Expert Financial Advice At Aitana Financial Services

Get in touch with Rebecca for a no-obligation chat about how she might be able to help you Financial needs

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Meet Rebecca

I am extremely passionate about helping empower people with their personal finances and financial planning. I offer friendly, valuable and tailorised financial advice across all areas of financial planning, including: financial protection, pensions, retirement planning, savings & investments and estate IHT planning. I am committed to delivering a high level of service to clients as well as always going above and beyond and the extra mile to do whatever is best for the client.

I live in Watford; Hertfordshire and I am a mother to a lively 5 year old boy!

Investment Principles

Quite simply, you put money aside to use in the future. You invest or buy something which you think will hopefully increase in value.

We always say it’s a good idea to keep an emergency fund to dip into if your car breaks down or you need a new boiler. But there’s no set amount to save. It’s individual to you and your circumstances. Over and above this you can invest, and try to make that money work for you as much as possible.

There are four big headings here: cash – which is the least risky, but because it’s low risk, it’s generally low reward. But it’s easy access and a good place for your emergency funds to be. We’re talking here about ISAs, current accounts, deposit accounts and national savings and investments.

Then there are equities – shares and things like that that tend to be higher risk. These are for people who are more adventurous, although people with a lower attitude to risk can use them to balance out their risk profile.

Next is property. People invest in Buy to Let property, residential homes or commercial property to benefit from rental income and potentially growth in value.

Finally there are fixed interest securities like gilts, which are effectively a loan from the government that pays a fixed rate of interest. These were historically called coupons because you actually had a coupon until the date of maturity. The other category here is corporate bonds, which are similar to gilts. They’re issued by a firm and you’re paid a pre-established number of interest payments, either fixed or variable. When it expires, your original investment is returned.

There are also a few alternatives like gold, art, even whisky – there are all sorts of investments. If you can buy it, you can probably invest in it.

It depends which way you go. Each asset class comes with positives and negatives. Investing can be really rewarding depending on what you do and your attitude to risk.

Higher risk generally gives you higher possible rewards, depending on how the investment performs. As I said, cash is lower risk, with little reward, and inflation can erode the value of the interest you gain.

Property is a real asset that provides possible income and capital return, but the drawback is that you face higher stamp duty and Capital Gains Tax.

The best thing is to discuss your thoughts with us and we can explore the pros and cons together.

We would look together at your individual attitude to risk and your capacity for loss. We need to make sure that if you’re investing, you’re putting your money in the right place.

If you ask somebody why they want to invest, they will say that they want to make money – we all do. But when we drill down in a conversation with them, we find that everybody’s circumstances are different and their attitude will vary completely.

We’ve got the knowledge to guide you into the right place for investing, and we can hold your hand throughout that investment journey. You will gain annual reviews with a financial advisor, at the very least, but I’m always on hand to answer questions from my clients.

The value investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back the amount originally invested.

Pension Savings

You have now reached a stage in your life where you are considering your retirement options. How you might retire, and how your pension savings can fund that retirement. Retirement is changing and the way you access your money in retirement needs to show this. Nowadays, there are many options available to retirees. It’s important to understand the options now available to you and whether your existing plan can meet your needs. Your Financial Adviser can help you carefully consider whether the options you need are available from your current plan and if not, what you can do about it and how much it will cost.

In April 2015, the Government introduced “Pension Freedoms” which gave you greater freedom and flexibility over how to access your pension savings. Anyone now aged 55 and over can take either a partial or whole lump sum from their pensions savings. No tax will be paid on the first 25%, and the rest regardless of how and when it is taken is taxed as if it were a salary at your income tax rate. There are now essentially four main ways for you to access your pension savings. 

Buy an Annuity       

You can convert your pension pot into a taxable income for life by purchasing an annuity. There are different annuity options that would determine the level of income you would get. Not all annuities provide death benefits, so you may not be able to pass your pension pot on to your beneficiary.

Flexi-Access Drawdown

Your pension pot is invested, but you are able to withdraw an income as and when it suits you. This provides you with flexibility to set the income you want. However, the level of income, or how quickly your fund becomes depleted can be dependent on the performance of your investment, and unlike with an annuity, your income isn’t guaranteed for life.

Take it all out as cash   

You can cash-out all your pension savings. You can normally take 25% tax free and you pay income tax at your marginal rate on the rest. This could cause a larger tax bill the following tax year.

Take part of it out as cash   

You can cash-out part of your pension savings. You can normally take 25% tax-free of the amount you take with the rest taxed at your marginal income tax rate. You can do this as many times as you like until you no longer have any pension savings.

Whichever route you choose, to stay where you are, move now or if you decide to move later, it is worth remembering that you should always seek financial advice.

All pension income, other than the Pension Commencement Lump Sum (the tax-free cash element) is taxable at your highest rate of income tax. Suitable pension planning advice can allow you to access your pension savings in the most tax efficient manner and ensure you don’t pay more tax than you need to. So, it is essential that you speak with your Financial Adviser before you make any decision.

HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen

The information on this website is for use of residents of the United Kingdom only. No representations are made as to whether the information is applicable or available in any other country which may have access to it.

Approved by the Openwork Partnership on 31st March 2023

Saving Investment

Two principles which apply to many aspects of financial planning are particularly relevant when planning for your child’s financial future:

  • The longer the timescale, the more scope there is for your investments to grow
  • Taking expert advice will help you get the decision right first time and avoid potential pitfalls 

A bit of forethought will make finding the right solution a lot easier. When considering the best way to save for your children, there are three main points to consider: 

Ownership and investments

Giving ownership of a significant investment to a child under the age of 18 is not usually recommended and it is advisable to retain guardianship over at least some of the money until they are over 18. Otherwise, a child could turn an investment into cash and spend it, on the very date of their 18th birthday (16th birthday in Scotland).

Choosing the investments

If you make the decision while your children are still quite young, then you have the benefit of being able to take a long-term view to maximise the potential for growth. While a long-term perspective means a broad choice of options, it also means you should review your choice of investments on a regular basis.

Tax

Tax should never be the driving force behind your investment decision. You only pay tax if you are making money – whereas, making an inappropriate investment just to save tax could end up with you losing more. However, once you have decided on the most suitable investment, it then makes sense to invest via the most tax-efficient route.

Note: it is worth bearing in mind that the three above mentioned issues can sometimes conflict. For example, your choice for ownership may not fit with the most desirable tax treatment.

Goals

Setting a goal or goals is an important part of the investment process and can help you determine how much risk you need to take. We can help you be confident in setting your goals, once set, you need to stick to these where possible. Making changes once the investment is in full ight can incur administrative and cost issues – which may result in poorer overall returns.

Allocation

Once risk factors and goals are determined, you can start to work out what type of assets you want to invest in. Getting an asset allocation arranged is vital and is considered a key stage in the investment process.

Fund choice

When it comes down to choosing investment funds, there is a vast choice and selecting funds is much more complicated than just picking the three top performers. In any event, past performance is not a reliable guide to the future.

Even within what might seem quite small, different funds can achieve results in quite different ways. For example, table-topping funds could carry the highest risk because they may be concentrated in a limited number of holdings.

Choosing your funds may be the end of the investment decision process, but it is not the end of the exercise. After fund choice, you need to decide what type of product or ‘wrapper’ you need, bearing in mind tax considerations and the requirement for flexibility.

Currently, there are six main options, two of which are specifically designed for children:

Junior ISAs and ISAs

Any child under 18, living in the UK, can have a Junior ISA (JISA). The maximum investment into a JISA is £9,000 a year (2022/2023 tax year) and investment can be by a number of different people. Income and gains within a JISA are free of UK tax and not subject to parental tax rules.

Children aged 16 and 17 can also own a cash ISA. Unlike the JISA, this ISA can only hold cash deposits. The maximum investment for the 2022/2023 tax year is £20,000. Between 16 and 18, any tax liability arising on the interest paid will fall on the parents.

Both JISAs and Cash ISAs can be controlled by the child from age 16, but withdrawals are not normally allowed before age 18.

An ISA is a medium to long term investment, which aims to increase the value of the money you invest for growth or income or both. The value of your investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back the amount you invested.

Child Trust Funds

Child Trust Funds (CTFs) are no longer available for new applicants, having been replaced in 2011 by JISAs. However, some CTFs will still be active and the same rules apply as before. Children can get control at 16 but can’t access funds until 18.

Note: No child can hold both a JISA and a CTF. If a JISA is preferred, there is now the option to transfer the proceeds of CTF into a JISA, usually without penalty.

Investment bonds

Investment bonds are single premium policies which can be useful for the management of lump sums placed into trust. Like collective funds, they are also available from both onshore and offshore providers. The underlying investments are usually collective funds, but the overall tax treatment is different and based on life assurance tax rules.

Indeed, it is that treatment that makes them suitable for trust investment. Firstly, income accumulates within the bond itself, minimising the associated administrative and tax issues. Secondly, onshore bonds enable the deferment of certain income and capital gains liabilities. Which means that, other than withholding taxes, tax can be carefully managed both during the investment term and also over the period in which it is finally redeemed.

Personal Pensions

Personal pensions come with no minimum age restriction and contributions are limited to a maximum of £3,600 a year.

Contributions to a personal pension are made net of basic rate tax, meaning you can start to build that £3,600 a year at a net cost of £2,880, regardless of your own tax position. No further Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax will be payable on the investments held in the personal pension, until your child starts taking benefits, which currently cannot be before age 55.

National Savings & Investments 

National Savings & Investments (NS&I) also offers a limited range of products suitable for children, with varying tax advantages.

The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount invested.

HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen.

The information on this website is for use of residents of the United Kingdom only. No representations are made as to whether the information is applicable or available in any other country which may have access to it.

Approved by the Openwork Partnership on 31st March 2023

Protection

All lenders require you to fully insure your property for the total cost of rebuilding it. Buildings insurance covers your home, as well as its fixtures and fittings.

Contents insurance protects your household goods and personal property.

This type of insurance policy pays out a lump sum if you’re unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with a specified critical illness such as cancer, stroke or heart attack. You can use the cash pay out to clear your mortgage, pay for medical treatment or anything else you might choose.

This can replace part of your income if you’re unable to work for a long period of time as a result of illness or disability. It will pay out until you return to work, the policy ends or in the event of your death. Income protection plans usually have a waiting period before the benefit becomes payable; the longer the waiting period you choose, the lower your monthly premium will be.

If you die unexpectedly, a life insurance policy will pay out a cash sum to your family. Mortgage protection is a type of term assurance where the amount of cover decreases over the term of the policy, tying in with the outstanding amount on your repayment mortgage.

MPPI helps you keep up your mortgage repayments if you can’t work because of accident or ill-health. Benefits are usually paid for 12 months, although some providers offer 24 months’ cover for accident and sickness only.

Serious illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of between 5% and 100% of the total cover, depending on the severity of the illness.

The information on this website is for use of residents of the United Kingdom only. No representations are made as to whether the information is applicable or available in any other country which may have access to it.

Approved by the Openwork Partnership on 31st March 2023

Kevin Paul Manktelow trading as Aitana Financial Services is registered in England and Wales, company number 215234. Aitana Financial Services is a trading name of Kevin Paul Manktelow which is an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership, a trading style of Openwork Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority is registered in England and Wales.

The information on this website is for use of residents of the United Kingdom only. No representations are made as to whether the information is applicable or available in any other country which may have access to it.

Approved by the Openwork Partnership on 31st March 2023

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