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Morfitt & Turnbull

Issue 34   

ISAs 2017/18 – TIME TO INVEST?
The annual equity ISA allowance has now increased to £20,000 per individual over age 18. This is quite a big deal really because it is an increase to the allowance of over 30%.

So with this in mind we have chosen some funds as the main topic of this mailshot that may appeal to you in the following categories as follows.
  ISA's 2017
For risk grade 3 - Cautious Investors 
a. Property – we came out of Property funds in February 2016 and it proved to be the right move as funds got battered in June 2016. We have been monitoring the situation carefully and believe it is safe to now go back into this sector, but there may also be a small charge to get back in. 
b.  Prufund Cautious – One of our favourites a dependable “plodder”. “Plodder” is not a derogatory term more a friendly reliable investment.
For risk grade 4 - Low to Medium Risk Investors
a. UBS UK Equity Income – A new addition to the "Gold List", it pays a healthy dividend of 4% and invests mainly in the UK.
b.  First State Global Listed Infrastructure – This is a friend that we have been championing for some time, with all of the infrastructure spend in America by “the Donald” it is logical that companies that build roads, schools, hospitals etc. will get a boost. It also invests in railways, airports, ports, as well as oil & gas services and utilities. 
For risk grade 5 - Balanced Investors
a. Premier Global Utilities – Invests in Global Utility firms and provides a healthy annual dividend of around 5%. There is also a lot of merger and acquisition in the sector presently. 
For risk grade 7 - Adventurous Investors
a. Artemis Global Emerging – A relatively new fund on the "Gold List", the top geographical holdings are China, South Korea and Taiwan and make up over 50% of the fund.
b. Schroder UK Dynamic Smaller – Gareth’s personal favourite at present, this was the former Cazenove fund that was bought by Schroder, it was removed from the "Gold list" a couple of years ago but was added in early 2017 - smaller companies are on the move at present.
If you are interested in any of these featured funds, or any other funds then let us know and we’ll write a bespoke report for you. Please call your adviser on 01565 624370 to discuss.


Adam's Technical...  The Budget
The highlights of The Budget in March, which was the final spring one, were as follows:
  The personal allowance tax band has increased to £11,500 from 6 April 2017 and the basic rate tax band is now £33,500.
  The allowance of £5,000 where no tax is payable on dividend income which was introduced for the 2016/17 tax year is reducing to £2,000 from 6 April 2018. It remains at £5,000 this tax year. Trusts do not receive this nil rate band*.
  The Capital Gains Tax free amount has increased from £11,100 to £11,300 for the 2017/18 tax year.
  The corporation tax rate is now 19% and will reduce to 17% by April 2020.
  The money purchase annual allowance relating to pension contributions has been reduced from £10,000 to £4,000 per tax year from the 06/04/2017. This restriction from the usual £40,000 currently allowed only applies to individuals who have accessed their pension benefits flexibly.*
  The pension fund lifetime allowance of £1 million is set to increase in-line with the Consumer Price Index from Apr ’18.
  The government is carrying out a review of the state pension age. The results of this are due this May.
  The National Savings & Investments 3-year fixed rate deposit account has now been launched. The interest rate payable is 2.2% p.a. fixed on a cumulative basis, applied annually. It is available to anyone aged 16 and over. The minimum investment amount per person is £100 and the maximum is £3,000. This product can only be applied for on-line at the NS&I website.
    *These changes have been put on hold following the general election announcement - but will it be temporary?

If you need any further information, please contact your M&T adviser.

Gareth Says... 

A change to the fee for obtaining Grant of Probate when someone dies was due to be introduced this May but has now been put on hold. It has been reported that this is due to the announcement of the general election now meaning there is not enough time for the legislation to go through parliament.
There is currently a flat fee payable of £155 for obtaining a Grant of Probate through a solicitor and £215 if you deal with directly. The proposed change is for the fee to be based on the size of the estate, as follows:
Value of Estate Proposed Fee
 Up to £50,000  £0
 £50,000 to £300,000  £300
 £300,000 to £500,000  £1,000
 £500,000 to £1million  £4,000
 £1m to £1.6m  £8,000
 £1.6m to £2m  £12,000
 Above £2m  £20,000
All estates above £50,000 will pay a higher fee on the new basis. This fee has to be paid before the Grant of Probate is provided, prior to any monies being received from the estate.

I still believe this new fee structure will be introduced despite widespread opposition. A panel of parliamentary experts has labelled this a death tax and claimed it is unlawful to introduce without obtaining approval from the House of Lords. We will see what happens.

Staff Matters
You will be pleased to learn that our very own Craig is tying the knot to the lovely Karen on 2nd June. They fly out to the Greek Island of Zante in late May together with 35 friends and family where their wedding will take place on Cameo Island, which is exclusively theirs for the big day no less!!

We wish them all the very best for the future and wedding photo’s will no doubt follow in the June mailshot.
  Craig & Karen Cameo Island


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