The Atticus Papers

Bringing clarity to finance

Wednesday 30th June, 2021

Property versus investment – which is best?

"Property versus Investment - Which is better?" This is the perennial debate in finance. Should you invest your funds into a portfolio of investments or a portfolio of rental properties? It is an argument that is as old as the hills and can get quite emotional. In the following article I will compare the two asset classes in an attempt to determine which asset class truly reigns supreme as heavy weight champion of the asset classes. It's not quite Duran versus Leonard, but the results should be interesting.

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Monday 28th June, 2021

Should I stop paying into my pension if it exceeds the Lifetime Allowance?

"Should I keep paying into my pension if it reaches the Lifetime Allowance" This is a question I am frequently asked by clients who are approaching (or have exceeded) the pension Lifetime Allowance threshold and are concerned that they may trigger a 55% tax charge on their pension. This is a very valid concern, but for many people, the implications of exceeding the Pension Lifetime Allowance are not as horrendous as they may think and there may be far more benefit in continuing to fund their pension. In the article below I will discuss the various options available when the Lifetime Allowance is exceeded. I will also highlight through calculations and examples, circumstances in which it is potentially better to continue funding your pension.

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Friday 25th June, 2021

What happens to my pension when I die? - a guide to pension death benefits (UK)

This video explains what happens to your pension benefits when you die. It highlights who you can leave your pension to, how the pension death benefits are distributed by the pension trustees and how things have changed since pension freedoms were introduced in April 2015. It also explains the tax treatment of the pension death benefits based on whether you die before age 75 or after age 75. Lastly, it highlights how tax beneficial it can be to leave your pension to beneficiaries, while using non-pension assets to fund your retirement.

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Friday 18th June, 2021

Six ways to boost your pension

"How can I increase my pension in the run up to retirement?" This is a question that many of us ask, as retirement looms, quite often no more than three or four years away. This is because our pensions, despite their crucial role in funding potentially a third of our life's expenditure requirements, are often our most neglected assets. They simply sit forgotten in the background, unattended for thirty or forty years, until we suddenly become acutely aware of their importance and how insufficient our provision up to this point has been. Now, there are no quick fixes. Building a pension pot sufficient to provide for your retirement is a long term activity, and you cannot make up for a 30 years of underfunding in 3 years or less. However, there are a few things you can do to improve your position. In the guide below, I explain six of these options that can help to increase your pension pot and retirement income, and ensure that your pension is best positioned to meet your needs.

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Sunday 6th June, 2021

The impact of fees and charges on investment returns - active versus passive investment

I am often asked by investors, "Am I paying too much for my investments?". So, what is the impact of costs on your investments and does it matter? The answer to this question is far more nuanced than many realise and really depends on what your personal preferences and beliefs are, and what you are trying to achieve. It also invariably involves a comparison of active versus passive investment. In the article below, I will firstly highlight the impact of costs on investment returns over time, underlining the importance of this subject. I will then explain the difference between active and passive investment strategies. Lastly, I will endeavour to explain our reasons for favouring passive investment strategies for generating investment growth and returns.

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