Times Money Live debate
Informed Choice chartered financial planner Nick Bamford was invited by the Times to take part in their live debate at lunchtime today, answering questions from their readers about financial planning.
Nick was joined on the expert panel by Mike Warburton from Grant Thornton Accounts.
With the start of a new tax year last week, many of the questions were about Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs).
When asked if an ISA allowance was best used at the start or the end of a tax year, Nick suggested it makes real sense to use it at the start of the year, particularly for a cash ISA where you then benefit from a whole year of tax-free interest.
When asked about the best prospects in different investment markets this year, Nick explained that turmoil in investment markets often creates investment opportunities, particularly if you are investing for the long term.
He went on to explain that our 2nd quarter investment review for clients with nicely diverse and balanced portfolios was to go overweight (or remain overweight ) in UK, North American and Asia (ex-Japan) equities.
There were several questions about pensions, including one from a reader asking about changes to pension contribution limits this tax year. Nick described the changes, with a new £50,000 annual allowance for pension savings and generous carry forward rules available to make use of unused allowances in previous tax years.
The live debate demonstrated how much demand we continue to see for expert information, opinions and advice on various financial matters.
Financial Planning, investments and taxation can be complex, but with the right professional assistance they can be made relatively simple and easy to understand.