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Bydylanbbd

Planning your Finances

When someone thinks of planning, they may very well imagine that this involves a lot of technical stuff that is beyond them, but I would suggest that this is where an IFA comes in. An individual can then do the framework of what he or she wants, and the IFA would then be able to fill in all the details and suggest what needs to be done and when.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people do not do any planning, and are then surprised when they get a tax bill, and ask me IN ARREARS what I can do to make it go away. You won’t be surprised to know that in many cases I can do very little because actions needed to have been taken BEFORE certain events.

If you just leave something to happen, how do you know what the end result is ? Is it going in the same direction that you were hoping. Planning starts to get things moving in the right direction, and then you can tweak things on an ongoing basis when it isn’t, but the main thing is that you keep your eyes on it and do what is necessary to steer it in the right direction.

The old saying is failure to plan is planning to fail. It’s true !!

So why don’t you sit down today and list your objectives for savings, for pensions and even life insurance, and then have a chat with your IFA to see what you need to do to try and achieve those objectives. MAP advisers are only too willing to sit down with you and your plans.

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. For any enquiries, contact Andrew on 07957 836211 or enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk

Bydylanbbd

Tax Planning – April 2021

Andrew Singleton shares some considerations on tax planning, Money Advice and Planning’s network of independent financial advisers are able to assist with your tax planning needs.

SALARIES       

You may think that this is a strange one to put in for tax planning, but it is an obvious one – and sometimes we do miss the obvious. The main thing to remember about personal allowances is use it or lose it – it’s that simple, and this will apply to people who run their own companies.

In the current year we get a personal allowance of £12,570 which is the amount we can earn without paying any tax.   Now if you have you have your own company, and you or your spouse haven’t used your allowances for the year, then it is worth thinking about taking an amount of salary to use these allowances up – after all, if you don’t use them, then that means that some tax-free money has gone.   

DIVIDENDS

Same again, if you are a shareholder of your own company, then think about taking £2,000 in dividends as this would be tax-free, but please ensure that you have profits of at least this amount, as dividends should only be taken out of net profits. 

You should even look at the possibility of taking out more than £2,000 IF the company can afford it, as dividends are taxed at lower rates than income tax and they don’t have National Insurance on them either.

PENSION INCOME

If you are taking a pension income, and your fund could stand you taking out more – then if you could take out more AND it was tax-free, i.e. by taking up to £12,570 – then why not. You should always maximise the tax free element, even if you extract it and put it in the bank – at least you are not paying tax on it.   Don’t forget that this applies per person – so if you are married, then your spouse can do the same. 

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.  For any enquiries, contact Andrew on 07957 836211 or enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk

Bydylanbbd

The Cost of Investing

It never ceases to amaze me that some people think investing is so easy, that they could do it blindfolded and still make money. Now to a certain extent that is true in a bull market when prices and valuations basically only rise, and let’s be honest, at times like this you could invest in almost anything and it would make money. But, this last week saw a big drop in the FTSE and other markets over fears that the control over COVID is not getting a great deal better, so what do investors do then?

The simple answer is not to panic. Yes, everything will go down in value and you will be hit with losses on some funds, but that is to be expected and the main thing that you need do is anything but a knee jerk reaction – as that will give you the wrong outcome. Of course, some advisers will do nothing anyway as they may have clients in passive type funds, but that shouldn’t stop them reviewing things.

What we do at MAP is fallback to our research BEFORE we do anything, because it is always far better to have a logical approach to things as opposed to a scatter gun approach. At MAP we do two main pieces of research on what funds that we use and this is 1. Long-term and 2. Short term. The long-term approach wouldn’t change things in this aspect as what we look at is what funds have good consistent performance over 1, 3 and 5 years. Where the main difference is though is in the short-term analysis. Every week we analyse all the funds that have a good long term performance to find out the best ones that are still doing this SHORT TERM and in this respect we look at performances over the previous 3 months, and we highlight the top 10 performers in low risk, middle risk and high risk.

So what we would do at MAP is wait until any fall in values has settled down, and then we would look to see what funds have maintained their performance in the short term – and this then identifies the funds that we would use – and it is based on FACTS. This means that you are not doing a knee jerk reaction and instead only making changes based on logical facts and statistics. Far better that way.

We don’t do a lot of research to find out the best funds for our clients only to jump out of them at the first hint of trouble.

MAP does all the background work – so that you don’t need to.

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. Astute Invest Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Money Advice & Planning Ltd who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. For any enquiries, contact Andrew on 07957 836211 or enquiries@astuteinvest.co.uk

Bydylanbbd

Investing money

I invested money for a client just 10 days ago, and this morning I received a frantic email that one fund had lost a lot of money – it was almost like a cry for help, so this showed that I had failed in my first task.

When you invest money, it needs to be for at least 3 years minimum, because you need that amount of time to cover charges and start making money yourself. Bear in mind that values of all units will fluctuate and in the short term they may very well fluctuate down the way – so you need to keep that in mind. My client, had only invested the money and was looking at things daily, and he wanted an explanation of why a particular fund fell on the day – well ……. I told the client that he needs to look at values say once a week – and not every day, otherwise he could give himself a heart attack. Investors also need to bear in mind that when you invest money it is not like a deposit account at the bank where you check in every so often to see how much you have gained. Investments do go down as well as up – and you should almost expect this to happen with most funds/shares – that is investing. When you see adverts for investments – the Regulator always gets a statement inserted saying that the value of investments can go down as well as up, and this is an attempt to stop the expectation that they can ONLY go up.

When MAP does any investments for clients – this is why we pick a range of funds, so that we can hope that any value falls are compensated by other funds where value gains. By taking a spread of funds you are attempting to reduce the risk, and just think how bad it would be if you had all of your investments in just one fund – and that went down. Well……

This is also why MAP monitors the funds that we use, because we identify the losing ones and instead of a knee jerk reaction on getting clients out of those funds as quickly as possible, we have look over something like 2 – 3 weeks and if there is no improvement, then by all means we look to switch those investments into other funds, but we take our time to evaluate and don’t just jump in.

We don’t do a lot of research to find out the best funds for our clients only to jump out of them at the first hint of trouble.

MAP does all the background work – so that you don’t need to.

 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.  For any enquiries, contact Andrew on 07957 836211 or enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk    

Bydylanbbd

The MAP monitoring system

When MAP invests money for any client, it is not just a case of putting the money into a spread of funds and walking away – in fact it is the opposite of this.

When we invest a clients money, first of all it is into funds that are found to be performing consistently over the long period AND are still performing well over the previous 3 months.  And that is basically our work merely starting because we then have 3 ongoing monitors.

1. Every calendar quarter we produce what we call the Recommended Fund List and this looks at shortlisting those fuds that have a consistent half decent performance over the previous 5 years. We usually only take funds in excess of £100 million, and any funds we choose need to show a reasonable level of consistency, as we don’t want to pick a fund that is doing 20% today and minus 3% tomorrow. As we need to be able to “rely” on some kind of consistency, then we only use funds that are statistically consistent.

2. Every week, we analyse all the funds in the Recommended Fund List and we list the top 10 performing funds in each risk category from the statistics of the previous 3 months. This then gives us the confidence that a fund that has performed consistently well over the previous 5 years is STILL performing well in the short term – and so can be used, and by listing these in order of return – lets us invest in the best performing areas at all times.

3. In addition to the above 2 monitors, which focuses on funds, what we also do at MAP is analyse all funds performances over time as well.    It’s not too difficult to include fund ABC in your lists and it may be performing well over 5 years and maybe even over the last 3 months as well, BUT, don’t forget that in investing everything WILL change at some time, and you need to keep your eyes on things. So what I do almost daily is go into our investment platform and can list all the funds used, and keep my eyes on those funds showing a negative return.   I will monitor these for a few days and if no improvement, will then look to switch clients out of those funds and into other ones that are doing well.            

So basically, MAP does all the background work to get investments into the right funds and keep them in the right funds – even if it means changing them.  

MAP looks after our client’s money as if it were our own.

 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.  For any enquiries, contact Andrew on 07957 836211 or enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk    

Bydylanbbd

How many funds I use for investing

When you invest any money, then you need to take into account:-

  1. What other areas you are going to invest in
  2. How much you are going to invest in other areas and how does this balance with the total approach
  3. When you invest in any fund, you always need to do your research, and if you invest in a load of funds – then that is a load more research
  4. Since you need to do your research regularly, then more funds means a bigger future commitment to research – and that costs time and money

From an early point when I started doing investments, I have always worked on some basic parameters such as the minimum to invest in any fund should be £5,000 and say a maximum of £50,000. On a number of occasions early doors when I invested less than this, I always found it very difficult to make money – hence why I always do a minimum now of £5k. Number of funds? I tried a few strategies early doors as well and came to the conclusion that 10 funds could give you a good spread without a heavy workload for maintenance, and that ticked most of the boxes.   

Remember of course that each fund will have its own investing process, but I would say that you can probably bet on them investing no more than 5% in 1 investment, so at the very minimum they are going to have at least 20 investments, and then if for example they have say £100 mn in their fund, you aren’t going to get 20 investments of £5 mn each, no it’s more likely to be a good bit more. Work on the basis that most funds will go for a reasonable spread of investments and have around 75 – 100 investments, and so if you therefore think that you start with 10 funds to invest in, then that could mean that you are investing in 750 to 1,000 companies – and that’s a good base spread.

I personally have used 10 funds for a while now, and it gives people a good spread of investments and doesn’t add that much to the workload, and that’s important because most people will start with the best of Intentions in terms of research, but after a period it becomes tedious.   Because it gives a good spread, it has always given me and my clients good results – and that’s what we are all doing this for. I have shown over a long period that 10 funds work well for everyone.  

M A P looks after client’s money as if it were our own.

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.  For any enquiries, contact Andrew on 07957 836211 or enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk    

Bydylanbbd

What is a fund?

A Managed Fund is run by an investment manager and usually concentrates on something specific – whether it is UK equities, global equities, a technology fund etc. All the investments that they make will be along the same theme.

The investment fund will in many cases have a good spread of different companies it is invested in, and the majority go for something like 50 to 60 underling investments. Needless to say, the bigger the fund the more investments it will have.

If you are investing your own money and you pick company ABC Ltd then you are focussing on just one company which means that you need to do a lot of research on that company. On the other hand, if you invested in a fund, and that fund has 50 to 60 underlying investments, then your money will be better spread throughout those 50 to 60 companies and that will eliminate some of the risk.

If something goes wrong in one company, then in many cases it could be no big deal whereas if you only invested in one company on its own then that could be an enormous problem. By investing in a fund therefore you can accommodate one or two companies not working terribly well but balanced out by others that are doing well so you get a far better spread of risk.

This is why we invest in funds as opposed to individual companies. At MAP Finances UK our dedicated team support clients by managing your investments using our recommended funds list, whilst always allowing you complete transparency and oversight of your investments.

To explore investing, or indeed to discuss taking control of your existing investments contact us today.

The value of your investment is not guaranteed and can fall as well as rise.

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. For any enquiries call 0345 241 1808 or contact enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk

Bymapfinancesadmin

Why Accountants should do Tax Planning

As an accountant myself, I know that many accountants don’t want to stray into the financial advice market in case it goes wrong. It doesn’t need to be as black and white as that though.

When doing clients’ accounts and tax returns, it is easy enough for an accountant to recommend that someone see an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) and potentially concentrate on pensions. You may have noticed when doing their accounts, that their tax bill has increased, and just about the only way to reduce that is contributions into pensions. This means you are at least helping your clients whilst not actually giving advice. They get the best of both worlds and is something that you won’t be held accountable for, but may get an income yourself from.

Accountants today should only recommend independent advisers, and that’s what MAP are. Moreover, the way we do our investing process keeps it that way, because we don’t outsource our investment process. What we invariably do for each client is invest in a spread of 10 investment funds through an investment platform, and then monitor those funds quarterly thereafter to ensure the client is always invested in funds on our approved Recommended Funds List.

In other words, we don’t let things drift, which is important when doing anything like this. Most people – even those that do their own investing – will treat investing as a one-off exercise, when in fact it needs to be a continuous exercise. MAP looks at all the funds that clients use every quarter, and if we are not happy with any fund, we will look to switch to others that we are happy with; so it is constant reviewing.

What could be better for your clients than using this kind of process, and your clients will love you for recommending this to them. They will then feel you are really looking after them with this kind of recommendation, and this will increase loyalty and client retention. Bear in mind we will also give you a percentage of the initial fee so that you can benefit from this as well as your client, and enable you to build an additional income stream for your business.

If you would like to find out more information or would like to start investing today, please contact Money Advice & Planning Ltd on 0345 241 1808 or e-mail 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.

Bymapfinancesadmin

How long will your pension last?

From April 2015 when the then Chancellor George Osborne changed the rules and brought in pension freedoms, people have suddenly switched from buying an annuity to flexible drawdowns, where they can take out what they want when they want.

Now the FCA doesn’t have a problem with this, but they do have a problem with education more than anything else. They reckon that people are just walking into a nightmare, as there could very well be a problem at some time in the future when they will run out of pension money.

What on earth do these people do then, apart from telling a tale of woe? Pensions, as the FCA see it, are for when you retire, and if you take out a lot of money before you retire, then you won’t have it later. You can only spend it once after all!

If you run out of pension money in retirement – what are you going to live off? The State pension is certainly not enough for a comfortable life-style. How long are you going to live? Have you taken into account housing costs? What about care costs?

What we attempt to do at MAP is create a simple spreadsheet that shows your pension fund through the years to come, taking into account modest growth and withdrawals. Based on this information, we give a best effort at telling you how many years it might last. We only ever use low rates of growth to be pessimistic – 3% for cautious investors, 5% for middle risk investors and 7% for high risk investors – and we tend to work on an average of 6% withdrawals per year. So if you are a cautious investor, you can expect your fund to go down by about 3% per year, and therefore we need to look at longevity.

What we do in these spreadsheets is put in an estimate based on the information we have of how many years we think you have left to make your pension last. Having this kind of information is priceless to our clients and helps them to plan things out a bit better than they were before.

So, if you need some help in planning your retirement, please ask us for a forecast tailored for you. If you would like to discuss any aspect of retirement planning with Money Advice & Planning Ltd, please contact us today on 0345 241 1808 or e-mail 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.

Bymapfinancesadmin

Accountants, Lawyers and IFAs – A Team Approach

Business people making introductionsFinancial, legal and tax advice are areas conducted by professionals adhering to their own sets of standards and qualifications, with their own professional bodies and regulators.

These advice professions are no different to other business sectors though when it comes to facing growing pressure to retain their existing clients, and more importantly, to win new clients and discover sources which will provide those new clients.

Legislation such as the Legal Services Act (LSA) and the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) has forced the legal and financial advice professions to introduce more client centric business models and, at the same time, become more competitive. This in turn has created a growing pressure for these advice professions to diversify and expand their business propositions in order to be more competitive.

Working more closely and proactively with a professional IFA can provide a very simple but effective solution to this problem.

Given the overlap between many areas of tax, legal and financial advice, a number of firms have seen the potential for Accountants, Solicitors and Independent Financial Advisers to work together to leverage each other’s client relationships. It provides those clients with a more holistic, joined-up and value-added approach to advice, and at the same time resolves the challenges of retaining existing clients and finding a source of new clients.

If you would like to find out how Money Advice & Planning can add value to your business and your client relationships, please visit us at www.mapfinances.co.uk and use the contact form. Alternatively, call your local MAP adviser at a time which suits you.

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.