The MAM Blog – National Savings & Investments


Charles Roberston – Senior Investment Manager

From 1 May 2019, existing holders of Index-linked Savings Certificates will only be able to re-invest the maturity proceeds in Index-Linked Certificates where the return is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation, instead of the currently used Retail Price Index (RPI). The change is due to the reduced use of RPI by successive governments to measure inflation and is in line with NS&I’s requirement to balance the interests of its savers and the cost to the taxpayer.

CPI has historically yielded a lower rate of inflation than RPI (currently 0.9% lower). This can largely be attributed to the way the two indexes are calculated and the fact that RPI incorporates the housing market (which has historically been a volatile asset class); taking into account rises in mortgage payments, rents and council tax while CPI does not. Therefore, existing holders of Index-Linked certificates (they are currently not available for new purchases) which mature prior to the 1st May 2019 deadline should consider re-investing the proceeds for the maximum period of 5 years if they are able do so. The new measure of inflation will only be applied when a re-investment is made because existing holdings will continue to be based on RPI.

BBC Radio Scotland – Amanda Forsyth on “Good Morning Scotland”


Amanda Forsyth – Investment Manager & Business Development

It’s all about the UK’s propensity to consume as Amanda Forsyth and BBC Radio Scotland’s Andrew Black discuss the very strong trading at Greggs, contrasting with a very poor performance from Thomas Cook; and the battle raging between shareholders in Restaurant Group over their acquisition of Wagamama. Finally, they take a swift look at the prospects for the Bank of England’s reporting later today.

BBC Radio Scotland – Amanda Forsyth on “Good Morning Scotland”


Amanda Forsyth – Investment Manager & Business Development

Amanda Forsyth and BBC Radio Scotland’s Jamie McIvor discuss the implications for world economies and markets of the forthcoming US mid-term elections; the degree to which UK businesses are able to prepare for an uncertain Brexit; and the outlook for Weir Group’s trading update in the light of mineral and oil price movements.

The MAM Blog – Budget 2018


Richard Johnston – Financial Planning Director

On Monday 29th October, Philip Hammond delivered his third Budget as Chancellor and, similar to the previous two, there were few standout policy changes.

It has been commented that it was an agreeable Budget and one typical of a party running for re-election, but Mr Hammond did highlight that a more severe ‘emergency’ Budget may be required in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Focusing on one giveaway, the personal income tax allowance will be increased from £11,850 to £12,500 for 2019/20, with the higher rate income tax threshold for residents in England/Wales/NI increased from £46,350 to £50,000. This lofty, round number was originally promised for 2020/21, but will now be enjoyed a year earlier – assuming, of course, that a Brexit deal can be agreed.

For residents in Scotland, this should prove to be interesting with the SNP’s Derek Mackay due to deliver his own Budget on 12 December.

The Scottish Government cannot control the personal allowance (as it is reserved for Westminster), although it might not be inclined to use a lower figure, in any event.

It can, however, determine the higher rate threshold in Scotland, with it already lower than that of the rest of the UK, at £43,430. It would be surprising if Mr Mackay introduces a similarly large increase and, therefore, the gap between the two parts of the UK is expected to widen from April 2019.

I previously wrote about how the gap causes some undesirable results, as certain taxes remain reserved for Westminster. If the gap widens further, it may lead mobile, high earners to move south – something which the Scottish Government should be keen to monitor before it is too late.

The MAM Blog – Additional Permitted Subscription for an ISA


Charles Robertson – Senior Investment Manager

For most investors a Stocks and Shares ISAs is an excellent long-term savings vehicle given the associated exemptions from Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax.

Until recently, the ISA tax benefits were lost on the death of the account holder, but this changed in the 2014 Autumn Budget when the Chancellor announced a new measure called an Additional Permitted Subscription (APS). An APS allows the spouse or civil partner of the deceased ISA account holder to effectively ‘inherit’ the ISA.

The rules relating to an APS contribution are complicated and time limits are applied, but the benefits may be considerable given the potential capital sum involved. Therefore, it is worth seeking advice whenever an ISA is held in a deceased’s Estate. The number of people taking advantage of these new rules has fallen well below initial forecasts and we consider that this is very surprising given the potential tax benefits associated in making an APS.

BBC Radio Scotland – Amanda Forsyth on “Good Morning Scotland”


Amanda Forsyth – Investment Manager & Business Development

On a busy day for corporate results, Amanda Forsyth and BBC Radio Scotland’s Andrew Black discuss the impact that store closures will have on Dixons Carphone; Bovis Homes’ continued turn around; and whether Go Ahead Group might be making progress.

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BBC Radio Scotland – Amanda Forsyth on “Good Morning Scotland”


Amanda Forsyth – Investment Manager & Business Development

Corporate acquisitions take centre stage as Amanda Forsyth and BBC Radio Scotland’s Andrew Black discuss Mike Ashley’s ability to meet the needs of all of House of Fraser’s stakeholders, before moving on to Bain’s bid for esure and John Menzies’ sale of their newsprint distribution business.
And Country Music.

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BBC Radio Scotland – Amanda Forsyth on “Good Morning Scotland”


Amanda Forsyth – Investment Manager & Business Development

Amanda Forsyth and BBC Radio Scotland’s Andrew Black discuss the difference between escalating trade tariffs and full-blown trade war between the US and China; the pressures that the proposed alliance between Tesco and Carrefour is designed to alleviate; and the attractions of debt when interest rates are low.

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