A new year, a new start
The beginning of the year is a great time to take stock of where we are and embrace the future to come. So this article looks at the main changes that affected us all in 2014.
The biggest news for the UK financial world was the pension bombshell in the Budget. This proposed that you will be able to take a lump sum from your pension, with the first 25% being free of tax and the remainder being taxed at your marginal rate. It brings a whole new flexibility to pensions. The impact was so great, that many of us in the industry will always remember exactly where we were when we heard the news.
ISAs were rebranded as NISAs and given greater flexibility. You can not only transfer cash ISAs into Stocks and Shares ISAs, but are now able to transfer the other way too, from Stocks and Shares into Cash. What’s more, the limit was increased to £15,000 for both types.
The stock market started 2014 at about 6,700 and ended at about 6,500 (the starting point in 2013 was 6,000 and in the start of 2012, it stood at 5,700). So, although it was generally a quiet year, it had its moments, both upwards and downwards. However, it’s gone up about 1,000 points since the beginning of 2012.
With regards to the housing market, 95% lending has once again become available on residential mortgages. The effect of this is that house prices have continued to rise. It’s been reported that they increased by an average of 7.2% in 2014, although this is slightly down from the previous year’s increase of 8.4%*. For me, the most exciting news was the stamp duty changes in the Autumn Statement, when the tiering system was announced. This is a much fairer system, and the Government predicts it will reduce stamp duty for 98% of buyers.
So what about the Monetary Solutions year? 2014 was the year we became a small company, which was both exciting and challenging. We launched Care @ Monetary Solutions, to help advise our clients who need care. We rebranded, upgraded our main website and developed a new website for the Care @ division. But the highlight for me has to be the people who have come to work here. It is truly a pleasure to work with the new team and I can’t wait to see how we develop during 2015.
At Monetary Solutions Ltd, you can book a free initial consultation about any financial matters, so please call us on 020 8655 8488.
Monetary Solutions Ltd
* Nationwide Dec 2014
Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.