Unknown knowns

  • by Graham Bond
  • 12 May, 2017

Individual investors may face many “known unknowns”—that is to say, things that they know they don’t know. The UK’s referendum on EU membership is one of them, confronting people with a large degree of uncertainty.

But it’s not necessary to “make the right call” on the referendum or its consequences to be a successful investor. Our approach is to trust the market to price securities fairly; to take account of broad expectations of future returns.

In arguing for the status quo, the “remain” campaign is able to point out familiar characteristics of membership.

The “out” campaign, however, is based on intangibles that can only be resolved after the result of the referendum is known. It is impossible for any individual to predict the implications of these unknowns with certainty.

But this is no cause for concern. While the referendum is imminent and its implications are potentially vast and unpredictable, it is not necessary for individual investors to make any judgement calls on the outcome. We have faced many uncertainties in the past—general elections, market crises, recessions, wars—and throughout all of them, the market has done its job of aggregating participants’ views about expected returns and priced assets accordingly.

And while these events have caused uncertainty, volatility and short-term losses and gains, none of them has altered the expectation that stocks provide a good long-term return in real terms.

We have a global view of investing, and we know that the market is very good at processing information that is relevant to future returns. Because of this view, we don’t attempt to second-guess the market. We manage well-diversified portfolios that do not rely on the outcome of individual events or decisions to target the expected long-term return.

*The chart illustrates the long-term positive performance of world markets (1970–2015), through wars, crises and slumps. These events are not offered to explain market returns. Instead, they serve as a reminder that investors should view daily events from a long-term perspective and avoid making investment decisions based solely on the news. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. MSCI data © MSCI 2016, all rights reserved. Indices are not available for direct investment; therefore, their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. In GBP.

Recent Posts

by Graham Bond 25 May, 2017

Personal Finance Portal (PFP) has evolved and can now give you access to your entire financial portfolio including all short, medium and long-term savings and investment information in one place 24/7 – anywhere, on any mobile or web device. It features redesigned screens and layouts which makes it much easier for you to use. There’s even a dedicated mobile phone app for iPhone and Android users coming soon.

As well as the great functionality you currently enjoy with PFP, you can also now get:

Additional access to PFP Premium

PFP Premium is an additional service that enables you to collate information on your short-term finances like bank account(s), credit cards, loans and mortgages together your advised products, giving you powerful insight into your total net worth. Plus, you’ll also be able to receive alerts and insights into spending and saving habits so you can keep track on how you’re progressing against the goals you’ve set. Why not give it a try?

Of course you can still view your fund information and financial portfolio at the click of a button. So whether you’re looking for an up-to-date valuation of your portfolio, want to assess how you’re progressing against your goals or simply wish to get in touch, PFP has it covered.

Secure messaging between us and you

With email and post increasingly open to being intercepted, we treat the security of the data you share with us with utmost importance. PFP provides you with a secure messaging service, so you can quickly get in touch with us and have the peace of mind of knowing that any information you share is encrypted and completely private.

A secure document vault

PFP provides you with a secure document vault, so you can house all your financial documents online where they are secure and fully backed up - much safer and more convenient than the bottom of the filing cabinet.

The new service will offer improved screens This upgrade will provide improved features for our clients. The link below give an overview of the new PFP

If you are not already using the PFP facility and would like to please contact us.

by Graham Bond 25 May, 2017

Capital Gains tax on shares and investments. When you sell shares, you will either make a profit or a loss. Profits made are classed as a capital gain.

There are some exemptions where capital gains tax (CGT) is not liable:

  • Individual savings accounts (Isa’s)
  • Venture Capital Trusts
  • Enterprise Investment schemes
  • Gifts to Charity
  • Government Securities
  • Corporate Bonds of a qualifying status
  • Transfers of shares between spouses or partners in a civil partnership
  • betting, lottery or pools winnings

Apart from the exemptions, sales or disposal of the shares will normally be classed as a potential capital gain.

Each person has an allowance each year they can use to reduce the amount of CGT they might pay. If your total gains for the tax year are below the “annual exempt allowance” you will not have to pay any tax.

If your gains are over the allowance then tax would be due on the balance. It might also be possible to offset any losses from previous tax years. If you do not use your annual exempt allowance for CGT in a tax year, then you lose it and you cannot carry it forward to another year. The CGT tax rate payable will depend on your total income and any gains made for the tax year in question.

The government changed the way Capital Gains were taxed from April 2015. The amount of tax due will depend whether you are a basic or higher rate taxpayer.

by Graham Bond 23 May, 2017

If you sell a property, you might have to pay tax. This tax is called capital gains tax. The amount you might have to pay will depend on the amount of profit you make.

If the property you are considering selling is your main residence then you would normally be entitled to “Principle private residence relief”. This relief normally allows you to you to sell your home without incurring capital gains tax (CGT).

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