View of the Day

Another mis-selling scandal - not pensions, but Brexit

We are told that the June 2016 European Union referendum was the biggest exercise in democracy that this country has ever seen. Really?

If democracy is all about deliberate deception, dishonesty and political spin, then the EU referendum was certainly a masterful display. I readily accept that the Remain campaign was flawed, but that reinforces the case that the result is unreliable.

Six steps to minimise your tax bill

Last year, nearly 750,000 people missed the deadline for filing their tax return – potentially having to pay a £100 fine. Moreover, just over 30,000 filed in the final hour.

One of the dangers of leaving it to the last minute is that you increase the likelihood of overpaying tax. Taking advantage of all the available tax reliefs can be time-consuming, and a financial adviser and accountant can often end up more than covering their costs in helping you. 

If you have not yet filed this year’s returns, here are some things to consider.

Who’s afraid of the yield curve?

The yield curve is all the rage in the financial press, with more people searching for it on Google than at any time since 2005, which was the last time that it inverted. But what is the yield curve? What does it mean for it to invert? And why should we care?

John Redwood: a new opportunity to buy China?

The Chinese bear market in shares has lasted since the peaks reached in the summer of 2015.

The index of share prices for the Shanghai market has halved since June 2015. Then, excessive exuberance tempted many domestic buyers into the stock market. A substantial credit expansion allowed people to buy shares on borrowed money.

VCTs: can the good times continue?

Pension changes, restrictions on buy-to-let property and the ever-increasing dividend tax have fuelled demand for venture capital trusts (VCTs). Last year, £728 million was invested, the highest sum in a decade.

The appeal is clear: up to 30% income tax relief, tax-free dividends and a generous annual allowance of £200,000.

Groundhog Day at the Brexit corral

The issues on Brexit remain the same. Deep divisions in the Conservative Party will continue to challenge Theresa May’s ability to get her withdrawal agreement through Parliament.

The European Union’s unwillingness to renegotiate illustrates the rules-based approach of European negotiators. Any changes are overwhelmingly likely to be cosmetic rather than substantive.

Six red flags investors shouldn't ignore

There are few things more rewarding than when an investment works out, but it can be painful nursing a big loss on a share tip.

While you can never be 100% certain that you’re investing in a good firm, there are some tried-and-tested steps that you can follow to help you avoid making a big mistake with your money.

Five funds to check out in 2019

As 2019 gets under way, investors are a lot less confident than they were a year ago, with global growth set to weaken over the next 12 months. Adrian Lowcock, head of personal investing at Willis Owen, looks at five funds to help investors through the year.