Leading consumer advice magazine Which? has released new research which suggests that you should be saving £130 a month over a 40 year period to ensure yourself a comfortable retirement. How much money will you require once retired so you feel comfortably well off? Which? magazine conducted a survey and found that retired couples need … Continue reading How much is really enough for a comfortable retirement?
Dino Zavagno, Managing Director of Gladstone Morgan Limited spoke at a seminar on UK Inheritance Tax Planning. The seminar was held on the 8th March, 2017 at Two Pacific Place in Hong Kong. Brendan Harper, Technical Services Manager of Friends Provident also spoke at the seminar. To learn more about UK Inheritance Tax Planning … Continue reading UK Inheritance Tax Planning Seminar
Dino Zavagno recently delivered an excellent presentation on how to plan, prepare and gain the best financial footholds to minimise the heartache and stress for those getting divorced by ensuring their financial affairs are in order. Unfortunately, a significant number of marriages end in divorce. At a presentation to a major Law firm in Hong … Continue reading Financial Planning For Divorce
Globally, more and more people are facing significant pension shortfalls. When you retire, it will not be how much you have earned during your working life that will be important, but how much you have saved. Government Pensions can no longer withstand the strain of the increasingly growing retired population putting the schemes under pressure. … Continue reading Things to consider when planning your Retirement
When you want to provide financial security to those who matter most to you, life insurance is a good place to start. It can protect your loved ones by providing a death benefit, so they have one less thing to worry about during difficult times. Some policies also build cash value you can use if … Continue reading Essential reasons for ensuring your life is fully protected
Putting a price on your child’s future is impossible, but investing now to provide for that future is no longer an alternative but a necessity. Paying for an education requires serious planning Building the foundation for your child’s future doesn’t come cheap, especially when you consider the typical cost of a private education. Added to … Continue reading Education for the Future – Financial Planning
Most tenancies end without any major problems, however occasionally some do end with a dispute over the amount of the deposit to be kept by the landlord. The purpose of the rental security deposit is to pay for repairs in the event that there is damage to the property beyond wear and tear from normal … Continue reading Avoid deposit disputes with your tenants
Gold futures rebounded on Monday from their lowest level in more than five years, finding support from weakness in the U.S. dollar to settle near $1,100 an ounce. Although analysts speculate that prices haven’t quite hit bottom just yet, many are in agreement that there is not much further to go. The Gold prices moving … Continue reading Gold – Is now the time to buy?
In order to gain insight into the bleakness of Greece’s current financial situation without a bailout program requires little more than a glimpse at their government-bond market. What the curve tells us is that there is a very large risk of a restructuring, perhaps a default in the near term. It shows the highest risk … Continue reading Greece’s increasing risk of default seen in Inverted Bond Yield Curve
Greek MPs approve a second set of reforms regarding €86bn bailout Following a late night meeting last night Greek MPs have now voted by a wide margin to approve the latest economic reforms demanded by its creditors. Despite the thousands protesting in the streets of Greece against further austerity measures the Greek Prime Minister Alexis … Continue reading Greek MPs approve a second set of reforms regarding €86bn bailout
Saudi Arabia’s stock market, valued at $585 billion, opened up to direct foreign investment for the first time Monday 15th June 2015, in the hope of an economic boost amid low global oil prices. Here are five key things to be known about this new market opportunity: 1. It’s big: Saudi Arabia has the largest … Continue reading Saudi Arabia opens stock market to foreign investors – 5 Key Points
It would appear, now that Saudi Arabia has walked away from its role as the world’s largest oil producer, U.S. output will play a far more significant role in determining oil prices. Since July 2014 and the sudden plunge in oil prices from approximately $105 to $45 per barrel, Saudi Arabia decided to chase market … Continue reading Supply and Demand Take Charge of Oil Prices
China’s recent decision to cut interest rates for the fourth time in eight months, allied with their powerful incentive to strike a balance between growth and adjustment, justifies a discussion of whether Zero Interest Rate Policies (ZIRP) may loom somewhere in Beijing’s future. Recent rough weeks for China’s stock market and heavy losses in the … Continue reading Will Chinese Interest Rates reach ZIRP?
Time Apportionment relief Any UK tax will be reduced proportionately from time spent a non-UK resident Additional investments are deemed to be made at the commencement of the contract (even if they are additional Lump sum investments or regular premiums made when the client is UK resident again) thereby increasing any time apportionment relief given. … Continue reading Six Benefits of an offshore bond for UK expatriates
The BRIC quartet, the key emerging markets are diverging. The four countries that make up BRIC, that is Brazil, Russia, India and China, are no longer part of the same inter-dependant whole. Their economic trajectory is increasingly determined by whether they are subject to political reform, whether they are commodity importers or exporters, and whether … Continue reading BRIC…the good and the bad
Greece looks set to default on a €1.6bn debt payment due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). If Greece does not make the transfer it would join Somalia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe in falling into arrears with the IMF. Furthermore the country will also take a step closer to what some fear could be its exit … Continue reading Could a default lead to Greece´s exit from the Euro?
The death of the annuity, has been greatly exaggerated. They remain one of the most suitable options for clients who want the peace of mind that comes with ensuring the money they have accrued during their lifetime lasts the rest of their lives. Of course, not all annuities are the same. There is still a … Continue reading Annuities – why there is life in them yet
In 2005, former US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke mentioned the “global savings glut” hypothesis, a global excess of desired saving over desired investment, emanating in large part from China and other Asian emerging market economies and oil producers such as Saudi Arabia, as a major reason for low global interest rates. It also … Continue reading Global Savings Glut
The Reserve Bank of India could potentially buy a record amount of dollars for the second year running to keep the country’s products competitive compared to those in other emerging market economies. The central bank has already bought over $20 billion in this first half of 2015. This follows a record buying of $82 billion … Continue reading India´s Dollar Buying and the Rupee
Alibaba, the Chinese online retailer, has moved to increase its foothold in the US by building a stake in a website that runs “flash sales”. What are Flash Sales Sites & How do they work? Say you have a dozen retailers each with 10 products that went unsold previously. Rather than as a business, having … Continue reading 3 things to note about Alibaba/Zuilly share purchase
On May 5, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate to a new record low of 2 per cent, citing ongoing economic weakness for its decision. The widely expected reduction, the second in three months, takes lending rates to the lowest point since at least the late 1950s. The Australian dollar immediately reacted, … Continue reading As the mining boom wanes, Australia pivots to Services & Manufacturing
Asian bond investors are preparing for a change in US interest rates. Since speculation suggests that the Federal Reserve could be announcing an increase later this year, Investors and experts are concerned that a hike in rates could repeat the situation of 2013 whereby Asian bond markets “sold off” after the Fed first showed signals … Continue reading US Rate Hike. How It Impact Asian Markets?
Liberalization has generally served the world economy well. Trade has delivered geopolitical benefits in many, though not all, cases. After World War II, Europe traded together and avoided another war. Another example is Mexico, since joining NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) in 1994, its exports to the United States have expanded more than … Continue reading Trans-Pacific Partnership – designed to defeat China
The financial system that exists today was largely shaped after World War II. In an effort to restore international monetary stability, US and Britain, led the way to the formation of International Monetary Fund(IMF) and the World Bank in 1944. The mandate for IMF was to maintain exchange-rate stability and help countries balance payment issues, … Continue reading Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – heralds a new world order
In recent months, the rising dollar has become a key theme in financial markets. Currency movements have always been complicated both in their causes and consequences. The U.S. dollar, measured against the Euro, has reached 12-year highs of late, rising more than 19% over the past year. The dollar’s rise, while not extraordinary, is certainly … Continue reading What a strong Dollar means for your investments
6 Key Points of the Deal Royal Dutch Shell is buying BG Group for about $70 billion in cash and stock 1. The big deal – the biggest in the energy world since Exxon Mobil bought XTOEnergy for $31 billion more than five years ago. 2. It’s sooner than expected – analysts were forecasting consolidation … Continue reading Shell-BG – Why it’s a big deal
In the recently concluded UK elections, David Cameron’s Conservative party secured a majority of 331 seats in a surprise result. David Cameron’s electoral triumph has brought the prospect of a British withdrawal from the EU one step closer. The Prime Ministerhas vowed to reshape Britain’s ties with Europe before putting EU membership to a vote … Continue reading Britain’s future in Europe
The enormous amounts of global capital that flowed into emerging economies in the six years since the 2008-09 financial crisis is in most countries now either slowing to a trickle or reversing its flow and looking for a safer haven back home in developed economies. The 15 largest emerging economies experienced their biggest absolute capital … Continue reading Exodus of Capital
The Russian Ruble is strengthening against all other major currencies. It is the world’s best performing currency of 2015 so far, according to Bloomberg. Economists had predicted that the Ruble would continue to perform poorly as the price of oil stayed low, because Russia’s economy is largely dependent on oil revenue. But oil prices are … Continue reading Ruble – rise from Zero to Hero
Since the Financial crisis in 2009, US interest rates have stayed in the range of 0-0.25%. Amid speculation concerning a possible interest rate hike this summer, money managers and analysts seem to have mixed opinions about the situation. Though the Federal Reserve would aim to increase rates which have stayed around zero levels for almost … Continue reading It´s the Fed´s Decision! Hike it or Not?
Regular savings aptly satisfies the advice provided by the adage “Saving for a rainy day”; in addition to encouraging a habit of setting aside a portion of one’s income towards the future. Regular savings plans are a much sought after vehicle in the financial planning universe in the context of offshore savings products. Regular savings … Continue reading Regular Savings
The U.K. attracted the most foreign investment of all European real estate markets, according to KPMG, securing an estimated 24 billion pounds in the first half of 2014, compared with Germany’s 16.2 billion pounds as the second largest. Luxury-home owners who do not wish to retain their anonymity have to pay a new tax amount … Continue reading London Luxury Homes no longer “safe Deposit Boxes”
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose above the 28000-mark for the first time in more than seven years on 13 April, fueled by expectations of more investment from Mainland China. The index hadn’t closed above 28000 since 24 December 2007. The gains came after Beijing said investors could have up to 20 stock accounts, meaning … Continue reading Future of Hong Kong Dollar
Gold is an asset that has historically outperformed in times of both inflation and deflation. But the SPDR Gold Shares exchange traded fund (ETF) has fallen by close to 20pc in the last 12 months and has been trading at five-year low levels. Gold has been falling in large part to the soaring U.S. dollar … Continue reading A‘Gold’en opportunity
The plummeting price of oil is still the biggest news headline across the world. Between late June and the beginning of Feb 2015, the price of crude oil has fallen by 38 per cent. This is a big decline. But the world has experienced similar scale oil crises in the 70s and 80s. Since the … Continue reading The Politics of Oil
According to International Monetary Fund, between 1980 and 2014 China’s average GDP per head grew 17 times, in the same period India’s GDP per head grew four fold. When Mr. Arun Jaitley, the Union finance minister, opened his budget speech on 28 Feb by stating “It is quite obvious that incremental change is not going … Continue reading India on right track for growth
Africa is home to one-third of the world’s arable land and one-third of world’s resources. In 2013, the total real GDP of Africa was US$2.1trillion, equating to 3% of the world’s US$70Trillion.While Asia’s tiger economies continue to set the pace for global GDP growth, they are increasingly crossing paths with Africa’s lions. Key … Continue reading Growth in Africa
At the age of 84 Warren Buffett is still at the top of his game. Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate Mr. Buffett has managed for the past 50 years, is the fifth-most-valuable public company in the U.S., with a market cap of nearly $350 billion. Berkshire Hathaway controls more than 80 companies, and has stake in … Continue reading Oracle of Omaha
The remarkable rapid growth the world has seen in the last two decades marks the biggest economic transformation in modern history. In 1990 emerging markets accounted for less than a third of global GDP. In 2013, emerging markets accounted for more than half of world GDP on the basis of purchasing power. The most impressive … Continue reading Is the Indian Tiger catching up with the Chinese Dragon?
Below is a summary of the main budget announcements applicable to personal wealth and finance. Pension and annuities The Lifetime Allowance(TLA) for pensions will be reduced from £1.25 million, from April 2016. Fixed and individual protection will be available for those who think they may be affected by this change. The allowance will then be … Continue reading UK Budget Report – 18th March 2015
After nearly a quarter of a century since the fall of the wall, Berlin has become the uncontested centre of the European continent in both political and economic terms.Germany was a founder member of the European Union (EU), which now has a total of 27 Member States. With a landmass that stretches from the North … Continue reading A strategic retreat
At about $50 a barrel in January crude oil prices were down by more than half from their June 2014 peak of $107. However it is now back to around $60 a barrel. The falling price has put oil-producing companies and countries everywhere under pressure. In the trial of strength in global oil markets, it … Continue reading Spillover effect of cheap oil
The U.S. dollar has reasserted itself on the global stage. From the end of June 2014 to the end of January 2015, the dollar has risen 21.3 per cent against the euro and 13.5 per cent against sterling, registering double-digit gains on most major world currencies. The US economy has entered 2015 with good momentum. … Continue reading The US Dollar – Up, Up and Away
In 2010, Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director, famously said, ” if Lehman Brothers had been “Lehman Sisters,” today’s economic crisis clearly would look quite different”. Ms.Lagarde was answering the question about whether there would have been a financial crisis had more women been in senior positions. Neuroscientists have uncovered evidence suggesting that, when … Continue reading Women should achieve executive parity in about 120 years
In October 2014, the Federal Reserve said it would end “QE3”: the programme of asset purchases it first announced in September 2012 and began shrinking last December. Quantitative easing, or the buying of assets with newly created money, has been the workhorse of monetary policy since rich-world interest rates fell almost to zero in 2008-09. … Continue reading Why quantitative easing has made saving for retirement a lot harder?
After months of debate, and having exhausted all the alternatives, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced on 22 January that it was finally introducing a big programme of quantitative easing (QE).The European Central Bank will inject at least €1.1 trillion (£834bn) into the ailing Eurozone economy. The ECB will buy €60bn bonds each month from … Continue reading The wait is over
On Thursday January 15th, the Swiss National Bank abruptly made a radical policy shift that shocked the global markets. The SNB ended its three-year policy of capping the Swiss Franc at 1.20 per Euro. For the last three years SNB had capped the value of the franc at 1.20 EUR by doing what was until … Continue reading Francogeddon
Sir Ka-shing Li, GBM, KBE, JP is a Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index 2014, he was the richest person in Asia, with a net worth of $31.9 billion. Hong Kong’s richest person for 17 years, Li Ka-shing kicked off the New Year by announcing a massive restructuring … Continue reading The Li Shuffle
According to the holy book of Koran, Muslims are supposed to eschew interest: the Islamic Financial industry based on that premise is booming. Islamic finance refers to the means by which corporations in the Muslim world, including banks and other lending institutions, raise capital in accordance with Sharia, or Islamic law. Islamic finance constitutes sharia-compliant … Continue reading Rise of Islamic finance
Back in the early and mid-2000s, Brazil was flying high. There was a boom in easy credit in the country, and the creation of an avid consumer class. Global investors were putting their money in Brazil, running away from Europe and the U.S, which had been sliding into the Great Recession around that time. Former … Continue reading Brazil at the brink
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), is the political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. The GCC was formed in May 1981 with an aim to achieve unity among its members based on their common objectives and their similar political and cultural identities, which are … Continue reading GCC End of the party
Charlie Hebdo is a French satirical weekly that has courted controversy in the past with its irreverent take on news and current affairs. On Jan 7, Gunmen shot dead 12 people at the weekly’s Paris office in an apparent militant Islamist attack.It is believed to be the deadliest attack in France since 1961. Attacks on … Continue reading Terror as an economic weapon
The crashing price of oil, which dominated the world of energy in the last six months, and promises to stay with us for much of 2015, has brought cheers across many nations except for Russia, Iran and Venezuela. From 2010 until mid-2014, world oil prices had been fairly stable, at around $110 (£68) a barrel. … Continue reading Oil – The crude reality
Britain remains the most lucrative destination for migrants. Nearly half of the UK’s migrants live in London and a third of London’s residents were born abroad. London has the best GCSE results in England, well above the nation wide average. Between 2003 and 2011 London moved from being the lowest performing of England’s nine regions … Continue reading London Effect
EVER since the euro crisis erupted in late 2009 Greece has been at or near its heart. It was the first country to receive a bail-out, in May 2010. On December 29th the Greek parliament failed to elect a president, forcing an early snap election to be called for January 25th. The euro crisis is … Continue reading Eurozone: the gloves come off
In 2010, when South Africa hosted the football World Cup, a Tswanian phrase, Ke Nako (“It’s Time”), reverberated across the world like the cacophony of a million vuvuzelas, announcing that Africa’s moment had come. Over the past decade, Africa’s real GDP grew by 4.7% a year, on average—twice the pace of its growth in the … Continue reading Africa Rising
The need to save for retirement is never very apparentin a city like Hong Kong that offers little support. The lack of a universal pension system and steep living costs mean only the well preparedcan enjoy a decent retirement.In 2000, Hong Kong government implemented the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) – a compulsory pension fund designed … Continue reading MPF – A wise retirement nest egg?
401(k) plans, named for the section of the US tax code that governs them, arose during the 1980s as a supplement to pensions in the US. It is a retirement savings plan sponsored by an employer. It lets employees save and invest a piece of their paycheck before taxes are taken out. Taxes aren’t paid … Continue reading 401(K) – A wise retirement plan?
Deutsche Skatbank, a division of VR-Bank Altenburger Land, which was founded in 1859, is not the biggest bank in Germany, but it has become the first bank to confirm what German savers have been dreading for a while: the wrath of negative interest rates or Punishment Interest. Retail and business customers of Deutsche Skatbank with … Continue reading Punishment Interest
Few people get rich from their wages alone; time is money. But you can take advantage of the “effect” of compound interest. Compound interest is interest added to the principal of a deposit or loan so that the added interest also earns interest from then on. This addition of interest to the principal is called … Continue reading Time is Money
Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMI) are economic indicators derived from monthly surveys of companies, it is a good indicator of the overall health of economy. The PMI index is based on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment. A PMI of more than 50 represents expansion of the manufacturing … Continue reading Rate reforms in China
It was the famous Italian writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa who observed that the young feel sorrows much more sharply than the old; the latter are nearer the safety exit. Italy has one of the world’s oldest and most rapidly aging populations – the kind of people who don’t spend. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, aged … Continue reading Italy wrestles deflation
Many Financial advisers fail to put policies “in trust” thereby compounding clients financial problems rather than alleviating them. Trusts have been instrumental in controlling vast amounts of wealth for years. Trusts are still considered an important tax-planning tool. With the correct structure, a trust can offer tax planning and wealth preservations solutions ensuring that you … Continue reading Reasons for writing a policy in trust
We all want to make our money work as hard as we do. That is why we invest. Any successful investment strategy will involve balancing risk and reward. The aim is to mitigate risk, insulating portfolio against adverse external changes, while still retaining the potential for high returns. That is why diversification is key. The … Continue reading A case for diversification
Soccer star David Beckham recently signed a worldwide licensing joint venture with Global Brands Group Holdings Limited to create a lifestyle brand, marking the start of a celebrity-focused branding strategy. Global Brands is an equal partner with David Beckham and his manager and agent Simon Fuller. According to chief executive Bruce Rockowitz, the Li& Fung … Continue reading Beckham in branding deal with Li & Fung Spin-off
“Abenomics”, which helped Shinzo Abe win the 2012 elections in Japan and march back into power, is based on the so-called “trickle down” theory, which suggests that greater spending by large companies and the wealthy can revitalize the economy as the benefits trickle down to small firms and low-income earners. Abenomics includes a monetary regime … Continue reading Japan Downgraded
US President Barack Obama announced during the Apec Summit in Beijing that he will extend the validity of visas which is expected to boost private equity investment, real estate deals and cross border transactions in the US. The United States and China announcement recently that they has extended the validity of business and tourist visas … Continue reading New US and China 10-year business and travel visas
Singles’ Day or Guanggun Jie is a day for people who are single, celebrated on November 11 (11/11). The date is chosen for the connection between singles and the number ‘1’. Popularized by Alibaba in 2009, it has become the largest online shopping day in the world. Like earlier years, China’s bachelors and bachelorettes spent … Continue reading China’s anti-valentines day is the world’s biggest E-commerce holiday
Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect is a securities trading and clearing link program jointly developed by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, Shanghai Stock Exchange and China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited. The connect had a stellar debut on Nov 17 and it marks one of China’s biggest steps toward opening up its capital account, … Continue reading Hong Kong – Shanghai “Through Train”
Wealth-X, a Singapore based financial intelligence company together with UBS released the popular annual billionaire census a few weeks ago. The report provided insights into the educational background of around 2,300 billionaires and their findings undermine the typical image of the wealthy as being self-taught, self-starters who trained on the family market stall. Almost two-thirds … Continue reading It pays to get a college education
The expected has now officially happened. The United States Federal Reserve has called time on “quantitative easing” (QE), a policy that has pumped trillions of dollars into the global financial system. QE started back in November 2008. The financial system in the US and beyond was reeling from the failure of the investment bank Lehman … Continue reading End of cheap money
Tax has pushed its way to the front of the global agenda. In the U.S., President Barack Obama’s administration is trying to stop businesses from using takeovers to move overseas in search of lower rates, a technique called inversion. In May, Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) agreed to pay $2.6 billion in penalties for helping … Continue reading Tax planning or Tax avoidance?
Never before in the modern history of the world have so few had so much and so many had so little. The 400 wealthiest Americans are now worth $2.29 trillion, a 13% increase from 2013; a huge increase in the ever Growing Wealth Gap. In Europe, the wealthiest 10% of households own over half of the … Continue reading Growing Wealth Gap
The day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy was the day the worst economic crisis in living memory began in earnest. The Lehman collapse triggered a domino effect that led to millions across the globe losing their jobs and witness all their savings wiped out. The number of long-term unemployed in the world’s major economies has … Continue reading Wage Stagnation – the new norm
Of all British taxes on personal wealth, inheritance tax (IHT) is possibly the most despised. Today, (subject to various exemptions and reliefs), inheritance tax is typically payable on a deceased’s estate over the ‘nil rate band’ threshold currently £325,000 (£650,000 for married couples) at the rate of 40%. Statistics recently published by HMRC state that … Continue reading Inheritance tax on pensions scrapped, what next?
In the last two weeks, stocks markets have fallen sharply across the world with a range of anxieties looming large: US economic slowdown, Ebola, German industrial woes, geopolitical tension and the Eurozone crisis adding to the Deflation Woes. The recent volatility in financial markets, slow global economic growth, falling consumer prices and other signs highlight the … Continue reading Deflation Woes
The world population is rapidly ageing. Between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will double from about 11% to 22%. The absolute number of people aged 60 years and over is expected to increase from 605 million to 2 billion over the same period. According to Age UK, 10.8 … Continue reading Till death do us part?
The cost of raising a child is expensive, and according to a recent survey, the cost of raising a child in Hong Kong from birth to age 22 (including tertiary education) can reach up to HKD 5.5 million and the number does not include inflation. But with proper planning and savings this could be tackled … Continue reading Securing Future
Are the rich finding London and the UK a soft touch when it comes to taxes? London has more billionaires than Moscow, New York or Hong Kong. The extremely wealthy foreigners are creating Tax ghetto’s in parts of central London- Belgravia, Kensington, Chelsea, Mayfair. Most of these Billionaires are for the large part, non-domiciled foreigners … Continue reading London as a Tax Haven
Alibaba, the biggest IPO to ever hit Wall Street, made a huge splash when it started trading last Friday. Valued at more than $200 billion, the scale of the Chinese e-commerce company is hard to comprehend. On a single day last year, one-third of all adults in China used Alibaba’s sites, spending more than $5 … Continue reading Tread with Caution
In a recent UK-wide survey, the average age people say they plan to retire is 63 years old – though for people aged 25-34 years old, the expected age is 61. Almost a third of people still working past the age of 65 have no idea when they will ever be able to retire. In … Continue reading Working Past Retirement Age
When the global economy seems to be finally leaving behind the worst and longest-lasting financial and economic crisis of the last 80 years and heading towards recovery, World Economic Forum has come up with the global competitive report for 2014. This report assesses the competitiveness landscape of countries and provides insight into the drivers of … Continue reading Global Cities
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the world’s deadliest to date. WHO says the Ebola outbreak in West Africa eventually could exceed 20,000 cases, more than six times as many as doctors know about now. Ebola was discovered in 1976. The disease infects humans through close contact with infected animals, including chimpanzees, fruit bats … Continue reading Ebola – An epodemic
Decent shelter is a basic human need. An economy that cannot sustain a viable housing market that provides affordable shelter for all of its citizens is an economy in trouble. Housing impacts the macro-economy in two main ways – by the impact of activity in the housing sector and via the role of housing wealth … Continue reading Overheated housing markets – headed for a bubble?
In the last five years, the UK treasury has very kindly relieved grieving UK families of an extra £1 Billion in Death duties (Inheritance Tax) Chancellor George Osbourne keeps moving the IHT goal posts. As part of his party manifesto in 2007 he promised to increase the threshold to £1 Million. However, since coming to … Continue reading Inheritance Tax (IHT) – Immoral and Unjust UK TAX
The pensions revolution began in the April budget when Chancellor George Osbourne announced sweeping changes. Under the current Pension legislation when you reach retirement age you can turn your pension savings into an income by buying a lifetime annuity that pays out a guaranteed income every year for the rest of your life. This removes … Continue reading UK Pensions – The Changing Retirement landscape
Retail labels are full of signals designed to appeal to shoppers’ preferences and values: Organic, gluten-free, fair trade, or kosher. Soon, shoppers at Wal-Mart stores in the US will be able to look for a new one: A small, circular symbol indicating that the company behind the product is owned by women. Entrepreneurship has hit … Continue reading The rise of women entrepreneurs
With a tough economy and a fluctuating stock market, people have been exploring unconventional investment opportunities. Wine has become an increasingly popular investment commodity during the past decade. It is less a pursuit of leisured gentlemen with their own cellars and more an investment market similar, to those other commodities which are traded for profit. … Continue reading Wine: Sip it or Cellar it?
The recent crash of Malaysian airline MH17 over Ukraine’s war-torn Donetsk region has become the latest addition to the growing number of “global tragedies”. The plane crash, which killed nearly 300 people, has added to geopolitical tensions around Ukraine and has raised uncertainty about possible further sanctions against Moscow. World stock markets remained edgy as … Continue reading Geo Political Risk
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) enacted in the United States of America (“US”) and similar tax information sharing arrangements put in place by the United Kingdom (“UK”) became effective 1 July 2014. Various intergovernmental agreements (“IGAs”) have been put in place to implement these laws locally, eg., between the US and Hong Kong, … Continue reading US TAX – FATCA
It was 2001, when Jim O’Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs coined the term BRIC to represent the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China as a block. In the past decade, BRICS (“S” for South Africa included later) has become a near ubiquitous financial term, shaping how a generation of investors, financiers … Continue reading BRICS
… Amid expectation of a price rise Sterling recently soared to a six-year high with investors expecting a rise in interest rates. The pound pushed over $1.70 to $1.7191 against the Dollar and over €1.2642 against the Euro in anticipation of an interest rate rise prior to the end of the year. According to the … Continue reading Sterling Grows Stronger
Due to soaring Sterling the state pension of around half a million expats living in Europe has been boosted by nearly 10 pc. The jump is not only due to sterling rising but also the annual increase in the state pension which in April went from £110.15 per week to £113.10 per week. However, the … Continue reading Bonus For Expat Pensions
The UK property market has recently raised concerns on the stability of the economy. The average house price in Britain rose in May 2014 to £186,512. This is an increase of nearly 11% from the prices in May 2013. The average house price in London was £362,699 in the first quarter of 2014. Property prices … Continue reading Red-hot UK Property Market
China is getting fatter and it’s weighing down the future of its children. The country is now 2nd ranked for obesity, with its number of obese residents outstripped only by the U.S. Its obesity rate has skyrocketed over the last three decades, resulting in 46 million obese Chinese adults and 300 million who are overweight. … Continue reading Obesity – A 21st Century Epidemic
The word “stimulus” has always had a negative connotation to it in the common parlance of China’s monetary authorities. The official line has always been that China neither needs nor wants stimulus, and that the focus is on reforms to put the slowing economy on a stable footing for the long run. But the cooling … Continue reading Slowing economic growth in China – a cause for concern?
The Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) controls the movement of money throughout the American finance system and indirectly influences the flow of capital across the world through its interest rate and asset buy back policies. Janet Yellen, the 67-year-old chair of the Federal Reserve, is ranked the second most powerful woman in the world by Forbes … Continue reading Federal Reserve – The secret power center
A common thread in all our earlier posts has been the need for financial planning in order to secure a better future for an individual or family. The key to realising your long-term goals through investing is based on a number of factors such as the level of understanding you have of the markets and … Continue reading Asset classes and portfolio
From 6 April 2013, the UK introduced a new Statutory Residence Trust (SRT) for tax purposes. Previously, there had not been a set of coherent rules, just a mix of Case Law and Extra Statutory Concessions. The old rules led to uncertainty and recent cases demonstrated that reliance could not be placed on published HMRC … Continue reading Have you fallen into a UK tax trap?
Disclaimer: All content provided on this page are for informational purposes only. Gladstone Morgan Limited makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this page or found by following any link on this page. Gladstone Morgan Limited will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor … Continue reading Insurance if you live! – not when you die!!
Mario Draghi the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) looks to have gone further than anyone expected in seeking to head off the deflation threat and the unemployment disaster in the Eurozone. Two years ago Mario Draghi promised to do ‘whatever it takes’ to save the Euro. True to his word, at the recent … Continue reading Eurozone in Crisis – Is “super Mario” saving the Euro?
Disclaimer: All content provided on this page are for informational purposes only. Gladstone Morgan Limited makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this page or found by following any link on this page. Gladstone Morgan Limited will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor … Continue reading Taxed on death as well as throughout your life!
Globally, more and more people are facing significant pension shortfalls. According to figures released by the “Hong Kong Council of Social Service”, in Hong Kong, close to a third of people aged 65 and over are classified as poor. According to a recent OECD report, the poverty rate among people over 65 in USA With … Continue reading How big is your pension gap?
There is no shortage of investment and financial advice from the direct sales man with his unsolicited calls through to the plethora of glossy “savings magazines – but effectively plugging financial shortfalls involves far more than buying “off the shelf” pension schemes or life assurance policies. Professional financial advice can only be given if the adviser … Continue reading Financial Shortfalls – Don’t Leave it too late
Hong Kong prides itself as Asia’s world city, which is a valid tag given the vibrancy of Hong Kong. A walk around the central business district during office rush hour reveals the diversity. A telegraph report indicates that last year a record number of work visas were granted to expat jobseekers under the Immigration Department’s … Continue reading Let the extra cash windfall work for you
As we have seen in one of our previous posts, the life expectancy is close to 100 countries across the world is now at an average of 80 years. Consequently, there has been an increase in healthcare costs required to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If we look at the estimates of the health care … Continue reading Healthcare and Insurance
The global economy is transforming increasingly into a knowledge based economy. In the 21st century, top paying jobs tend be in the world of medicine, law, engineering, finance, marketing etc., most of which require a highly qualified education. More often than not, access to quality education is the key determinant of an individual’s success. Access … Continue reading Increasing cost of education- 100% Increase in tuition fees in 5 years
In the previous article we observed that life expectancy is rising. In this article, we focus on retirement planning. Retirement can be a time of relaxation, but it can also be a time of uncertainty, as one makes the transition from the world of work to the world of leisure. Many of the folks approaching … Continue reading Will my pension fund last as long as I do?
Barbara O’Neill and Karen Ensle, authors of the very popular book “Small Steps to Health and Wealth”, stress that both health and wealth are equally important resources for living a happy and successful life. In their book, they rightly mention that people in poor health often die young and spend thousands of dollars on health-care … Continue reading Why do I need a financial check-up?
The 2008 financial crisis resulted in an era of low interest rate environment across the world triggering inflation across different asset classes. Cost of living has increased substantially in most global cities over the past five years with Singapore now topping the charts. With interest rates in regular savings bank accounts near zero, savings alone … Continue reading Inflation Erodes your Savings and Investments
Hello everyone. We are very pleased to present the official blog from Gladstone Morgan Limited. At Gladstone Morgan Limited, we believe in the value of providing a bespoke service to all our clients – individual and corporate. We offer tailored solutions to meet the different needs and aspirations of each and every client. As our … Continue reading Welcome to the Gladstone Morgan blog