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Read the latest from our news desk, investment team and industry experts.

Over a barrel

Blacktower Financial Management - Over a barrelI am compelled to discuss some sales tactics that are becoming increasingly frustrating by companies that are forcing their customers to take out products that they do not necessarily need or want.

I myself became a victim of this practice this week when hiring a car which was booked online and with full super cover taken and then only been forced to take out the hire companies insurance when I went to pick the car up – this is an ongoing situation for me which I am not letting lie and may update in a future article.

Alternatives for Savers?

Blacktower Alternative SavingsYour cash is earning nothing in the bank, in fact it’s actually losing its worth in all probability because of the corrosive effect of inflation.  Even ostriches have to raise their heads at some point, if only to breathe.

Quite frankly it’s time for people to start taking control of their money instead of letting the banks bleed them.  In the days we are in now with increased life expectancy, a longer wait for retirement and the pension freedoms that there are around, there could not be a better time for savers to act and improve their lot.  So you go to see a financial adviser, what is he going to say?

Why use an IFA….

Blacktower Financial Management - Why Use An IFAWe believe that you need to do your homework before making any investment decision. That may include reading financial publications, researching online, and discussing options with your friends and family. Many people, however, find the task of selecting investments too daunting to undertake on their own. To invest responsibly, they do their homework, and they seek the professional guidance and advice of a financial adviser.

Benefit from the Experience of a Financial Adviser

We encourage investors to take a long-term view when they invest. By looking down the road, many people realise that they do not have the experience, time, training or patience to make informed investment decisions alone. That is where the value of an investment professional really makes a difference. 

What happens if you have no pension left?

Blacktower Financial Management Retirement AdviceMany of you will have read the articles extolling the virtues of the new pension freedoms introduced last April. Indeed, the new freedoms are good in that they don’t mean that pensioners are forced into poor value for money annuity schemes. For some though, the temptation to spend, spend, spend, will be too much and what happens to them?

Type of Pensions – Jargon Buster by Laura Mann Regional Manager Canary Islands

Blacktower FM - Costa Blanca - PensionsAs you already know there are a substantial number of pension types available.  How we came to have them, or what they actually are, still remains a mystery to many of us since these were thrust upon us (to some extent) by well meaning employers way back when.  This week we´re going to bust the Pension Jargon for the types of Pensions available.

Cash Balance Pension

A Cash Balance Pension is a pension arrangement, where your employer promises you a pension pot of a specified amount, when you reach retirement age.  Typically, the amount is calculated as a proportion of your salary for each year of service.  You know how much your pot will be, but there is no promise as to the amount of pension you will be able to buy (or take) from it.

UK inflation rate falls – Good news?

Blacktower FM - LondonSo, the Spanish inflation rate is currently running at – 0.9%.  Good news you might think, if things are cheaper your money will go further. Conversely, the fall in inflation reported last week in the UK (CPI) of -0.1% does not represent good news.

The vast majority of British ex-pats in Spain rely on their pensions and savings income to get by on.

So why should you care about the rate of inflation in the UK?  It might well be good for people who work there, as wages show some signs of growth but not so good for pensioners.

What have you done with your pension money?

BlacktowerFM - Euro PensionsIf you are thinking of cashing in your UK pension or have already done so, what will you be doing with the money?

An in-depth independent survey of Royal London customer behavior reveals a significant number of people, over 26%, have or plan to leave their pension savings languishing in low interest rate bank accounts. This means people run the risk of running out of money too soon and seeing their money dwindle away through poor rates of return.

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