Austyn James News

12 Feb

Turbulent Start to 2016

2016 got off to a turbulent start as ongoing concerns over global economic growth and falling commodity prices continued to weigh heavily on investor sentiment. China’s stockmarket was suspended after a 7% drop in share prices activated a so-called ‘circuit-breaking’ system designed to regulate volatility. The suspension led to sharp falls in equity markets around… Read more »

12 Feb

2015/16 LIMITS FOR ISAS

The maximum allowance for Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) was again increased for the current tax year – rising from £15,000 to £15,240. This came in the wake of substantial reforms to the ISA system, designed to increase flexibility and choice for investors, while providing additional incentives towards long-term saving. Investors used to be able to… Read more »

18 Dec

Lift-off at last for US rates

After many months of speculation, the Federal Reserve finally increased US interest rates for the first time since June 2006. On 16 December, the US central bank raised its key interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 0.25%-0.50%. Policymakers cited “considerable improvement in labour market conditions” and are “reasonably confident that inflation will rise, over… Read more »

19 Nov

Top 100 Financial Advisers

Compiled in conjunction with Matrix Solutions, the rankings show the list of the biggest and most successful financial adviser firms in the UK, as indicated by sales of life and pension products. At first glance, little has changed at the top of the list, with St James’s Place and Hargreaves Lansdown occupying first and second… Read more »

02 Nov

Share markets enjoy October rally

Equity markets generally rallied during October while daily volatility was less pronounced than in recent months. Investor sentiment received a boost from the news that China’s central bank had implemented another cut in interest rates although the International Monetary Fund reduced its forecast for global economic growth from 3.3% to 3.1% for this year and… Read more »

02 Nov

Changes to Financial Service compensation scheme

From 1 January 2016, British savers will receive a lower guarantee on their deposits. At present, in the unlikely event that a UK bank or building society collapses, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) will pay compensation of up to £85,000 per person or small business, per authorised bank or building society. However, from the… Read more »

17 Aug

Busy month for UK companies

Since the beginning of 2015, the FTSE 100 index has risen by a total of 2%, with more recent concerns over the eurozone and China, plus uncertainties over the outlook for US and UK interest rates, seeing it give back much of the gains it made earlier on in the year. Over the year to… Read more »

14 Jul

Yet another pension revolution?

For anyone who has spent the past 12 months getting to grips with the new pension rules, the news another ‘revolution’ may be round the corner will not necessarily be welcome. However, this now looks likely following Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s announcement of a new consultation on the UK’s pension regime. There are… Read more »

14 Jul

Taking Control

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s post-election ‘Summer Budget’ contained some radical and surprising measures – aimed, for example, at ‘non-doms’ and buy-to-let landlords – while offering a number of sweeteners for the middle-classes, such as inheritance tax exemptions. The welfare budget also proved a key priority, with Osborne reminding people that – as the… Read more »

14 Jul

Greece Weighs on UK Markets

Despite a wealth of corporate and economic newsflow from elsewhere, developments in the eurozone remained uppermost in the minds of many UK investors over June as Greece failed to honour a €1.5bn (£1.06bn) payment to the International Monetary Fund. Share prices in the UK generally fell during the month, with larger companies performing less well… Read more »