Landlords hiked their rents for the seventh month in a row during August, imposing the steepest increases for more than a year, research indicated yesterday.
IF THERE is one question I am asked more than any other in the line of duty, it is this: Why doesn't the trade deficit seem to matter any more? Individuals of a certain maturity and wisdom remember back to the 1960s and 1970s, when the size of the deficit, and the currency crises that accompanied it, made front-page news. Two events in particular are etched on the collective memory.
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MANY of these points are commonsense, but others are counter-intuitive. However, they are backed by academic research.
LONG-TERM savings decisions are never easy. Taking today’s hard-earned cash and giving up all the delights that it might bring in order to provide for one’s old age takes discipline. It is even harder when the returns that one can expect as a reward for this frugality are disappointingly low.
IN a world of collapsing stock markets and uncertain property prices, pensions still remain a good investment. We all have to save for our retirement and the fact that the government gives us help to do so remains a major bonus.
WITH low interest rates and nervousness about the stock market, many people are concerned about how best to obtain income on investments, particularly if they are retired.
HOW many times have I heard clients say that they are happy with their current lender. Happy that the lender collects the mortgage payments religiously every month without a problem.
MARKETS have become more efficient as communications technology has improved over the years, making them react faster and fluctuate more. Volatility dominates today’s stock exchanges much more than it used to.
THE statistic is stark: more than one in three marriages in the UK end in divorce. If it happens, it is important to get legal and financial advice to negotiate this very complicated area.
THE growing interest in ethical and environmentally-friendly fund investments relates partly to the growth of green thinking generally. Increasingly, investors are determined to ensure that their hard-earned cash does not unintentionally go into funds supporting areas towards which the individual investors feel some antipathy, typically tobacco, alcohol or armaments.
THE troubles surrounding the new child tax credit have been described by ministers as teething problems, but they have caused hardship for thousands of families.
OUR minds may be focused on holidays and suntan lotion, but the financial forecast is still as gloomy as a damp November evening. The signs around us are as evident as the seasons: more businesses are struggling, profits are under pressure.
IF EVER there were an area where retail investors needed advice, it is in longer-term investments. There are just so many products and so many strategies, many of them counter-intuitive.
MOST people regard their home as their biggest asset - and it usually is. However, for some, it will not be quite the investment they realised, and could even turn out to be a liability, writes Andrew Collier.
IN THE present investment conditions, would you welcome a guaranteed return of 10 to 18 per cent with little or no risk to capital?
IT IS still a tradition in British society that women are more likely to take a career break than men. Added to this, there are other distinguishing factors, such as the earnings differential between the sexes, women’s longer life expectancy and rising divorce rates, to name just a few. Quite frequently, women find that they have been placed at a financial disadvantage.
IN THE Budget, the Chancellor increased the threshold for inheritance tax by £5,000 - or just 2 per cent. But this does not help families that find the value of their home forms the major part of, or is more than, the limit of £255,000.
FAMILIES with young children have a revised tax credit to deal with. Child tax credit has replaced the old children’s tax credit, with the benefit now paid into bank accounts rather than a tax code being altered. But what are your options if you want to give your child a good start in adult life?
IT’S never the wrong time to review your finances to ensure that they are on track. After all, your financial well being plays a part in nearly everything you do, or look forward to doing in the future.
GOVERNMENTS often find themselves trying to enact policies in areas that seem mutually contradictory. Taxation and savings are a case in point. Tax takes a large chunk of what could otherwise be disposable income out of the taxpayer’s pocket. Yet savings only happen when consumers have enough surplus money to make it feasible to put something aside.
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