and analysis of investment funds that are available. What we look for are funds of a decent size – usually £100 million invested and above – and have a good consistent performance over the last five years. We aren’t interested in those that are brilliant only in the short term.

Once we have identified funds we are comfortable in using, we divide these into risk category, and there are five categories in total although we generally only use three of them:

  1. No Risk – no risk usually has no return, so we don’t tend to use these.
  2. Low Risk – there is a small chance of both losing and making money with these.
  3. Middle Risk – middle of the road where you could lose or make some money with these, and there is no definition of “some”.
  4. High Risk – you could lose a lot of money here but also make a lot of money.
  5. Very High Risk – you could make huge gains or lose everything here, so we don’t use these much either.

Once all funds have been categorised into one of the above, this makes up our Recommended Fund List (RFL) and is what we use for new investments going forward. For existing investments, we review those with funds that have fallen out of the RFL, and ask the investor for their permission to move them into those which are in the RFL. So we are always monitoring and keeping a watchful eye on our clients’ money. Not only that, we will give you 24/7 access to how your funds are performing on the MAP Investment Portal.

This process is ongoing and we are constantly monitoring external factors, be they political or economic. At the moment, the economy is in what at best can be called a transition phase. We have reasonable growth in the UK, but we have Brexit looming, and at this stage no-one knows how that is going to affect us. What we at MAP will do is watch all the funds our clients are invested in to make sure that they keep on track.

If you would like to find out more about the MAP investment process or our RFL, please call us on 0345 241 1808 or email us at: enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

Please remember that the value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested.

Bymapfinancesadmin

The MAP investment process has reached a milestone and its great news

Getting growth from your money

Recently at MAP we had what we think of as a success story, and no it didn’t happen overnight.

A couple who have used the MAP investment platform since 2011 found themselves this month, after a good period on the stock markets, having total gains over the total time of their investment period in excess of £½million.

The couple had followed a fairly balanced investment strategy of 30/40/30 – which is investing in three funds at 10% each in cautious low risk, four funds at 10% each in middle risk and three funds at 10% each in high risk.

We had monitored this money every quarter since inception, and had received the clients’ permission to switch funds as and when we thought it necessary. The clients admitted early on that they had no knowledge of all of these funds, and so basically let us get on with it, which is what we did.

Calculations show that we have managed to get them 7.88% per year every year since we started in 2011. Bear in mind that whilst the FTSE100 achieved an index figure of 7,500 in August 2017, it started off in 2011 at about 5,700. At February 2016, it had fallen to 5,700 from around 7,000 in April 2015, so there have been some lows as well as highs.

The MAP investment process aims to hold clients investments in solid funds which perform consistently well. That is all we are trying to do – it’s not rocket science, but, with rigorous research and hard work, we can deliver strong returns.

If you have money to invest, why not try the MAP way; it really works. Call us on 0345 241 1808 or e-mail us on enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

Bymapfinancesadmin

Making the most of your tax allowances each year

Dealing with tax

Since we know that we will always get taxed, what we should always do is plan. Now planning can cover a variety of situations, like reducing tax overall, or perhaps even take yourself out of tax altogether. The one thing everyone should do is plan things so you get the smallest tax bill you can. You owe it to yourself and your family.

The key area of planning we would like to cover here is the use of tax allowances. Bear in mind most allowances are given for a specific year, and if you don’t use them, you lose them. It is therefore only common sense to use as much of them as you can.

“There are only two things certain in life – Death and Taxes” (Benjamin Franklin)

The main one is the personal allowance which everyone gets. In an ideal world, we would like to see all household income split 50/50, but that is not possible with PAYE income of course. For all investment income in a household, it is down to each couple as to who this belongs to, so couples can split this according to their situation. If both spouses are working, it can get split 50/50; if only one works, it can be split 1/99, i.e. whatever uses up unused allowances. Buy to let property income is an ideal example as well.

In the current tax year, each individual can have dividends up to the value of £5,000 non-taxable, and savings income up to £1,000. This is reduced to £500 for higher rate tax payers and nil for additional rate tax payers. So, once again the argument is there to split such income between spouses as suits you and not HMRC. Even if dividends are higher than £5,000 per year, bear in mind that if someone is liable at basic rate tax, then dividends over £5,000 per year are taxed at 7.5%; for someone liable at higher-rate tax, dividends over £5,000 are taxed at 32.5%, so there are still some savings to be made.

Self-employed people should also consider employing their spouses as this is a good way to “spread” income. It’s not just a case of putting this into a set of accounts – there does have to be some substance behind the figures, so some planning and logistics should take place before you automatically just jump in. PLAN!

Remember that for most allowances it is a case of use them or lose them.

If you would like help with tax planning, please call us on 0345 241 1808 or e-mail us on enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice

Bymapfinancesadmin

Your Goals

Getting your finances right can help you achieve your goalsOur client’s goals are what drive us to do our utmost for them. Your financial goals will become our targets.

We understand that for any and all aspects of your finances, a number of factors are important. Good advice at both the outset and on an ongoing basis, careful planning and successful investing will help you and indeed your money reach your financial goals.

Our approach has been tailored over many years of looking after client’s wealth, and has been structured to suit their needs and service requirements. We do the total opposite of a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

The values we bring as a financial adviser to any client are:

  • Quality – differentiating ourselves from competitors by delivering quality in everything we do;
  • Ownership – dealing with clients finances as if they were our own;
  • Expectation – exceeding client expectations by going above and beyond what was hoped for;
  • Trust – building trust with clients which lasts a lifetime; and
  • Transparency – being open, honest and clear in everything we do.

Our clients choose their financial destination and we MAP out the journey for them.

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Why Choose Us

We will find the answers to your financial questionsThere are many reasons to choose MAP for independent financial advice:

  • Non-restricted advice and planning – no matter what financial advice and products you need, we can help.
  • Face-to-face advice from UK-wide trusted advisers – irrespective of where you are in the UK, one of our advisers will be happy to meet you and discuss matters face-to-face.
  • Fees structured to suit requirements – financial advice should never take on a ‘one size fits all’ approach and our fees will be structured and mutually agreed to suit your needs.
  • Tailored service packages – we don’t believe in one-off financial advice and have several service packages available, so your financial affairs are reviewed throughout your journey with MAP.
  • Whole of market non-discretionary investments – our bespoke investment strategy will cater for your needs and requirements, and give you an investment that’s right for you.
  • Quarterly investment reviews – our proactive analysis of fund performance ensures you are always invested in the best areas to suit your attitudes to risk.
  • Recommended funds – we invest using recommended fund lists, which have been tried and tested to deliver successful returns for our clients.
  • Transparency and peace of mind – clients have 24/7 access to their investments through the MAP portal.

Wherever you are on your financial journey, let us provide the MAP to your desired destination.