What’s happening out there in the international financial markets? How will these changes affect you and your family? What new products are coming on the market? Are they any good? How do existing products really work?  Keep up with my financial advice based blog.

Focus on fees

Before you invest, you should take the time to understand all of the investment fees associated with your investment.

Any investment advisor worth working with should be willing to explain, in plain English, all the various types of investment fees that you will pay.

Acronyms are often thrown around with little understanding of what the terms stand for.  Here are some of the main fees and associated terms you should know about.

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Cryptocurrency, worth a punt?

It seems to be the buzz -word of the year but what exactly is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is essentially a medium of exchange. Just like currencies such as the pound, the dollar and the euro but designed for the purpose of exchanging digital information, through a process made possible by certain principles of crypto currency. Or perhaps put simpler, it is a peer- to- peer electronic cash equivalent.

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Defined benefit pensions more at risk than ever

What is a defined benefit/final salary scheme? It used to be considered the most generous and secure type of pension arrangement, often referred to as a gold plated pension. The generosity of these schemes has resulted in most of them being forced to close, restrict access or reduce benefits because they are so expensive for the employer to provide and operate.

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5 ways to improve investment performance

There are a number of simple steps to help increase the performance of an investment portfolio. Here are 5 top tips that are core to any prudent investment strategy.

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Enhanced lifetime allowance for individuals residing overseas

Many UK expats are at risk of exceeding the lifetime allowance on their pension, which currently stands at 1 million having recently been reduced from 1.25million.

There are two new forms of transitional protection in place, namely Fixed protection 2016 and Individual protection 2016. Both of which, though differing in parameters, offer an increased lifetime allowance up to a maximum of 1.25million.

However an alternative mechanism of protection which is less well known is the opportunity for those individuals who were still benefiting from their UK scheme whilst non- resident to apply for an Enhancement factor, also known as a Non- resident factor. 

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