It's our round-up of the stories your clients may have read in the national newspapers over the weekend...
It was the last weekend before the tax deadline, so most of the nationals predictably went big on ISAs. The Mail on Sunday had a neat round-up of how ISAs work, as did the Independent, which urged readers not to waste any more time. Meanwhile the Guardian provided a guide to some of the best stocks and shares ISAs out there.
Is it time to go big in Japan? That was the question the Telegraph attempted to answer, pointing out its debt-free banking sector, lean companies, a massive post-disaster public-spending programme and a change of culture at the Bank of Japan. Of course, the last 20 years have been miserable for investors in the country, although the experts in the piece appeared to be optimistic about the future. However, there was also a contrarian opinion, suggesting this may be another false dawn.
Stories your clients may have read in the nationals last weekend
At a time when the Chancellor says he is clamping down on tax avoidance, there is still a place for tax efficiency, and the Telegraph on Sunday explored of the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) to bypass inheritance tax. As the paper explained, unquoted shares, including those on AIM, are not counted as part of an estate, as long as they have been owned for two years. Of course, they are also inherently risky and tend to see particularly big losses when the markets are down.
As if the recent ‘granny tax' saga was not enough, the Mail on Sunday reported on how tens of thousands of pensioners face a "shock clawback" of benefits which will erode this month's record increase in the state pension. Although the state pension is rising by 5.2%, other benefits will go up at a slower rate, potentially leaving them with reduced spending power.
With constant messages that we will all have to delay our retirement and work even longer, it can be easy to get a little pessimistic, and this was something the Sunday Express attempted to counter over the weekend. It looked at the benefits of this trend, such as potentially getting a better income from an annuity and more time to save up and plan. The piece also had some useful tips and reminders, such as making sure any income protection policy is extended to the right age.
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