Weekend personal finance press roundup
The weekend papers are always an excellent source of personal finance stories. With so many papers to read and so many stories to digest, here is our pick of the five most important personal finance stories this weekend.
1 – Protect yourself from the inflation spike
Chiara Cavaglieri and Julian Knight do a great job in the Independent on Sunday looking at the ways in which savers, borrowers and pensioners can protect their wealth from the anticipated inflation spike.
With the recent news that the annual rate of CPI inflation has jumped from 1.9% to 2.9%, there is a general fear now that there is worse to come.
Although the recent increase was largely the result of VAT returning to 17.5% and some events from a year before falling out of the one year inflation analysis, Government moves to pump money into the economy create the risk that price inflation will return with a vengeance.
2 – Millions face a year’s freeze on pensions
Writing in the Daily Mail yesterday, Stephen Womack explains why many pensioners will not be receiving an income increase this year. This is because many pension schemes link income to price inflation. Whilst inflation is now rising again, over the past year it has been largely negative.
Whilst the Basic State pension is set to rise by 2.5% this April, other parts of the State pension will be frozen for the next year.
Those in retirement could face bigger financial problems if their main occupational pension scheme income remains at the same level. It is usually the case that older people have a higher real rate of price inflation than the wider population, due to the types of goods and services they purchase in retirement.
3 – Tax returns: The questions you’re too afraid to ask
With the 31st January deadline for self assessment tax returns looming, the Guardian ran a useful piece yesterday with tax experts answering some important questions on the subject.
Tax needn’t be taxing, but you do need to plan ahead, make sure you have all of the relevant information available and seek expert advice if you are unsure of an answer. Very often, simply by calling HM Revenue & Customs you can get a quick answer to your tax return question. Alternatively, do let us know if we can help or introduce you to a trusted accountant.
4 – Shares beat property in profits race
Following the recovery in share prices last year, all eyes are now on the commercial property asset class. Nina Montagu-Smith writing in the Sunday Times today looks at the reasons why company shares usually offer better returns than property over the longer term.
5 – Bank investors urged not to sell
Writing in the FT, Steve Lodge reports that stockbrokers are urging investors to sit tight and avoid panic-selling their banking shares, after President Barack Obama announced his plans to crack down on the US banking sector.
Put simply, there is nowhere near enough detail about this initiative just yet to make a properly informed decision about the long term future of part of an investment portfolio.