• 23/05/2019 0 Comments
    Why you should get mortgage advice

    Taking out a mortgage could be one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll need to make in life, so it’s important to get the right mortgage advice.

    You could ‘go direct’ to find the right mortgage for your circumstances – as long as you’re prepared to spend time and effort scouring a very competitive market for the lender and deal you feel most comfortable with.

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  • 23/05/2019 0 Comments
    Why are equities volatile?

    The more experienced investors among us will know that investing in equities involves a more volatile journey than some other asset classes, such as fixed income.

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  • 23/05/2019 0 Comments
    When lightning strikes

    In July 2015, Mark received a call from someone telling him his house in County Durham was in flames and that a team of firefighters were currently at the scene.

    He hung up – first, not quite believing what he’d heard was true – it must be a work colleague playing a prank! But when the police called back, Mark soon realised this wasn’t a joke; it was a real problem that required his urgent attention.

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  • 23/05/2019 0 Comments
    Take advantage of a ‘free’ pay rise

    You might think pensions are too complicated and you don’t understand them, but the fact is they are a crucial, tax-efficient savings vehicle that can help give enough money to live on in your retirement.

    Worryingly though, only two thirds of UK adults are currently saving for retirement, and of those many aren’t saving at a level that will give them the pension pot they hope for in retirement.

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  • 23/05/2019 0 Comments
    My journey as a first-time buyer

    Being a First Time Buyer was daunting to start with, but once I got in touch with an Openwork Adviser, they settled all my nerves and made the process of buying a place to call home incredibly easy.

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  • 23/05/2019 0 Comments
    Are you at the end of your deal?

    When your current mortgage deal comes to an end you might be tempted to do nothing and simply move on to your lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR). However, by doing so you could risk your mortgage rate more than doubling.

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  • 23/05/2019 0 Comments
    All about ISAs

    In the 2019/20 tax year, you can save up to £20,000 tax-free in an Individual Savings Account (ISA), and when it comes to your ISA investment, you have a number of options.

    Investors comfortable with the slightly higher risk Peer to Peer lending can also now invest in an Innovative Finance ISA, and those aged 18 to 40 can open a Lifetime ISA.

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  • 23/05/2019 0 Comments
    A global approach to asset allocation

    Asset allocation is one of the key tools in our investment proposition to help strike the right balance between risk and reward in your portfolio. It applies to asset classes, such as equities, bonds and cash, and different global regions.

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  • 23/05/2019 0 Comments
    Need help to buy?

    Do you aspire to own a new-build home? Are you looking to move home, but lack sufficient funds to afford the repayments on a low-deposit mortgage? You may find it easier to join, or move up the property ladder, thanks to the government-backed Help to Buy scheme.

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  • 20/05/2019 0 Comments
    Look beyond the price of your protection policy

    Most of us celebrate the start of life and pay tribute to the end of life, but are we placing enough importance on everything in between?

    If we’re lucky we’ll enjoy certain life events like finding a lifelong partner, marriage / civil partnership, having children, enjoying a career and, ultimately, retiring. But how many of us take out mortgage financial protection in the event our plans go away?

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  • 19/05/2019 0 Comments
    Time in the market vs timing the market

    When it comes to investing, you might have heard that time in the market is better than timing the market.

    Time in the market is another way of describing long-term investing. Investors with a time horizon of at least five years (and in many cases longer) buy an asset and hold on to it. They tend to invest with a goal in mind. A good example is someone saving towards retirement which, depending on the stage of their career, could be 20 years or more in the future.

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  • 16/05/2019 0 Comments
    How much can I pay into my pension?

    A pension is a tax-efficient, long-term savings plan that you contribute to during your working life to provide an income when you stop work. You can benefit from tax relief on the contributions you pay in and your pension pot has the potential to grow.

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  • 16/05/2019 0 Comments
    How much can I pay into my pension?

    A pension is a tax-efficient, long-term savings plan that you contribute to during your working life to provide an income when you stop work. You can benefit from tax relief on the contributions you pay in and your pension pot has the potential to grow.

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  • 13/05/2019 0 Comments
    The cost of raising a child

    We all know raising a child can be expensive. Research has shown, the cost of raising a child to age 18 in the UK varies dependant on whether it’s a girl or boy, with boys coming in at £79,176 and girls a staggering £108,884.

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  • 03/05/2019 0 Comments
    Taking the long view

    For the best part of 10 years, global markets have enjoyed a period of steady growth. 2018, however, saw markets ‘wake up’ to increased uncertainty on a number of key political and economic events.

    Fuelled by the sustained efforts of central banks to maintain low interest rates and introduce measures such as quantitative easing (QE) to boost the economy, the decade following the 2007-08 financial crisis saw comparatively low market volatility and sustained economic growth.

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  • 15/04/2019 0 Comments
    Relevant Life Plan

    Do you want to provide valuable life cover and financial security for your employees and your family in a tax efficient manner? A Relevant Life Plan could be the answer.

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  • 01/04/2019 0 Comments
    Would your business survive if its loans were called in?

    Have you thought about how your cash flow could be affected if something were to happen to a director, owner or key employee?

    How would your creditors react?

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  • 22/03/2019 0 Comments
    Reviewing your mortgage deal could save you money

    On Thursday 2 August 2018 the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) raised interest rates by 0.25 from 0.50% to 0.75%. 

    It’s important to regularly review your mortgage, as it can often make sense to transfer to a new deal - or even a different lender. Your decision to transfer will of course depend on your individual circumstances, and the current rate you are paying.

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  • 20/03/2019 0 Comments
    Women are getting richer than men

    According to research women now control 30% of the world’s wealth, up from 25% held five years ago. Women are also expected to see their wealth grow 7% faster than men until 2020, this is a result of women acquiring more wealth through inheritance, but they are also making their own money by becoming entrepreneurs and running their own successful businesses.

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  • 16/03/2019 0 Comments
    ​​Key dates for 2019

    Key dates for 2019

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  • 12/03/2019 0 Comments
    Do you have a repayment plan for your mortgage in place?

    Thousands of people with interest-only mortgages expiring this year do not have a repayment plan - putting their homes at serious risk of repossession. 

    An estimated 81,400 mortgages will come to an end in 2019, totalling around £9.2bn in value, according to the Financial Conduct Authority. A further 82,100 mortgages worth £9.7bn will mature in 2020.

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  • Coins
    12/03/2019 0 Comments
    If you became critically ill and unable to work, could you cope financially?

    Some things are more reliable than others - monthly bills, for example. Young or old, single or married, we all have financial obligations to meet each month; be it luxuries, like a satellite TV subscription or mobile phone contract, or the real essentials – like keeping a roof over your/your family’s head.

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  • 12/03/2019 0 Comments
    The importance of trusts

    Trusts are usually simple to set up, but it’s important to select the right type of Trust. 

    What is a Trust?

    A Trust helps ensure a pay-out goes to the people you’d like to benefit from your protection policy – should the worst happen. As the ‘settler’ (the person who creates the Trust), you can choose the people who will benefit (the ‘beneficiaries’). The Trust defines how and when they can receive the money from the insurance company.

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  • 01/03/2019 0 Comments
    Fed up with renting?

    If you rent your home, it can be frustrating to know your hard-earned cash is going into someone else’s pocket each month.

    If you’ve ever thought about owning your own place, the mortgage market may appear daunting. How do you choose the right deal? Which mortgage lenders should you talk to? And what on earth is a Standard Variable Rate?!

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  • 26/02/2019 0 Comments
    Choosing the right type of cover to protect you and your family is important

    Act now to ensure you remain protected

    Making sure you and your family are financially protected should something unexpected happen is one of the most valuable things you can do and will help you avoid a financial crisis.

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  • 28/01/2019 0 Comments
    Financial top tips for service personnel

    Service personnel and their families can find it difficult to access commercial products and services because of the time spent outside of the UK.

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  • 26/01/2019 0 Comments
    Why active investing is more effective in volatile markets

    A glance at the performance of the major stock indices in 2018 shows that volatility was a common theme. US equities followed an upward - although somewhat choppy - trajectory from early March, but they had a turbulent start to the year. Meanwhile, UK, European and Japanese equity markets experienced fluctuations of various magnitudes as they drifted sideways or downwards over the same timeframe.

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  • 25/01/2019 0 Comments
    The value of protection advice

    Protection should be considered as the foundation of all financial planning. After all, if things go awry and you suddenly find yourself in dire financial straits, who or what could you rely on to keep you and your family afloat?

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  • 23/01/2019 0 Comments
    Helping you to save

    Help to Save is a government savings account aimed at an estimated 3.5m people on low incomes. The scheme pays a bonus of 50p for every pound saved over four years, representing better value compared to the 1 - 2 per cent returns on savings bonds offered by high street banks.

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  • 22/01/2019 0 Comments
    Become a Superhero in the eyes of our family

    When he was younger one of my son’s favourite questions was; “if you could have any super power, what would it be?” He loved the idea of being a Superhero.

    I think, deep down, we all like the idea of being a Superhero. Being able to do things others can’t; amazing things to help those around you.

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  • 20/01/2019 0 Comments
    Deadline to Breadline

    For its latest ‘Deadline to Breadline’ report, Legal and General surveyed 2,000 full and part-time workers to assess how long they could survive on savings if their income stopped due to serious, or long-term illness, or death. The rather worrying answer was 32 days.

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  • 17/01/2019 0 Comments
    The difference between value and growth investing

    Warren Buffet, sometimes known as the sage of Omaha, once claimed he preferred to “to buy a wonderful company at a fair price”. What he meant by this is when it comes to picking investments, he looks for quality businesses that, for some reason or another, are undervalued by the rest of the market.

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  • 15/01/2019 0 Comments
    How a trust can help your financial planning

    Writing a policy in Trust could be perceived as something that only the wealthy require, but the reality is Trusts can play an important part in financial planning for people from all walks of life.

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  • 13/01/2019 0 Comments
    First-time buyers: Boost your mortgage chances

    You’ve decided to take the plunge and get onto the property ladder, having swapped fun and frivolity for fastidious frugalness to save the deposit. But what can you do to boost your chances of getting your first mortgage?

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  • 11/01/2019 0 Comments
    How risk influences asset allocation

    To strike the right balance between risk and reward in your investment portfolio, it’s important to carefully consider how you divide your capital among the various asset classes. In the investment industry, this process is known as asset allocation.

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  • 07/01/2019 0 Comments
    Standard Variable Rate

    The average homeowner moving from a specific mortgage deal onto their mortgage provider’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR) could save more than £2,500 a year in interest payments simply by remortgaging.

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  • 21/12/2018 0 Comments
    How to prepare financially for long-term illness

    While British life expectancy continues to rise, the same might not be said for the quality of health we could expect to enjoy as we get older, according to a stark warning from The British Heart Foundation. Their analysis suggests the number of people suffering heart attacks and stroke because of a rise in diabetes diagnoses could rise by 29% over the next two decades.

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  • 19/12/2018 0 Comments
    Making the most of your pension savings

    Thanks to there being no major changes announced to pensions in the October 2018 Budget you can continue to pay into your pension over the next 12 months without any surprises to knock you off track.

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  • 17/12/2018 0 Comments
    Advice matters - whatever stage in life you're at

    The financial products and services we need to navigate through life will change with our circumstances. In the early years, our financial needs are likely to be more straightforward, getting increasingly complex as we grow older and experience more of life’s rich tapestry.

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  • Business Insurance
    14/12/2018 0 Comments
    What is insurance?

    Almost every adult in the UK has taken out some kind of insurance policy – whether it’s to protect themselves, their home, their car, their possessions, or their beloved pets. But what is it?

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  • House
    12/12/2018 0 Comments
    Shining a light on home insurance

    Home and contents insurance seems to be a mystery to many households according to research by the Co-Op, which found more than five million have no cover despite the average value of contents reaching almost £40,000.

    On the face of it, this type of insurance seems straightforward. It covers you for the loss of, or damage to, personal possessions in your home; ranging from laptops, TVs and furniture to clothing and jewellery. It’s perhaps when you get to the small print that the problems start...

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  • House
    10/12/2018 0 Comments
    Offset mortgages explained

    With interest rates remaining low, you might want to consider an offset mortgage. This combines your mortgage and savings into one account and, rather then pay interest on the savings, the savings balance is deducted from the loan amount and you pay interest on the remaining balance.

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  • Townhouse
    10/12/2018 0 Comments
    Taking the second step

    Research by Censuswide for Nationwide shows it’s not just first-time buyers who struggle to fund their property purchase. So-called ‘second steppers’ are finding it hard to move up the housing ladder, having to make compromises or sacrifices in order to afford their next home.

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  • 10/12/2018 0 Comments
    The cost of retirement

    How much money do you think you’ll need to receive each year of your retirement?According to the investment manager Schroders, working people in the UK aged 55 and over believe this figure would equate to 66% of their current income, but the reality according to UK retirees is actually 53%.

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  • 10/12/2018 0 Comments
    The search for a reliable retirement income

    It’s been over three years since the April 2015 pensions changes which scrapped compulsory annuities and gave pensioners greater choice over how to take their retirement income.

    This historic change to UK pension legislation opened up a range of investment opportunities for pensioners. With increased control of their pension, investors can seek to position their portfolios to deliver the income required, while retaining – and perhaps even growing – their invested capital.

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  • 10/12/2018 0 Comments
    2018 Q2 Report

    We’ve scoured the global news headlines to recap the most significant geopolitical and economic events which took place in the second quarter of 2018, as Donald Trump’s unconventional approach to foreign policy sent mixed signals to the financial markets.

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  • Business Workplace
    09/12/2018 0 Comments
    How secure is your business?

    Business protection is a crucial element in a company's financial future, but how many have cover in place?

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  • 06/12/2018 0 Comments
    Is your Help to Buy deal ending?

    Since its launch in April 2013 more than 145,000 properties have been bought using the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme. Five years on and the interest-free element of the loan is due to end, with homeowners potentially facing expensive fees.

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  • Colourful Houses
    04/12/2018 0 Comments
    Will solar panels affect your move?

    2010 was a good year for homeowners wanting to go “off grid”, as the government launched its Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) scheme, which guaranteed an income to those producing their own electricity. Since then, there’ve been over 780,000 domestic installations – mostly of solar photovoltaic panels which capture the sun’s energy and convert it to electricity.

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  • 03/12/2018 0 Comments
    Barriers to protection

    According to an online survey of 2,000 adults by Royal London, half of those surveyed believe life insurance is essential for someone with a mortgage or dependants and yet only 60% of people with a mortgage have life cover.

    While 60% of those surveyed with a mortgage have a life insurance policy, just 29% have critical illness cover and 19% have income protection insurance, suggesting that better education is needed to help make people more aware of the benefits of taking out protection.

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  • house mortgage
    01/12/2018 0 Comments
    What life insurance is best for your joint mortgage?

    When you take out a mortgage we would always recommend you take out appropriate life insurance too, so that you know your monthly mortgage payments are covered if things go awry.

    If you’re buying on your own, a single life insurance plan will probably do the trick, but if you’re going into joint property ownership, a joint plan may be more appropriate. So, which is best for you?

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  • Pensioner with Camera
    30/11/2018 0 Comments
    Savers in the dark about their pension

    Are you among the 30.4 million working-age people who don’t know if their pension pot will be big enough to afford a comfortable lifestyle in retirement?

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  • Property Survey
    27/11/2018 0 Comments
    What’s the point of a property survey?

    You're not bound by law to have a survey done on a property you're buying, but while it may feel like an unnecessary expense given all the other costs involved in homebuying, it could actually save money and stress in the longer-term.

    A survey is basically a health check on a property. If the property fails the health check, you'd want to know about it before you proceed so that you can negotiate with the seller or – if the worst is revealed – pull out of the sale.

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  • 2 elderly people
    24/11/2018 0 Comments
    The gender pension gap

    If you overheard a conversation about the gender gap, you might automatically think about it in terms of pay, given the relatively recent requirement for firms with more than 250 employees to disclose their pay data.What is less well known though is the gender pension gap. In the UK, this is thought be between 30 and 40 per cent and down to two principle reasons ...

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  • 23/11/2018 0 Comments
    Developed vs emerging markets

    The most popular markets among investors typically fall into one of two categories – developed or emerging. There’s no universal definition for either category, but MSCI, a research firm which provides many of the indices used by investment funds as benchmarks, classifies countries according to three main criteria: economic development, liquidity and market accessibility.

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  • 20/11/2018 0 Comments
    What’s stopping you from saving?

    Generally speaking, and subject to investment charges and performance, the more you save and the earlier you start saving the better shape your finances are going to be in when you need to draw on them.

    So why is it then that many of us are reluctant to put money aside for a rainy day, a specific objective, or – perhaps most importantly – our retirement?

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  • Piggie Bank
    13/11/2018 0 Comments
    Risk vs reward

    Despite the recent mortgage interest rate rise, savers will still struggle to enjoy any kind of growth on money they have on deposit, leading some to consider a riskier investment.

    If you're considering investing in the stock market, an important – and very personal issue – is how you feel about the prospect of putting money at risk and your ability to accommodate any loss in value.

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  • Elderly men playing chess
    07/11/2018 0 Comments
    Protection in trust

    Taking out a Life Insurance policy gives you valuable peace of mind; you know you’ve helped protect your family against financial hardship, should the worst happen. But how can you make sure your policy will pay out quickly, to those who’ll need it most, if you weren't around? The answer might be to write your policy in trust.

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  • Money Calculator
    05/11/2018 0 Comments
    Self-Employed lack protection

    Just 4% of self-employed workers have income protection in place, leaving the majority vulnerable to financial difficulties if they are suddenly forced to stop working through illness or accident.

    In its survey of more than 9,000 adults, LV= identified the self-employed as a niche group who would struggle to make ends meet if they stopped earning. This is partly down to the fact that they have no employer’s safety net and little, if anything, in the way of emergency funds.

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  • Small House
    02/11/2018 0 Comments
    Are you thinking of downsizing?

    According to a survey by Lloyds Bank, 45 per cent of empty nesters have no plans to downsize, despite the potential windfall moving to a smaller place could create.

    For these empty nesters then, life seems pretty comfortable, but their new-found wellbeing could be at risk if a study by the London School of Economics (LSE) is anything to go by.

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  • Children ISA
    31/10/2018 0 Comments
    The Junior ISA

    Junior ISAs (JISA) are long-term, tax-efficient savings accounts for children, introduced in November 2011 to supersede the phased-out Child Trust Fund (CTF).

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  • House Mortgage
    29/10/2018 0 Comments
    Need help to buy?

    2018 began with a surprising pick-up in house price growth, up 0.6% month-on-month with January seeing a ten-month high increase of 3.2 per cent. Even with the wider economy and Brexit developments, the housing market activity is only expected to slow a modest amount.

    This is great news for those already enjoying the benefits of home-ownership, but if you’re looking to buy your first home the rising house prices mean you're going to need a bigger deposit.

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  • Houses
    26/10/2018 0 Comments
    What’s your General Insurance start date?

    When you’re in the process of buying a house, you might think the best time for your Home Insurance cover to kick in is on the day you move in. Right?

    In fact, you must make sure you’re covered on the day you exchange contracts, because it’s at that point that you become legally responsible for the property.

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  • 02/10/2018 0 Comments
    Long-term investors needn't fear volatility

    You may have read in the press that markets have been particularly volatile in 2018. But what does this mean for your investments?

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  • 24/01/2018 0 Comments
    Confused about pension planning?

    With more UK employees saving for their retirement than ever you could argue that Automatic Enrolment has been a success since its launch six years ago. However, research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that many people contributing to their workplace scheme don’t even realise they’re saving for retirement.

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