RISHI TO THE RESCUE

TODAY’S BLOG

RISHI TO THE RESCUE

Well – I, perhaps like you have just watched Friday (20th March 2020) evening’s PM announcement. It included a huge set of commitments and financial stimulus from the Chancellor Rishi Sunak. I’m just going to leave it here, with a slight lump in my throat, that this is fantastic news. Compassion and help. The enormity of his financial package will eb scrutinised and assessed, but the point is bluntly – a shot of confidence, we are in this mess together and we will help each other out of it.

There is fantastic news for employers, with a scheme to pay 80% of salary up to £2,500 a month. That is a huge commitment. July 31st self-employed tax payment can be deferred until January 2021 and VAT is also deferred by 3 months. This is not saying that taxes will not be paid but giving a very direct and real injection of cash into the system to protect each one of us.

The detail we will turn to, but for now, I’m going down the path of the optimist and if my hunch is right, Rishi has just scored a hat trick in the world cup final… well the equivalent. I hope you agree that this is good news. We rise together.

RISHI TO THE RESCUE

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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RISHI TO THE RESCUE2020-03-20T17:43:21+00:00

JUST THE FACTS?

TODAY’S BLOG

JUST THE FACTS

One of the big electronic billboards that I pass on the way to and from the office has an advert for a London radio station with the strapline “Just The Facts – Headlines Every 20 Minutes”. I’m not against facts, quite the reverse, however they are never in isolation (unlike many of us now).

The facts are truths, but they always require a context. We know this of course, but in an age of constant bombardment of anything either audio, visual or both we are so assaulted by a stream of imagery that we are often left to engage with it in its rawest and poorest form – without a context.

We are all deeply concerned, alarmed and bewildered at some of the scenes we have witnessed lately, particularly in the supermarkets. Then of course there are the stock markets where the same panic has been rife. The incredible thing about this is the speed at which society seems to implode.

YOUTH GROUP 2007

DO YOU BELIEVE WHAT YOU SEE?

However, as of right now, I wonder if my last sentence is even vaguely true. Society has not imploded, people that I interact with on social media, peers, clients, industry bods, anyone, all seem to have the same bewilderment. They also have the same determination to do what they can to help each other, the exact opposite of the majority of the images we see.

I SEE ALIVE PEOPLE

I am a huge believer in people, in my time I spent many years leading youthwork in my free time. The thing I like about young people is that your input has fairly prompt results and they have a longer future (hopefully) ahead of them. Whilst for a teenager, everything feels like an eternity, it’s all over within a few years. The picture above was taken in the summer of 2007, (that’s me in the corner on the phone) when we took part of the youth group to a festival. Two of them are both due to get married this summer. We’ve been invited but sadly one, perhaps both of them might need to rearrange or adjust their plans given the current pandemic. I’m sure that is disappointing, frustrating and possibly expensive, but they are robust and happy together, more focused on the years ahead together than on the first official day…

COMMUNITY RESPONSES

The road I live on has just started a WhatsApp group. It goes without saying that some of the residents had never heard of WhatsApp. We moved to the area nearly 4 years ago and know a handful of people around us, but suddenly we have all been introduced to each other. Call me sentimental, but I think that’s rather a good thing – the premise has been to help those most impacted and vulnerable with shopping and so forth, but I dare say it will be rather more far reaching.

ALL IS NOT LOST – LOOK AHEAD

So, the markets have fallen. We have all “lost money” (we have not lost money, the value of the assets we own has temporarily reduced – that is all). This is uncomfortable, I don’t wish to understate the problems, but there are already lots of positive and encouraging signs – you just need to look in the right places.

I’m here, still minding the fort and building the bridges and looking forward to tomorrow.  Feel free to get in touch, comment, ask a question, pick up the phone or ask for an online meeting. I will do my best for you.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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JUST THE FACTS?2020-03-20T17:05:57+00:00

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

TODAY’S BLOG

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

When things around us begin to collapse, there is an undeniable sense that screams within us to “do something!” (I’m sure it’s not just me). The global stock markets taking a battering are not good for our nerves (we were not designed for this). The temptation to do something, anything! is palpable… but you have me and all proper financial planners telling you that selling in a crisis is just about the worst thing you could do. These things happen, they come they go, they happen again. This does not placate any of our feelings, but it may help remind us of truths.

However, we are still left with the feeling about wanting to do something, even if that is not to mess with your portfolio. So here I have compiled a list of things to do. It is not exhaustive, some are more important than others, but I would urge you to consider them, particularly if you are feeling reasonably well, but having to self-isolate, or have chosen to do so.

YOUR TO DO LIST

  1. DON’T PANIC: The first thing is not to panic, whilst this version of calamity has not happened before, something very similar has. Disasters have a lot in common, they are fairly regular and prone to repeat without much warning.
  2. TAKE STOCK: This is a good opportunity to review your cash savings. You will remember that we have talked about having reserve cash funds of anything between 3-12 months of typical spending, more in some instances. See our video. Well this is the moment that those reserves may need to be called upon. Also remember that you should try to limit cash savings at any one bank to £85,000 for full FSCS protection. Let me know if you want more about this.
  3. CHECK YOUR PRIORITIES: We all know that plans are well intended, but life has a habit of getting in the way. That doesn’t mean that the plan is wrong or doomed, merely that some flexibility is probably required. So your plans may need to be adjusted, reconsidered, reviewed, postponed, delayed or cancelled, depending on your circumstances and what is wise for you.
  4. REVIEW YOUR BUDGET: You should also take this opportunity to review your regular outgoings. Have another look at your spending plan. What is important and essential, what is nice to have and what is superfluous. Let me be clear, with some luck and good leadership, the current crisis may be over within a few weeks or months, but it could drag on for a bit longer. Stopping your subscriptions to things you enjoy and use may not be sensible, unless you don’t benefit from having them.
  5. LIVE GENEROUSLY: I am a great believer in small businesses, so think about the impact of your financial choices on those within your local community and our wider one. If you have booked and paid for something and now plan to cancel, yes that might be sensible, but you have a choice about whether you simply treat the money as gone, perhaps to someone that needs it more. I’m not suggesting you should, but to merely raise the fact that you have a choice.
  6. HOPE FOR THE BEST, PLAN FOR THE WORST: The current coronavirus is not going to be a “walk in the park”. If statistics are correct the fatality rate is higher than the normal flu, particularly for those with pre-existing serious health and respiratory problems, but we expect the vast majority of people to survive.  We all hope that we will all survive whatever is coming down the road, but some will not. Yes, this is very morbid. However, I am assuming that one of the reasons that I am in your life is so that I do not ignore the difficult challenges to do with money and your financial wellbeing. My job is not to sweet talk you with nice words, but to provide a responsible truthful voice, at least as far as I see it. You need to ensure that your Will is up to date, that your Executors know what their responsibilities are, that protection policies provide ample cover. You should also consider Power of Attorney so that someone you trust can take financial decisions on your behalf if you cannot. Need help? get in touch.
  7. COMMUNICATE – GET IN TOUCH: You also need to ensure that the relevant people know where your important documents are. Why not put a copy on our portal too – see www.solomonsifa.co.uk/pfp for more.
  8. REFLECT & REMEMBER: If you find yourself having to “self-isolate” why not take the time to finally get around to writing up a brief version of your life-story. I hope that this will have the effect of reminding you of many good experiences in life and happy memories and provide space to reflect on who and what is important. Add photographs, then get to work on creating a book using a bit of software within Apple or Vistaprint or something similar, get it printed, get it done. If you would like a useful template email me.
  9. CHECK IN ABOUT YOUR LONG-TERM PLANS: In terms of your financial planning – I’m working on the assumption that your plans have not altered. If they have get in touch. It is possible that some may need to be adjusted, but I doubt that this is a wise time to do that. Your investments remain globally diversified, across various asset classes and low cost where possible. We have seen the value fall sharply before and we will see it again, but there is no need to panic. In the same way that you didn’t sell your home during the last property crash, you sat it out.
  10. REVIEW YOUR BUCKET LIST: Appreciating the precarious and fragility of life will hopefully bring to mind some things that you would like to experience – have a think and let me know if anything new should be added to your bucket list, they dont have to have a financial price tag, but at least when we next review your plans together we can check to see how you are getting along…

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW2020-03-16T17:23:31+00:00

SHOULD I INVEST NOW?

TODAY’S BLOG

SHOULD I INVEST NOW?

The global stock markets have fallen further and look likely to remain volatile for some time. Whilst there are lots of good reasons to be concerned, we also believe that markets will recover. Every time there is a “crash” we hear people say that this time it is different… but it never is different, it’s the same problems reframed in a different way, for a new crisis. The problem is essentially the same. Fear.

If you believe that over the long-term businesses listed on stock markets deliver jobs, security and wealth then there is no reason to believe anything will change when you have a long-term mindset. Remember that commercial innovation always happens, some companies go bust as they are unable to adapt, new ones step in, technology evolves, everyone moves forwards. If you are investing for days or weeks, then frankly that isn’t investing its speculation and I wouldn’t advise anyone to do that. Investing is designed for long term wealth creation.

TIMING THE BOUNCE BACK

Trying to time an investment for the exact bottom of the market is impossible (well it would be luck). The truth is that the markets may fall further, we don’t know. However, we expect them to recover – much like the overwhelming vast majority of people will recover from coronavirus. It may take weeks, months or even years, but it will recover. That it not to say that life may be more difficult in the short term and require patience and assistance.

So to my mind, this is a good time to invest due to low market valuations. However, as always I would remind you that I advise everyone (including businesses) to hold somewhere between 3-12 months of typical spending in reserve for an emergency. This is that time. If you have this and have reviewed your numbers, including perhaps making some minor reductions to spending, then if this still fits your plan for your life, then there are good reasons to invest.

The one concern I have is the practicalities of getting investments done in time for the tax year end, primarily due to a reduced workforce and lots of demand. So I would encourage anyone wanting to make tax year specific investments to do so as quickly as possible.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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SHOULD I INVEST NOW?2020-03-16T10:49:17+00:00

THE BUDGET 11 MARCH 2020

TODAY’S BLOG

THE BUDGET 11 MARCH 2020

In order to save you time, I watched the Budget and even had a neat little animated logo designed for the occasion. Prior to the Budget I had hopes of some significant pension reforms – to simplify pensions whilst also hoping for the possibility of a fairer tax system, which means different things to different people – I would probably settle for a more straight-forward one.

In fairness to Rishi Sunak, becoming Chancellor when he did must have felt rather like a “hospital pass”. By which I mean a term used in rugby, where you are passed the ball so that you are the last one to face some enormous opponent who will surely flatten you and send you to hospital for treatment.

As he prepared for his Budget, we were all aware of the gathering momentum of “coronavirus” and the global collapse of the stock markets as investors seem unable to comprehend the impact on trade and the current oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. No small matters and certainly sufficient to cause significant “alarm”.

The Budget

INCOME TAX

Rates remained unchanged – so depending on whether you are a glass half empty or half full, if you allow for inflation, that’s worse, but better than an increase.

  • Personal Allowance: £12,500
  • Basic rate (20%) on the next £37,500
  • Higher rate (40%) on income up to £150,000 (but loss of personal allowance at £100,000 ars previously)
  • Additional rate (45%) on income over £150,000

The only allowance to improve marginally was Capital Gains tax (increased from £12,000 to £12,300), which will be of little comfort today.

PENSIONS

The Lifetime Allowance has increased by inflation to £1,073,100. The precision of this number speaks volumes of the Treasury’s desire to collect every penny.

Anyone earning over £300,000 can only contribute £4,000 to a pension (including employer payments). Otherwise, some relief for Hospital Consultants as the Tapered Annual Allowance was inflated by £90,000 to impact those with incomes over £240,000. This keeps tax calculations complex and required, but likely to kill off public sympathy for the cause to simply abolish the Tapered Annual Allowance. If you really don’t understand this, it probably doesn’t impact you.

ISAs

There remain at a very healthy £20,000 of tax-free growth and tax-free income when withdrawn, unlike a pension which has tax relief and provides taxable income. This also tells you something about the Treasury.

A Junior ISA (JISA) has been greatly increased to allow for a significant £9,000 into a JISA each tax year from 2020/21. No real benefit for adults, but of course a bit of a nod to those funding University. Though this could turn into a large fund over time and some thought ought to be given to how most 18 year-olds handle money.

INHERITANCE TAX

No changes

BUSINESS OWNERS

Those wishing to sell a business that they built will now have much higher taxes to pay on sale as entrepreneurs’ relief was slashed. The 10% tax rate on sale of a business still applies but only on the first £1m rather than the first £10m. That idea that your business is your pension… well, think again the new allowance is lower than the Lifetime Allowance.

CORONAVIRUS – CORVID19

Various special measures have been “initiated” to enable people to have some form of basic minimum income (statutory sick pay) from first signs of illness and self-isolation. This is an attempt to head off concerns that those needing to earn cannot afford to be ill and therefore continue to pose a “threat” to the rest of us. Whether it works remains to be seen – I suspect call centres will be jammed for some time.

As far as I can tell today, a few things are in short supply and probably more expensive than a week ago – toilet paper, hand sanitiser and wisdom.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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THE BUDGET 11 MARCH 20202020-03-12T16:59:07+00:00
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