Investing in a discretionary trust is often seen as a dodge for the very wealthy, to reduce the inheritance tax due on their estates when they die and protect family businesses where succession planning may be an issue. However, discretionary trusts can also be beneficial for those with ordinary estates.
Far from a quiet summer lull, volatility and risk-aversion intensified over the holiday season. At various times the FTSE 100 index tumbled over 100 points in a day, as markets became nervous about the Turkey crisis and deepening trade wars. US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin is warning of further sanctions to hamper Turkish competitiveness, unless pastor Andrew Brunson is released from house arrest on espionage charges. It is a row that could easily escalate.
Trade war is the talking point this month, particularly after 51 US trade groups got together to warn US president Donald Trump of the ‘serious negative impacts’ of his tariffs. Some of the US’s most influential trade bodies – many focused on retail, car manufacture and agriculture – want a bill to curb the president’s powers by requiring the US Congress to approve any new tariff s.
The calm of May has given way to a big spike in stock market volatility. June kicked off with a crisis in Italy, further Brexit setbacks and sinister political antics from Donald Trump. Markets on both sides of the Atlantic are swinging sharply day by day, sometimes on the flimsiest of rationales.
Stock markets can be perverse. Having been braced for the fallout from the US administration’s decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal and impose severe sanctions, the S&P 500 index has surprised everyone by surging ahead. In fact, while the market plummeted during president Trump’s speech announcing the move, it finished the session higher.
Is it now time for investors to start looking into single-premium life insurance contracts, despite past problems?
Investor sentiment for developed markets has weakened, with some major indices displaying the dreaded ‘death cross.
The annual cap is being reduced for high earners. Here's how investors can protect themselves while maximising contributions.
Pension deficits and over-taxation of withdrawals are just two of the areas that could attract government attention.
US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports could be the first shot in a trade war that will damage the major markets.