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Without the right protection, you could be putting your business at risk.

Have you protected the future of your business? As a business owner, you manage risks every day to keep your business running smoothly. Whether installing anti-virus software on your computers or making sure your building alarm is regularly serviced, protecting your company’s ability to make money is second nature. In the same way, you have almost certainly taken out insurance to cover your business property, machinery, vehicles and more.

But many businesses fail to insure equally important risks, ones that affect their most valuable asset – their people.

The death or serious illness of a business owner or key person can have a huge impact on a company’s profitability. In some cases, it can even cause the business to fail completely.

The good news is that, like many other risks you face, there are straightforward ways to protect your business. And with our help, you can find the solutions that will make the future of your business more secure.

Are you taking a bigger risk than you realise? How would your business cope if one of its owners or key people died or suffered a critical illness? Every business is different, but take a moment to look over the following list of common problems. How many of them could you see affecting your business?

• Interruption to the normal day-to-day running of the business.

• The potential for lower profits until the business adjusts.

• Interruptions to cash flow, impacting suppliers and customers.

• Disruptions to loan repayments and overdraft arrangements with your bankers.

• Changes in ownership and control of the business. (No business is too small)

• The potential to have to work with new co-owners who you have not chosen and who don’t know your business.

It would be surprising if you did not identify at least one of the problems on this list as a serious issue that your business would have to deal with.

Protect your business with our expert advice. We can look at your business’s unique circumstances and help you to put the right plans in place. We will work with you to help protect any business loans, cover your key people and protect you and your co-owners.

Are you ready to start a Conversation? If you would like to review your situation or discuss the options available, please contact us for further information – we look forward to hearing from you.

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Reviewing your needs and goals – take time to think about what you really want from your investments?

You need to consider what you really want from your investments. Knowing yourself, your needs and financial and lifestyle goals, and your appetite for risk is a good start.

Consider your reasons for investing. It is important to know why you are investing. The first step is to consider your financial situation and your reasons for investing.

For example, you might be:

• looking for a way to achieve higher returns than on your cash savings

• putting money aside to help pay for a specific goal, such as your children’s or grandchildren’s education or their future wedding

• planning for your retirement

Determining your reasons for investing now will help you work out your investment objectives and influence how your investments are managed in future.

Decide on how long to invest. If you are investing with a specific financial and lifestyle goal in mind, you have probably got a date in mind too. If you have got a few goals, some may be further away in time than others, so you’ll need to have different strategies for your different investments.

Investments rise and fall in value, so it is sensible to use cash savings for your short-term goals and invest for your longer-term goals.

Short-term. Most investments need at least a five-year commitment, but there are other options if you do not want to invest for this long, such as cash savings.

Medium-term. Committing your money for at least five years opens up a selection of investments that might suit you. Your investments make up your ‘portfolio’ and if appropriate should contain a mix of funds investing in shares, bonds and other assets, or a mixture of these, which are carefully selected and monitored for performance.

Long-term. Let us say you start investing for your retirement when you’re fairly young. You might have 25 or 35 years before you need to start drawing money from your investments. With time on your side, you might consider riskier funds that can offer the chance of bigger returns in exchange for an increased risk of losing your money.

As you approach retirement, you might sell off some of these riskier investments and move to safer options with the aim of protecting your investments and their returns.

How much time you have will make a big impact on creating your investment portfolio. As a general rule, the longer you hold investments, the better the chance they will outperform cash – but there can never be a guarantee of this.

Establish an investment plan

Once you are happy and have set your financial and lifestyle goals, the next step is to get your investment portfolio in place. We will help you identify the right type of investment options suitable for you.

Build a diversified portfolio

Holding a balanced, diversified portfolio with a mix of investments will help protect it from the ups and downs of the markets. Different types of investments perform well under different economic conditions. By diversifying your portfolio, you can aim to make these differences in performance work for you.

Diversifying your portfolio in a few different ways through funds that invest across:

• different types of investments

• different countries and markets

• different types of industries and companies

A diversified portfolio is likely to include a wide mix of investment types, markets and industries. How much you invest in each is called your ‘asset allocation’.

Make the most of tax allowances

As well as deciding what to invest in, think about how you will hold your investments. Some types of tax-efficient accounts normally allow you to keep more of the returns you make. It is always worth thinking about whether you’re making the most of your tax allowances too.

You also need to bear in mind that these tax rules can change at any time, and the value of any particular tax treatment to you will depend on your individual circumstances.

Review your portfolio periodically

Periodically checking to see if your portfolio aligns with your goals is an important aspect of investing.

These are some aspects of your portfolio you may want to check up on annually:

Changes to your financial goals.

Has something happened in your life that calls for a fundamental change to your financial life plan? Maybe a change in circumstances has changed your time horizon or the amount of risk you are willing to handle. If so, it is important to take a hard look at your portfolio to determine whether it aligns with your revised financial goals.

Asset allocation. An important part of investment planning is setting an asset allocation that you feel comfortable with. Although your portfolio may have been in line with your desired asset allocation at the beginning of the year, depending on the performance of your portfolio, your asset allocation may have changed over the period in question.

If your actual allocations are outside of your targets, then perhaps it is time to readjust your portfolio to get it back in line with your original targets.

Diversification. Along with a portfolio with a proper asset class balance, you will want to ensure that you are properly diversified inside each asset class.

Performance. Look at whether there are certain aspects of your portfolio that need rebalancing. You may also want to consider selling to help offset capital gains you might take throughout the year.

ONCE YOU’RE HAPPY AND HAVE SET YOUR FINANCIAL AND LIFESTYLE GOALS, THE NEXT STEP IS TO GET YOUR INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO IN PLACE. WE’LL HELP YOU IDENTIFY THE RIGHT TYPE OF INVESTMENT OPTIONS SUITABLE FOR YOU.

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V I S U A L I S E YOUR FUTURE – reaching a state of complete financial wellbeing

Financial wellbeing ultimately comes from achieving financial security and independence. When you have reached a state of financial wellbeing, you have got to a point where you have a sufficient level of income for your lifestyle needs, enough capital to give you peace of mind and the knowledge that whatever happens you, your family and business are fully protected.

Most people have lifestyle goals that are directly related to their finances. So why is it then that some people have the ability to live the life of dreams and pass on their wealth successfully to the next generation, but others face the prospect of selling their home or worry about health and care fee costs, and leave behind a tax bill for their loved ones to deal with?

Continue reading “V I S U A L I S E YOUR FUTURE – reaching a state of complete financial wellbeing”

What do you want from life? Ask questions that will shape your future.

Just about everybody wants to become financially secure and independent – so why do so few people get there? One thing is for certain: it very rarely ‘just happens’. It starts with a vision and then a detailed plan, and a willingness to commit to that plan.

Your total life plan is a financial roadmap that will provide you with clarity about your future journey. It should detail every aspect of your vision – your hopes, fears, dreams and goals. It should also describe exactly how your future will look and help you to understand exactly where you are headed and when you are likely to arrive.

Continue reading “What do you want from life? Ask questions that will shape your future.”
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Are you being forced to dip into your pension pot get through the pandemic?

If you are over 55 and considering accessing your pension it is essential that you receive professional financial guidance to enable you to make an informed decision. If you get it wrong, you could end up with a large tax bill.

Needing Money after a change in circumstances? Here are our top 5 things to consider before withdrawing money from your pension:

Continue reading “Are you being forced to dip into your pension pot get through the pandemic?”