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 In his Budget yesterday UK Chancellor George Osborne responded positively to calls from the London Stock Exchange and abolished stamp duty on shares of companies listed on growth markets including the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and the ISDX Growth Market. The Stock Exchange, financial institutions, and business organisations have long argued that removing stamp duty […]

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The European Commission recently proposed an EU-wide financial transaction tax (FTT) on a range of transactions to which a financial institution is a party. In simple terms every time a bank, stockbroker, insurance company, pension fund, financial leasing company, special purpose vehicle, collective investment scheme or holding company buys or sells stocks, shares, bonds or […]

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We live in momentous times. Everything is changing – and a lot faster than you think. The old rules no longer apply. The institutions and traditions you take for granted are faltering. In fact, beneath the surface of what appears on the daily TV news is a much more disturbing story – one which you […]

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Following the unseemly debacle surrounding Kraft’s takeover of Cadbury (and some of us remember similar issues many years ago in the Guinness/Distillerstakeover) the Takeover Panel have launched a review into certain aspects of the regulations concerning takeovers and have invited comments. Here are mine. Any changes to the Takeover Code must ensure that the UK […]

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The Enterprise Investment Scheme offers generous income tax and capital gains tax reliefs to investors in certain companies. These reliefs are available to “qualifying individuals” who subscribe for “eligible shares” in “qualifying companies” undertaking “a qualifying business activity”. Simple, isn’t it? The purpose behind the scheme is to encourage investment in start up companies and […]

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I’ve suddenly had a lot of people contact me to ask the above question regarding the tax free ISA (Individual Savings Account) products that are available to UK taxpayers. This is probably due to changes that came in last month. If you don’t know what an ISA is then have a look at this earlier article. […]

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One of the most common questions we receive asks for a definition of an open-end fund and a definition of a closed-end fund. An open-end fund is a collective investment scheme that can issue and redeem shares according to market demand. Therefore unlike a closed-end fund, where the number of shares in issue is fixed […]

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An alternative investment is an investment product other than traditional investments such as stocks and shares, bonds or cash investments. The common features of alternative investments have been summarised as follows: Poor liquidity  Difficulty in determining current market values  Limited historical risk and return data  Extensive investment analysis required Some common alternative investments are: real […]

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Accounting is viewed by most non accountants as a complicated and highly technical matter, and this is a view that is encouranged by the accountancy profession. But the truth is that it is based on a very simple principal which once understood allows business owners and managers to understand the financial state of their business without […]

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The Bank for International Settlements is an organisation that fosters co-operation between central banks and other agencies in pursuit of monetary and financial stability. It provides facilities for international financial operations and acts as agent or trustee in international financial settlements. Its banking services are available exclusively to central banks (such as the Bank of […]

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If you can convert an asset to cash easily and quickly, with little or no loss of value, the asset is said to have liquidity. For example if you have shares or bonds in a well known company, such as Ford, GE or Microsoft, you could sell these easily within a few hours just by […]

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The generally accepted definition is that Cash Investments are short-term obligations, usually ninety days or less, that provide a return in the form of interest payments. Examples are money-market funds and short-term Certificate of Deposit. Putting your cash on deposit in a bank or similar institution is not considered a cash investment but a cash […]

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When a company or a government needs to raise cash, it may opt to borrow the money it needs from the public through the selling of bonds. The company or government department (the “issuer”) of the bond outlines how much money it would like to borrow and specifies a length of time it wants the […]

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This directive replaced the Investment Services Directive (ISD) in 2008. It is considered to be the most significal European Union legislation affecting investment intermediaries and financial markets since 1995. It extends the coverage of the ISD regime and introduces new and more extensive requirements for firms to ensure they give the best and most appropriate […]

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HMRC have published the long delayed survey which they commissioned on Save As You Earn (SAYE) and Share Incentive Plans (SIP), which considers whether the schemes have met their policy objectives. The survey on SIPs was due in 2005. While the report provides some useful statistics, it is disappointing that HMRC have failed to address […]

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New Powers Come Into Force Next April As part of a drive to track down tax evaders, up to one million landlords could be subject to investigation from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) who aim to identify those landlords who are not paying the correct amount of tax. HMRC say that in their experience many […]

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Here’s a question received a few days ago from Ron: Hi, Last year I invested a large amount of money in a limited business. The business made some money but not enough to break even. I am thinking of winding the limited company up although we have been more successful this year/ So I can […]

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All four defendants in the marathon Guinness trial were facing jail after the jury returned “guilty” verdicts following five days of deliberations. On the 112th day of their trial, which was the most expensive court action ever brought at that time; Ernest Saunders, Gerald Ronson, Sir Jack Lyons and Anthony Parnes were convicted on all […]

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Investors have been warned to beware of fraudsters targeting former customers of rogue stockbroker Pacific Continental Securities. The UK Financial Services Authority closed down Pacific Continental Securities in June of 2007. The company had been authorised as a broker for several years but had a turbulent and contentious history. Having done little to police the […]

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An Individual Savings Account (ISA) allows any UK taxpayer aged 18 or over to save up to £7,200 each year (for 16-17 year olds this is £3,600 cash) and not pay tax on the income they receive from the investment. They are now a permanent feature of the UK savings landscape. Tax Advantages of ISAs All income […]

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