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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.

Changes to the pensions lifetime allowance (LTA)

In the 2023 Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced significant changes to the pensions lifetime allowance.

Our pensions specialists have analysed the policy paper and summarised their findings. Read about what you should know, ahead of the changes coming into effect on 6th April.

IHT for married and civil partnership couples

Inheritance tax (IHT) was once regarded as a tax that only affected the very wealthy.; however, rising property prices and a freeze on allowances mean many more people are facing a tax charge upon death.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and it is important that even if you don’t consider yourself particularly wealthy, you take proper tax and financial planning advice.

Planning for inheritance tax

Inheritance tax (IHT) is an increasing reality for many, as rising property values and savings, and frozen tax allowances, mean more estates are set to pass the threshold.

But the saving grace is that it is easy to plan for. By looking ahead to to the very end of your financial journey, you can avoid or reduce the tax, meaning more to pass on to loved ones (and help them at the start of theirs).

We give our top tips on inheritance tax to help you get started.

IHT planning for cohabiting couples

When it comes to relationships and money, where you sit on the marriage spectrum can matter. This is because some tax rules (such as on inheritance) permit married and civil partners to transfer assets and allowances to each other tax-free, but currently don’t give the same protections if you live together or otherwise share a life unmarried.

Careful planning is the key. We analyse the main rules and what you should know.

The benefits of financial planning

A personal financial plan can help make your financial dreams a reality. By defining goals and setting clear objectives on how to meet these, your financial plan will give you confidence that you are on track and, if the unexpected were to happen, you are prepared.

10 commonly asked questions at divorce time about finances

Separation and divorce can be a difficult time, when numerous legal and financial practicalities demand attention while also navigating the emotional journey.
We take a look at the top 10 most frequently asked questions we hear about finances during divorce time, to help with any thoughts you may be experiencing if you are going through this stage of life.

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.

The importance of long-term investing

Challenging market environments can create situations which can lead to some biased decision making. Recognising this will prevent investors from making decisions that could negatively impact their long-term investment performance.