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This is a good (US) economy

Despite professional forecasters predicting a recession in early 2024, late last year, one of our senior analysts at Mazars, James Hunter Jones, insisted on adding a “Dream” scenario in our forecasts: one where the economy would perform well, and still inflation would drop. We did, and assigned an outlier probability to it.

Let’s see how James fared versus the world.

Scottish Budget 2023

On 19th December, Scottish Finance Secretary Shona Robison unveiled the Scottish Government’s 2024/25 budget plans in what she described as turbulent circumstances: a turbulence which the SNP opted to largely direct towards Scotland’s high earners in the form of income tax hikes.

2024 market forecast

Given the stock and bond market volatility, it’s hard to know what the starting point for equity valuations and rates as we enter 2024. At the beginning of the year, we said that volatility and geopolitical uncertainty will persist. Stocks and bonds were nearly flat by the end of October and are now up 10% and 5% respectively in just thirty days.

How behavioural biases affect investment decisions

The reason long-term investors like Warren Buffett can consistently earn profits and outperform is because of market inefficiencies. These inefficiencies are inevitable because markets are composed of human beings, who no matter how disciplined, will often make financial decisions that consist of behavioural biases causing them to act on emotion.

What is fiscal drag?

Simply put, it is the effect that the freeze on income tax rates and bands has on real earnings. When tax bands or tax allowances do not rise along with inflation or the cost of living, you may find that you inadvertently pay more income tax.

Time to gift?

Considering how to gift is vital when thinking about your long-term wealth strategy. As well as helping others, it can be a practical way to reduce the size of your estate: the key factor for inheritance tax calculations, which is becoming a greater reality for many as home values and inflation rises. As a starting point, although it is good to gift, there are some tax considerations to be aware of. We break down the basics in our easy-to-follow guide.

Autumn Statement 2023

There has been a lot of speculation in recent weeks regarding the announcements the Chancellor could make, in what could possibly be his last Statement before the next general election.

We take a look at some of the key announcements for individuals and businesses.