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  Financial Planning News & Insights

September 2011

Date:  Thursday 1st September 2011

After the summer holiday has ended, it is time for our cherubs to go back to school, and for our lives to return to some sort of normality! So before you start buying those new uniforms, pencil cases and lunch boxes maybe it is time to go back to school with your finances?

We all spend our time planning holidays, new purchases etc. but when was the last time you really thought about your personal finances?

It can be tricky to know where to start, so let us look at some of the basics of financial planning.

If you have lump sums, or have a surplus at the end of each month, it is recommended that you invest in a tax efficient manner. There are many investment vehicles in the current market place, so here are a few you could consider –

  • National Savings & Investment (NS&I)
  • Index-linked savings certificates
  • NS&I Premium Bonds
  • Cash Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
  • Equity ISAsEnterprise Investment Schemes (EIS)
  • Venture Capital Trusts (VCT)

All of the above can give you much greater tax efficiency than standard bank and building societies. Indeed, the EIS and VCT investments attract 30% tax relief on your investment.

They can be used to fund school fees, pay off debts in the future, boost your retirement income or just be there in case of a rainy day.

We all pay our fair share of tax, so why pay more than you need?

The next step is to consider whether you need to save for your retirement. If you have a pension scheme through your employer, then you are in a fortunate position. If not, then what provision have you made? For some, it may seem a long way away, however the earlier you start contributing the less it will cost you and the greater your pension fund.

Once the above has been addressed, you may well have other plans for the future. Speaking to a fully qualified financial planner will help you achieve your goals, and ensure that your investments are in the right place. The first meeting is usually at no cost, and a full report can be produced recommending the best way forward. You are under no obligation to accept the recommendations. Should you do so, then regular reviews should be undertaken to ensure your finances remain in good health.

At Ward Williams Financial Services, we offer this service, and our highly qualified financial planners would be delighted to assist.