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Weekly Financial Update

The pound has held quite steady in the past week or so... Considering.
Yes, considering last week again bought us a lot of in fighting in the government. This seems to be the norm of late and has thrown the conservative part into disarray and threatened Prime minister May’s tenure. This is definitely a wait and see situation, but the uncertainty will weigh on the pound for sure. How resilient it will be in these circumstances is something we will have to watch carefully.

Should you cash-in a ‘gold-plated’ pension? Six questions to help you decideIf you were offered £300,000 now or an inflation-proofed £10,000 a year for the rest of your life, what would you choose? 

This is a similar dilemma faced by many Britons with ‘final salary’ pensions. Often nicknamed ‘gold-plated’ pensions, these are where employers guarantee a minimum income throughout retirement, with yearly cost-of-living increases. But today many pension providers are offering non-retired members high pay-outs – ‘transfer values’ – in exchange for giving up those future rights.


Sunday's controversial referendum on Catalonian independence was never going to be a bundle of laughs for the European Union or the euro. Hundreds of injuries in scuffles between police and voters did nothing to improve investors' perception of a community struggling to preserve unity. Yet the euro hardly suffered.

Yes, the euro opened lower in the Far East before recovering to Friday night's level and then heading lower. But ahead of the London session it was unchanged from Friday morning against the US dollar and an average of 0.2% higher against the other dozen most actively-traded currencies. Investors evidently did not see a danger of Spain being rent asunder or separatist activity spreading around the continent.

Tax information exchange is startingThe tax authorities in Portugal and the UK are now starting to receive new information on their taxpayers’ offshore assets and income.

This is carried out under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) for automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters. 100 countries have so far committed to obtain information from their financial institutions and pass it on to the clients’ country of residence.

Enjoy ten years of tax-free pensions in PortugalMany Britons have discovered that the Algarve is a fantastic place to retire. It is not just about sun, sea and golf. Portugal has actively encouraged new arrivals by offering extremely favourable tax breaks through the ‘non-habitual residence’ (NHR) regime. 

If you qualify for NHR, you could enjoy tax-free foreign income – like UK pensions – for your first ten years living in Portugal. Even without this special regime, however, Portugal can be a tax-efficient place to retire. First let’s look at how NHR works.

Euro Weekly Update - March 24th 2017Having walked the presidential election, Emmanuel Macron won an equally emphatic mandate for his La République En Marche! party in the National Assembly, winning 301 of the 577 seats. It put his coalition with the Democratic Movement in a commanding position with a total of 350 seats. The result did not come as a complete surprise, and France is only one of 19 members of the euro zone.
But it is an important one and investors have been reassured that the Franco-German core of Euroland is singing, if not necessarily from the same hymn sheet, then certainly from the same book. Investors' confidence in the viability of the euro is no longer under threat, even if there continues to be a debate about its fair value.

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