Ask Money

Ask Money: should I play a Share Sleuth imitation game?

November 29, 2019

I'm impressed with Richard Beddard's work and looking to invest in the Share Sleuth portfolio for the next 10 years. I would be very grateful if he could give me his view of the best way to get started. For example, should I simply buy all 25 shares in one go, or buy two shares a month over the next 12 months, and is timing an issue?
Name and email supplied

Ask Money: what about an ethical ranking for investment trusts?

November 25, 2019

I like the notion of ethical investing and note your portfolio, but I prefer to invest in investment trusts. That said, while I can see which of my trusts invest in oil or tobacco companies, the rest of the picture is rather opaque. Do you have any sort of ranking for the ethical status of trusts, or a facility to ‘look through’ the investments held in each trust and rank them ethically?
Andrew Johnston, by email

Ask Money: is Alexander Darwall pushing his luck with Jupiter?

November 15, 2019

You reported recently on proposed changes in the management of the Jupiter European fund and its sister investment trust Jupiter European Opportunities (JEO), both currently run by ‘star’ manager Alexander Darwall, who is now planning to set up his own fund management company. For many years Jupiter European was the largest holding in my portfolio, and a smaller holding in JEO was the next largest.

Ask Money: Prudential PruFunds: what are the alternatives?

November 4, 2019

I am a long-time subscriber to Money Observer, and an avid and experienced self-investor . Having reached retirement age and resolved to make life easier, I am attracted to Prudential’s range of PruFunds for inclusion in my retirement ‘portfolio’. However, these funds are only available via a financial adviser and thus incur considerable additional costs that are far higher than the fees charged by the funds themselves. Could the team suggest some viable alternatives?
J Sullivan, by email

Ask Money: why am I struggling to get an Isa?

October 31, 2019

Why is it that I can’t find a broker or institution that will accept me as a client so that I can open a funds Isa? I have US residency and file my US taxes along with my UK taxes.
Daphne Fernandes, by email

Ask Money: how do I arrive at the right capital gains calculation?

October 17, 2019

In 2011, my civil partner inherited his mother’s house, which had a probate value of £89,000. In December 2018, we transferred the house into joint ownership between my partner and me, using a solicitor. We have just sold the property for £125,000. The house was rented between being inherited and being sold. We spent about £3,000 on central heating and electric upgrades when we acquired it. 

Ask Money: what counts as income?

October 16, 2019

There have been many questions and answers in recent months regarding gifts in relation to IHT planning. While it is easy to understand the tax rates & reliefs/inheritance tax table printed in Money Observer, could I ask for clarification as to what constitutes ‘income’.

We receive a monthly return from an estate planning bond, and while speaking of this loosely as ‘income’, I would like to know if this income is allowable for the ‘gifts out of income’ option within the HMRC estate planning rules?

Ask Money: where do I stand on paying savings into a pension?

October 2, 2019

I retired a few years ago and immediately started drawing a defined benefit pension. My only forms of income now are the pension, company dividends and savings interest. When I came to fill out my tax return using the HMRC website, I wondered if it might be advantageous to invest my savings into a new pension. 

Playing with the tax return form, it showed I could reduce my tax liability. However, it seems you can only use “relevant earnings” to be able to get tax relief. Pension payments, dividends and savings are not relevant earnings. I’m not getting any other monies.

Ask Money: How can I remedy my pension income headache?

September 19, 2019

Two articles on the lifetime allowance (LTA) in your excellent July issue impelled me to undertake research into what gross and net pay I can expect when I fully retire at the age of 60 in three years’ time. While there is a wealth of research available, I have come away more confused than I was before.