UK and French Elections

Date Published:24/04/2017

We are pleased to bring you two publications concerning elections in the UK and France

Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she intends to hold an early general election on 8 June – Raymond James’ European Strategist Chris Bailey digests this information and shares his views on what this, and other elections across Europe, might mean for investors.

We hope you enjoy this publication. Click below to download

UK Snap Election

Emmanuel Macron, leader of the En March! party and National Front leader Marine Le Pen are through to the second round of the French Presidential Election, taking place on 7 May 2017.  Chris Bailey, Raymond James’ European Strategist, shares his view on this round 1 result.

We hope you enjoy this publication. Click below to download

French Presidential Election

Investment Strategy Quarterly – April 2017

Date Published:11/04/2017

We are pleased to bring you another UK edition of Investment Strategy Quarterly

This edition contains economic insight and portfolio advice from leading Raymond James Analysts, including:

  • Investment Strategy Committee Recap
  • Brexit: The Timetable for the Next Two Years… and Beyond – Chris Bailey, European Strategist, Raymond James Euro Equities
  • 2017 Themes to Watch – J. Michael Gibbs, Managing Director of Equity Portfolio & Technical Strategy, Joey Madere, Senior Portfolio Analyst, Equity Portfolio & Technical Strategy, and Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Chief Economist, Equity Research
  • Global Uncertainty: A Balanced Perspective for Worldwide Concerns – Chris Bailey, European Strategist, Raymond James Euro Equities
  • US Equities: The Trump Effect? – Andrew Adams, CMT, Senior Research Associate, Equity Research
  • Q&A: Confidence, Policy Normalisation and the Importance of Free Trade – Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Chief Economist, Equity Research
  • Can the Emerging Markets Remain Hot for the Rest of 2017 – Chris Bailey, European Strategist, Raymond James Euro Equities
  • Inflation: Is it Back? – Chris Bailey, European Strategist, Raymond James Euro Equities

We hope you enjoy this quarter’s edition. Click below to download

Investment Strategy Quarterly – April 2017

Investment Strategy Quarterly – October 2015

Date Published:12/10/2015

We are pleased to bring you another UK edition of Investment Strategy Quarterly!

We are pleased to bring you another UK edition of Investment Strategy Quarterly!

This edition contains economic insight and portfolio advice from leading Raymond James Analysts, including:

  • China: Global perspectives on change and challenge – Scott J. Brown, Ph.D.
  • The Migrant Crisis: European Political and Financial Markets – Chris Bailey, European Strategist, Raymond James Euro Equities
  • The Fed: Delayed but not forgotten – Scott J. Brown, Ph.D.
  • Oversupply: Not just oil’s problem anymore – Q&A with Pavel Molchanov, Senior Vice President, Energy Analyst, Equity Research
  • Turn off the Noise: Are we back to “normal” volatility? – Kristin Byrnes, Committee Vice-Chair, Product Strategy Analyst, Wealth, Retirement & Portfolio Solutions
  • Should we expect a “Santa Claus” stock market rally in Q4? Chris Bailey, European Strategist, Raymond James Euro Equities

We hope you enjoy this quarter’s edition.

Click below to download

Investment Strategy Quarterly – October 2015

How much is enough?

Date Published:13/12/2012

You may never have asked this question for fear of the answer, or possibly because you didn’t think that it was possible to find the answer.

Together we can easily work out just how much money you need to achieve your objectives. In practical terms, this means that it is possible to work out how long you need to stay on the hamster wheel of life – and how fast you need to run – before you can jump off.

How much is enough? is determined by a number of factors including:

  • today’s cost and the future cost of your objectives
  • the length of time from now until the money is needed for your objective
  • your starting point on the path to achieving your objective
  • the intended strategy to get you to your objective, which may include saving or investing money
  • the likely net investment returns that will be achieved considering your investment risk tolerance for each objective

At this point the roadmap to achieving each of your objectives becomes totally quantifiable.

Hence, you now know what you have to do to meet your objective, which may, for example, be something like to stop working at age 55 and continue living in your home town, but spending four months every winter in The Bahamas, as you dislike UK winters. This will cost £20,000 every year in today’s money on top of your normal annual living expenses of £40,000 in today’s money.

One of the most important things you can do is to understand about your money, your lifestyle and objectives and how you can take control of them. In this way you can stop the fear, and uncertainties surrounding money, from controlling you.

Together, having established your life planning objectives, we will ensure that your finances are correctly ordered to meet your objectives. You will have joined the small crowd of people who really are in control of where they are going along with how and when you will arrive.

Driving forward with Ferry Financial?

Date Published:07/03/2012

A West Midlands financial planning and discretionary investment portfolio Management Company, has moved from Stratford-upon-Avon into new office accommodation in Birmingham’s financial district.

David Ferry (47) was driven to set up Ferry Financial in 2007 because he knew he could provide clients with a level of service and strategy that was not readily available elsewhere. In under five years, his business has gone from strength to strength and this month (March 2012), the company relocated to 898 sq ft of boutique office accommodation at the newly developed Livery Place, Livery Street.

Ferry Financial provides a highly personalised service that maximises investors’ returns for minimum cost and risk. This helps clients achieve their short, medium and long-term financial goals and lifestyle objectives.

David belongs to a small elite group of only a few hundred advisors in the UK who are qualified Certified Financial Planners. Unusually, he also has the qualifications and authority to manage client portfolios on a discretionary basis.

He has more than 25 years of practical advisory experience and for many years he worked as an investment adviser and then investment manager with professional service companies such as Ernst & Young and BDO Stoy Hayward.

David says: “The larger the organisation, the greater the possibility of clients not being the number one priority. Clients want an enduring relationship with someone they can trust. The recent furore surrounding the comments made by the former Goldman Sachs employee, who claimed clients were branded as “muppets”, highlights this kind of problem. Achieving clients’ objectives involves expertise and judgement, but behind what we do is a simple formula – we create smart financial plans which help clients live the life they want.”

David continues: “Livery Place provides an excellent, high spec, central Birmingham location for us to work with our professional partners and clients from around the UK and overseas. We are looking forward to welcoming clients into our fantastic new offices in the Colmore Business District.”

When not working for his clients, David Ferry is a historic motor sport racer. He explains: “I’ve been a fan of historic motorsport for years but didn’t start racing myself till relatively recently. A good friend runs a classic race car support business, and in 2009, we both decided to pool our resources and give it a go. It’s been a fantastic experience and many of my clients have enjoyed coming along to race days.”

Since then, he’s already competed at numerous race circuits around the UK and Europe and has recently bought the rusty remains of a 1954 Austin Healey 100 which he intends to restore to its former glory.

He says: “On the surface, restoring and racing classic cars could be seen as the opposite of managing clients’ finances, as in a race you are clearly putting yourself in a risky position. But actually, racing is very much a calculated risk. It’s about totally understanding the risk, getting the best return for that risk and avoiding unnecessary risks. Much of what goes on to prepare a car for a race, is exactly how we approach our clients’ finances with meticulous attention to detail and careful planning.”

As the markets tumble, it’s time to define: what is risk?

Date Published:11/08/2011

The “risk-free” investment has always been the holy grail of investors – whether they live in Stratford upon Avon, or Stratford, Connecticut, USA.

In the past, traditional wisdom has been that there isn’t an investment “as safe as houses” whilst until recently, within the investment profession, the closest to a “risk-free” option has been the return from short-term US Government Bonds known as Treasury Bills (T-Bills). This may no longer be the case.

Stratfordians will not have been able to avoid the recent headlines and pages of analysis concerning the implications of the US Government defaulting on its obligations and plunging global economies back into crisis.

Fortunately, at the eleventh hour, whilst nails were being bitten to the quick in money markets across the globe, President Obama managed to agree a compromise with all sides of Congress and Senate, meaning that disaster was averted….this time.

Yet whilst this drama was being played out in the US, problems in the Euro Zone have not abated.

Difficulties in Spain and Portugal, Ireland and Greece may look like they’ve gone away for the time being, but they will almost certainly return. However, the most immediate problem is now emerging in Italy, as that country now enters into crisis talks with the EU. This has been triggered after the yields of Italian 10-year bonds rose to a level regarded as unsustainable. The yield on Spanish 10-year bonds is equally unsustainable.

What does this mean for investors? Well, the answer is relatively simple: risky investments are still risky, and less risky investments are still less risky.

However, the real issue is in defining which investments fit into which category and which should be invested into and, more importantly, why.

Many investors may still feel that leaving their investments in bank accounts may be the best option to take, from a security and risk perspective. However, Stratfordians will remember the Icelandic Bank debacle, along with the near collapse of Northern Rock and other banking institutions in the UK.

The problem with bank accounts is simply that the returns currently offered by most institutions will most likely not even cover the effect of inflation, meaning that in the future, it won’t be possible to buy what you can today. That’s not good.

Making matters worse for the economy is the simple fact that consumer spending has not recovered. Most of us seem to be hanging onto our cash in case something dreadful happens, such as redundancy.

It’s also important to remember that deposits in bank accounts can be lost, and that this has happened before. Should the bank where you have your account go bust and be unable to repay your deposit, whilst all is not lost, your deposit will only be guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to a maximum of £85,000 per eligible claimant, per institution. This amount also includes any accrued but as yet unpaid interest returns.

Over the past few days, global equity markets have suffered significant falls. This provides a very painful reminder of what investment risk is all about.

Equity markets were fairly priced before this started. Now they are cheap. However, investing isn’t about buying a bargain; it’s about building an appropriate diversified portfolio, and holding it for its term. Anything else is gambling, and I’m sure we all know just how risky that can be!

Investors simply need to decide on the level of risk they are prepared to accept, balanced with the objectives they’d like to achieve with their money. Not falling-off-a-log easy, but then again, with the right advice, not impossible by any means.

Leave the gambling to others.

As the markets tumble, it’s time to define: what is risk?

Date Published:11/08/2011

The “risk-free” investment has always been the holy grail of investors – whether they live in Stratford upon Avon, or Stratford, Connecticut, USA.

In the past, traditional wisdom has been that there isn’t an investment “as safe as houses” whilst until recently, within the investment profession, the closest to a “risk-free” option has been the return from short-term US Government Bonds known as Treasury Bills (T-Bills). This may no longer be the case.

Stratfordians will not have been able to avoid the recent headlines and pages of analysis concerning the implications of the US Government defaulting on its obligations and plunging global economies back into crisis.

Fortunately, at the eleventh hour, whilst nails were being bitten to the quick in money markets across the globe, President Obama managed to agree a compromise with all sides of Congress and Senate, meaning that disaster was averted….this time.

Yet whilst this drama was being played out in the US, problems in the Euro Zone have not abated.

Difficulties in Spain and Portugal, Ireland and Greece may look like they’ve gone away for the time being, but they will almost certainly return. However, the most immediate problem is now emerging in Italy, as that country now enters into crisis talks with the EU. This has been triggered after the yields of Italian 10-year bonds rose to a level regarded as unsustainable. The yield on Spanish 10-year bonds is equally unsustainable.

What does this mean for investors? Well, the answer is relatively simple: risky investments are still risky, and less risky investments are still less risky.

However, the real issue is in defining which investments fit into which category and which should be invested into and, more importantly, why.

Many investors may still feel that leaving their investments in bank accounts may be the best option to take, from a security and risk perspective. However, Stratfordians will remember the Icelandic Bank debacle, along with the near collapse of Northern Rock and other banking institutions in the UK.

The problem with bank accounts is simply that the returns currently offered by most institutions will most likely not even cover the effect of inflation, meaning that in the future, it won’t be possible to buy what you can today. That’s not good.

Making matters worse for the economy is the simple fact that consumer spending has not recovered. Most of us seem to be hanging onto our cash in case something dreadful happens, such as redundancy.

It’s also important to remember that deposits in bank accounts can be lost, and that this has happened before. Should the bank where you have your account go bust and be unable to repay your deposit, whilst all is not lost, your deposit will only be guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to a maximum of £85,000 per eligible claimant, per institution. This amount also includes any accrued but as yet unpaid interest returns.

Over the past few days, global equity markets have suffered significant falls. This provides a very painful reminder of what investment risk is all about.

Equity markets were fairly priced before this started. Now they are cheap. However, investing isn’t about buying a bargain; it’s about building an appropriate diversified portfolio, and holding it for its term. Anything else is gambling, and I’m sure we all know just how risky that can be!

Investors simply need to decide on the level of risk they are prepared to accept, balanced with the objectives they’d like to achieve with their money. Not falling-off-a-log easy, but then again, with the right advice, not impossible by any means.

Leave the gambling to others.

A triumph of focused energy

Date Published:15/11/2010

Classic car enthusiast David Ferry appreciates how a great model can punch above its weight and his business is doing just that with quality of service at its heart

Classic car enthusiast David Ferry appreciates how a great model can punch above its weight and his business is doing just that with quality of service at its heart.

Can you run a profitable business with only 15 clients? David Ferry, founder of Ferry Financial, is proof that you can – some of those clients just have to be lottery winners.

Ferry started the business in 2007 with only three clients, which he admits was terrifying. But, aided by his experience advising lottery winners at previous employers Ernst & Young and BDO Stoy Hayward, he has steadily built relationships with enough high-net- worth individuals and families to make Ferry Financial a success within three years.

Ferry says his ideal number of clients is about 50, but he’s not setting any deadlines. How long will it take? ‘I don’t know and it doesn’t matter,’ he says.

‘I’m not in it to build a huge empire but to do a good job for my clients and enjoy what I do. The business is growing very nicely. But if I set targets, there’s a huge pressure that I don’t need. If clients are not right for the business, they’re not right, it doesn’t matter when they appear. But every year there are new clients based on word of mouth. This will get easier as the numbers grow.’

This approach chimes with Ferry’s easy-going character and his decision not to wear suits.

‘I am relaxed personally – professionally I’m quite different,’ says Ferry. ‘But when I’m dealing with clients it’s with the personal side, which is why I don’t wear a suit. I’ve asked clients “do you want me to wear a suit at meetings?” and they’ve said “what do you think? It’s what you say and do that is important.” There are enough people around that I can help. If potential clients don’t like me wearing jeans, that’s fine. If you want the flash suit, go and find it because it’s not me. There are plenty of people who have got past that, I think it’s the intuitive ones – they’ve built a business and they know what’s what.’

But underneath the relaxed exterior, Ferry has a more intense side which sees him working long hours and weekends.

When not in the office, he’s been rebuilding a 50-year-old Triumph TR3 from wreckage and this year drove it down to the Classic Le Mans race, where he was taking part in another driver’s support team. Ferry also owns two TR4s – one is being built as an endurance rally car, and the other as a lightweight race car. ‘I’ve got oil and petrol running through my veins!’ he says.

Enduring relationship

Ferry says he was driven to set up Ferry Financial out of sheer frustration with his work in larger organisations. ‘The bigger the organisation, the greater the possibility of clients not being the number one priority,’ he says. ‘Clients are beginning to realise this. They want an enduring relationship.

They don’t want to be told “Fred’s gone, here’s George”. I have one client who was with Goldman Sachs but left because of this, and we all have stories like that.

‘If you have an ethical foundation you start to question why things are happening [at a larger organisation]. Who is the most important person? Is it the client, or the adviser who has pressures of targets, or the firm itself?’

Ferry Financial was therefore set up with the intention of putting the client at the centre of everything. ‘It’s simple. If it’s not right for the client, it’s not right for me,’ says Ferry.

He is a discretionary manager but, perhaps oddly on the face of it, passionate about passive investing to the extent that he has turned away clients who want active investment.

Ferry explains that, as with many new model planners, he believes money is only a means to an end. ‘With proper financial planning, you should ask “if you have £5 million let’s work out what you want – is it travelling the world, for example, or providing for your children?” Once that point’s established you can draw up a plan to make it work. That’s turning it around from chasing returns on your investments to living life and it’s why we have the tagline “Investing for life”. I want to facilitate and be part of them enjoying their lives. Discretionary management is important because, if there is a rebalancing, or they need cash, I can get on with that, I don’t need signatures.

‘So it’s discretionary management of assets but in low-cost, passive investments. Over time, I think more advisers will want to provide this service to their clients. It’s about not wanting to trouble them.

They accept my advice, so it makes sense for me to just get on with it. In a nutshell it’s: I’ll invest the money – you live the life.’

Segment 7

This commitment to passive investment has spurred his involvement in Segment 7, an association of like-minded planners.

‘It’s a number of individuals around the UK with different skills forming an association,’ explains Ferry. ‘For example, if I have a client with connections in Northern Ireland who needs advice, I know I could phone David Crozier [another Segment 7 member based there] and he would give a great service. I don’t want anything out of that. Again it’s about looking after the clients. Also you can kick technical ideas around with the other members.

One problem in a business of this size is you don’t otherwise have that resource.’

Segment 7 is still new and finding its feet but, after a recent meeting, Ferry says he is positive about its future as a vehicle for marketing and collaboration.

Another one of me

Ferry admits that running his own business has been hard work. ‘I learned that, in your own business, everything takes longer and costs more than you expect. There is so much to do.’

This burden has been lifted to an extent by the employment of Tania Cooper client services manager, last year.

Ferry says: ‘I wouldn’t want more than 50 clients, because I want to be dealing with them, I want overall responsibility for the relationships. People want continuity and to know that I am here. If I had more than 50 clients, I could not cope with the structure, so I would need more support staff, or another one of me.

‘It would be fantastic to have another one of me, or merge with a similar business,’ says Ferry. ‘I would love to have someone else who could do discretionary management. There is a lot more power having two people rather than one. It’s probably a blessing for the world but it’s difficult to find another one of me who has similar experience – someone who is prepared to throw away the corporate shackles and indoctrination, live their own lives and help our clients live their lives.’

Finding new clients

His strategy for finding new clients is varied. ‘I’m talking to the right firms of other professionals about what I can do for their clients. But I’m not interested in swapping clients.

When we refer to lawyers or accountants, it’s because they will do a good job. I don’t want something back, because my objective has been achieved. I’ve done the right thing for my client. The main source of additional work for me is from my delighted clients.’

No initial fee

Ferry Financial clients need to have a minimum of roughly £500,000 to invest. Ferry does have clients with less but they are reasonably young with a big income; or who are adult children of clients.

Ferry works on a fee basis only. He charges 1% of the first £2.5 million invested, reducing by 0.25% for each £2.5 million after that up to £10 million – ‘after that we’ll talk about it!’ says Ferry. There is no initial fee except in unusually complex cases. ‘I certainly don’t charge an initial investment fee, I only charge 1% on the way in to build a financial plan. A lot of clients don’t know what they are being asked to stump up for, so I shy away from it. Perhaps I’m wrong or perhaps that’s why my clients are so happy.’

Although Ferry provided discretionary management with previous employer BDO, offering the service in his own company presented some logistical challenges.

His solution was to join Raymond James Investment Services (Raymond James) as an affiliated office.

He explains: ‘I could have been authorised directly by the FCA but I wouldn’t have had any time for client work, I would have spent all my time running the business and dealing with the FCA.

‘The solution was to go to someone who could facilitate my authorisation. Raymond James is not a network but it provides all the structures – for example, dealing platforms, FCA authorisation and indemnity insurance – that enable me to service my clients and provide the discretionary management services which are key to the offering.’

Lottery fever

Ferry’s biggest regret in setting up on his own is losing the relationship with Camelot that he had in his last two companies. ‘I did get in contact with them but they want national financial advisers on the panel,’ he says. ‘I don’t understand why. My clients are all over the UK, I can go anywhere.’
Most of his clients also enjoy coming to his office in a beautifully restored old building in Stratford-upon-Avon.

‘Lottery winners are fantastic. Suddenly a few million quid drops into your lap, which is empowering. It’s a fantastic time in their lives and it’s a privilege to be involved, to help and make a significant difference for them.

Lottery winners are invariably terrified of the money and spending it. It’s really strange. Most of them know how lucky they are. Unless they are going to give away their money, they have to get used to it, which takes time. I advise them to go and blow a bit of the interest. It’s nice to see them getting used to their money and enjoying it.

‘The sad part is what goes. For the guy who used to go down the pub every Friday – who’s going to buy the beer from now on? If he does, it changes the relationship. If it were me I’d say:“We’re off on holiday – all on me – and when we return, it’s back to normal.”

‘I love finding out about people. Lottery winners are interesting psychologically, because someone is lifted out of their world and it can blow their mind. The proper thing to do is put the money safely into cash or close to cash and then work with them – take as long as they need and get the life coaches or whatever they need – to help them work out what they want to do. Once we know that, we’ll look at the millions and decide what to do. You can go down the investment path or the “what do you want?” path. The latter is the key.’

CAREER

  • 1983-1995 NatWest Bank, bank clerk and financial adviser
  • 1995-1996 Prudential Assurance Company, executive consultant
  • 1997-1999 Sedgwick Financial Services, senior consultant
  • 1999-2000 NR Financial Services, senior consultant
  • 2001-2004 Ernst & Young Financial Management, manager
  • 2004-2007 BDO Stoy Hayward Investment Management, investment director
  • 2007-present Ferry Financial, investment manager and branch principal

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS/QUALIFICATIONS

  • Certified financial planner and member of CII Advanced financial planning certificate
  • G10 taxation and trusts
  • G20 personal investment planning
  • G60 pensions
  • G70 investment portfolio management
  • Member of Personal Finance Society by diploma

5 TOP TIPS

  1. Excellence is the objective. Consider how you can be exceptional at what you do.
  2. Provide the service that together, you and your clients discover they need.
  3. Enjoy working with, and getting to know, your clients.
  4. Take proper care of your clients as their success will precede yours.
  5. Revel in a job well done.

Sydney to London rally

Ferry has a number of personal goals including completing at least one three- or four-week endurance rally, from Sydney to London. ‘You can only do one at a time, because the car will get destroyed in the deserts and mountains of Asia,’ he says.

‘I’ve had a race licence for two or three years now, but haven’t used it in anger.

The race car is hopefully going to be finished over this winter and I will be out on the race circuits next year.’

Another hobby which has been getting his adrenaline pumping for the last 13 years is snowboarding. ‘I’ve had various broken bones and operations to prove that!’ Ferry says. ‘I would dearly love to spend a ski season in a resort. I actually spoke to some of my clients about this and got a fantastic response. I asked if they would be comfortable if I was living and working for the season in Austria.

Some clients said “Make sure the apartment is nice, in a decent resort and big enough, because we will come and have meetings and stay with you”. I did not expect that! So I will do that at some point.’

What with racing and snowboarding, he’s already been to France three times this year. But he would also love to go snowboarding in northern Japan and visit Tokyo.

Flipping Houses

Date Published:20/08/2009

Over the recent past, there cannot be a single person who has not heard about MPs ‘flipping’ their homes in order to gain benefits, including lower tax bills upon sale of their properties.

Apart from the shape of the political landscape changing, one of the consequences of these revelations could be that the rules on nominating which property is an individual’s main residence are tightened up.

This is a little bizarre as it will be the Government, and therefore MPs, who will introduce these changes to block the loophole that has been used by MPs to such great effect.

It will be interesting to see the queue of turkeys lined up to cast their votes in favour of Christmas!

It’s going to be a great shame if these rules do disappear, or change substantially, as many members of the normal tax-paying public will ultimately end up suffering.

The MPs’ expenses, claimed so that the rest of the taxpaying public end up covering the cost of home renovations, swimming pool maintenance and the well publicised duck house really shouldn’t have ever been allowed and must never be allowed to happen again.

So, how do the current tax rules actually work?

It’s pretty simple really. If you own two homes, as many do, and they can both be used by you as your main residence, all you need to do is nominate the ‘other home’ as your main residence for even a relatively short time.

What this then means is that you will get the benefit of this house being treated as your main home for an additional three years.

Here’s an example of how this works in practice:

William owns a house in Stratford which he has elected as his main residence but also has a Welsh cottage he has owned for five years and now wants to sell in six months time, and which has gone up in value from £150,000 to £200,000 in that time. Without planning William could find himself facing a tax bill of up to £9,000.

However, if William altered the election in favour of the cottage even for the next six months and then flipped back to his Stratford property, for that six month period the cottage will be regarded as his main home and will therefore qualify for the three-year relief. This means that instead of having a tax liability on £50,000, £31,818 will drop out of account, leaving William with a chargeable capital gain of £18,182, and a maximum tax bill of £3,272. The minimum tax bill could be nil, dependent on his personal circumstances.

At present the rules state that when William sells the Stratford home, he loses the tax relief on it, but only for the period he flipped it – in this case, 6 months. However, the gain reflecting this period of ownership could be covered by his annual Capital Gains Tax exemption for the year in which he sells, meaning he has no tax to pay.

Another quirk of the current rules is that you do not have to actually spend most of your time in your main home. You only have to actually use it as a residence and have proof of this fact.

Anyone with two homes should seek advice from their financial planner and tax adviser on their own position, in order to take advantage of the rules that currently exist for all; they’re not just there for MPs!!

Are you free from tax?

Date Published:14/05/2009

Good news…..Today, 14th May 2009, is Tax Freedom Day. Very recently, Gabriel Stein, Chief Economist at Lombard Street Research calculated this for the Adam Smith Institute.

The Adam Smith Institute is the UK’s leading innovator of free-market economic and social policies. It is politically independent and designed to be a non-profit making organisation.

Tax Freedom Day is the day on which we stop working for the Chancellor and start working for ourselves, assuming we pay all of our annual tax with all of our income from 1st January.

The tax burden isn’t just income tax and national insurance, it includes VAT, fuel tax, alcohol and cigarette duties, airline tax, fuel duties, car tax and many, many more.

The government’s preference for stealth taxes in the past few years has meant that it’s becoming harder for us to understand how much we are paying, and for what. The importance of Tax Freedom Day is that it detects stealth taxes.

Tax Freedom Day is earlier this year than it has been in any year since 1973.

On the face of it, this is good news.

We should all celebrate….or should we? Keep reading!

There is something else to consider: Tax Freedom Day only takes into account the amount of money the government raises in taxes, not the full amount the government actually spends.

If this is taken into account, Tax Freedom Day falls on 25th June. This would in fact be the latest date for Tax Freedom Day since 1984.

Perhaps the party is now beginning to falter a little.

This gap between Tax Freedom Day based on actual revenues and Tax Freedom Day based on government spending is now the widest it has been since the early 1970s – and possibly since World War II.

According to Gabriel Stein, the figures indicate a bleak future for British taxpayers:

“Running up deficits can be described as a form of deferred taxation. The effect will be that when the economy recovers – as it will eventually do – the UK tax burden is likely to rise much faster than would otherwise have been the case and Tax Freedom Day is likely to creep later and later in the year.”

Moreover, the reason that Tax Freedom Day will arrive so early in 2009 is not so much that the tax burden has been dramatically reduced – although the temporary reduction in VAT is certainly significant – as it is that tax revenues have collapsed due to the sharp downturn in the economy. Dr Eamonn Butler, Director of the Adam Smith Institute, commented:

“It’s nice to see Tax Freedom Day come early, but our research doesn’t leave me optimistic. Under Gordon Brown’s stewardship of the economy, the government’s annual deficit went from near-balance in 1998 to more than 3% in 2007. And that was when the UK economy was growing strongly. Now the Chancellor is forecasting a 13.3% deficit. Young people have the right to feel very angry, because they’ll be carrying the burden of these mistakes for years to come.”

The best solution to this is to ensure that you do as much as possible to reduce your tax burden by using all allowances and tax-breaks.

Many have ensured that their personal Tax Freedom Day is much earlier than today by seeking advice from their Financial Planner.

Millions of pounds in unnecessary tax have been saved for individuals.

I urge you to do this too.

balanced stones