Only 0.04% of the Population of England and Wales to benefit from Residence Nil Rate Band

One of the most striking findings of Intelligent Partnership’s newly published Business Property Report (BPR) industry report is the tiny fraction of people who will be in a position to benefit from the Residence Nil Rate Band.  The rules and restrictions make the vast majority of estates ineligible.

So, it’s not surprising that the popularity of BPR schemes over the next two years, continues to grow;  with their focus on speed, flexibility and capital preservation.

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Build your £1 million tax-free nest egg

At Investment Solutions we have several £1 million clients with portfolios in excess of this sum within ISAs.

With the allowance for ISAs risen to £20,000, if a couple each placed their full allowance into a stocks & shares ISA every year for 15 years, a £1 million tax free pot (assuming a gain of 5.1% pa after costs – will be achieved).

Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. You may lose part or all of your money. A full assessment is carried out.

Lifetime ISA demand exceeds expectations

Lifetime ISA providers are seeing investors who are just under the maximum age limit pile into the new savings vehicle to keep the door open for the government bonus later on.

According to the handful of providers in the market, since April 6, demand for the controversial savings product has breezed expectations.

The under 40s are able to claim a 25% government bonus on contributions up to £4,000 a year.

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Divorcees face £3,000 less per year from retirement incomes

Divorcees planning to retire this year can expect annual retirement incomes of up to 16%, or £3,000, lower than those who have never divorced, and they are also more likely to be in debt, according to Prudential.

For the past 10 years the insurer has tracked the finances, future plans and aspirations of people planning to retire in the year ahead.

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Art & Jewellery Evening for Charity

Investment Solutions will be hosting a "Art and Jewellery Evening" on Thursday 20th July at our premises, in aid of The Youth Adventure Trust charity.  We will have several local artists and jewellers displaying their work, which will all be available for purchase or order.  We will be providing wine and cheese during the evening and would ask that you make a small donation on arrival to go to the charity.  In addition a percentage of all sales made will also go to the charity.

The evening will run from 18.00 to 21.00 pm.

If you are interested in attending then please contact Sarah Brine on 01903 214640 or email her at:

Inheritance Tax - Worried?

Inheritance tax intake is expected to rise sharply over the next five years, according to the latest forecast update from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). In its ‘Economic and fiscal outlook’ published in March, the amount of inheritance tax forecast for collection is expected to top £6.2 billion by 2021-2022.

So what’s caused the OBR to up its forecasts? Two significant factors spring to mind. First, UK house prices show no signs of slowing down. Rising house prices mean more people finding themselves with properties valued in excess of the nil-rate band, which has been fixed at £325,000 per person since the 2010-2011 tax year.

Importantly, it seems the introduction of the residence nil-rate band isn’t expected to put any kind of a dent in HM Treasury’s anticipated inheritance tax intake. As a reminder, since 6 April, an additional £100,000 for the current tax year can be claimed by the estates of homeowners who leave their residence to direct descendants.

The other key factor is the continued growth of UK stock markets, which have defied expectations since the vote for Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump. The performance of the FTSE 100 Index has been remarked on, but smaller companies have also done extremely well too, and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in particular. In fact, the last 12 months have been a great time to be an investor in UK equities, and many of our clients are sitting on strong gains. And much of those gains could ultimately end up as inheritance tax liabilities.

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What is a Smart tracker fund?

Most people will be aware of tracker funds that track an index (when investing), such as the FTSE 100 Index. But what is a ‘Smart tracker fund?’.                                                                        
“Smart” trackers are a relatively new type of investment. They are similar to standard low-cost trackers, but they apply some screens to the stocks they invest in, meaning they are not just investing in the index as it stands.                                                                                                      
Instead, they apply screens. One is to invest equally in all the companies in the FTSE 100 index. This means that rather than investing more of your money in the larger funds, it will split the money equally across all companies making up the index.                                                                 
One example is db x-trackers FTSE 100 Equal Weight Ucits ETF. However, the annual costs at 0.25pc are higher than a traditional tracker.                                                                                      
Another example of these “smart trackers” is the PowerShares FTSE RAFI 100 Ucits ETF, which is a very complicated name for a fund that weights holdings based on a number of different factors. Among these are the level of sales a company has, the dividends it pays out, and cash flows. It will then allocate more money to the companies that score highly in these elements.
Because of the companies that are doing well in these factors at the moment, the ETF currently has more money invested in financial and energy companies - so at the moment it does not eliminate the large amounts allocated to stocks such as Shell. This will change over time though.                                                                                                                                          
Smart trackers also come at a higher price - with this example costing 0.39pc, compared to around 0.07pc for a simple FTSE 100 tracker.                                                                                           
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Income Protection - changes to Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)

As the government continues to move the burden of state benefits back onto individuals, a change to ESA came into force April 5th. After the 28 week Statutory Sick Pay period, ESA kicks in. If you are assessed and placed in the work related group, the benefit has gone down by over £29 to just £73.10 a week.

With the average UK salary over £25,000, individuals needing to claim are over £400 a week worse off on average. 

Only 10% of the working population have any form of Income Protection life policies.

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The Dividend Allowance

Did you know that the dividend allowance, introduced last year, is to change again in a year’s time. At the moment, it means the first £5,000 of dividends you get are taxed at nil per cent. From 2018/19 this reduces to £2,000. Simple enough. But there are complications ………..

Charity Fundraising

On the weekend of the 16th & 17th September, a team from Investment Solutions will be taking part in the Invesco Perpetual Snowden Challenge. The challenge is set over two days whereby we will hike 27km up three summits including Snowden, jump on mountain bikes for a 50km gruelling ride to Llyn Peris Reservoir and then pick up canoes to tackle a final 5km route across the reservoir. With the whole challenge expected to take us in the region of 17 hours it is fair to say it will be a good test of our ability! What will make this all worthwhile however, is if we can raise some money for the Youth Adventure Trust, a charity devoted to empowering vulnerable and disadvantaged young people to achieve their potential.

This year the charity is celebrating its 25th birthday, helping over 3800 vulnerable young people in its lifetime. The money raised through the Invesco Perpetual Snowdon Challenge allows vulnerable children to participate in a three-year youth adventure programme run by volunteers from the Youth Adventure Trust. The programme gives young people the hope, confidence and life skills to meet the challenges they face daily in their lives. Many are young carers, have problems at school, suffer the effects of poverty or rural isolation, come from single parent families or have chaotic and unstable home lives. The programme provides disadvantaged young people with the chance to take part in a series of day activities and residential adventure camps. The children experience a range of activities in new environments, designed to improve their confidence and self-esteem by teaching them to work in a team and challenge themselves in new ways.

You can sponsor us and donations will be quickly processed and passed to the charity. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity's behalf where the donor is eligible for this. Finally we really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.

Ivan, Angus, Rafa, Oli, Mark, Sarah B and Sarah R.