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New FCA website: ScamSmart

It is estimated that £1.2bn is lost to Investment Fraud each year, so in response the FCA website has created a specific site giving details of scams with warnings: ScamSmart

Latest scams include emails appearing to be from companies such as Pay Pal and Apple indicating there is a problem with your account, or that a purchase has been made using your details. You are then directed to a site to confirm these details and are requested to enter your bank/card details.

This is a scam – no company will ask you to confirm your bank or card details in full online. If you’re suspicious, contact the payment provider or store and your bank immediately.

Fraudulent Activity

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Information from investment providers indicates that fraudulent attacks which use spoofed or hacked customer e-mails to pass withdrawal instructions through investment advisers are continuing to occur.

The fraudulent instructions appear to be sent from a genuine customer’s email address, which may have been hacked or ‘spoofed’ by the fraudsters. If the initial request is successful, the suspects have been known to attempt additional transfers, often to a number of different accounts.

The potential for this to harm customers is significant and Rossmore Financial Services has instigated procedures to ensure that customers are protected from any fraudulent activity.

These procedures will require Rossmore clients to go through various processes should they wish to withdraw funds that are designed to protect both the client and Rossmore from any fraudulent activity, so as a client you are asked to consider this if your request for withdrawal of funds be questioned.

Review your portfolio

Once a financial plan has been put in place, it is tempting to believe the paperwork can simply be tucked away in a drawer and forgotten. However, like a well­kept garden, a financial plan needs regular tending to help it thrive. Review your portfolio to ensure you’re still on the right path to financial security.

So, “what should a financial health­check comprise?”, you may ask.

A financial review will first look at whether an individual’s goals – to retire at 60, say, or to fund school fees – have changed, perhaps following the birth of another child or a change of job. It should consider any need to save more or to switch to different types of investments to achieve the set goals. A review will also look at an investor’s progress towards their goals and examine whether their investments are performing in line with expectations. Fund managers, for example, will have good and bad periods but your financial adviser will be able to judge whether this is expected or a sign of a deeper problem.

A portfolio will also need to be tweaked according to the wider economic environment. The 2008 financial crisis changed the investment landscape – for example, the low interest rates that have followed mean income­seekers have had to work harder to achieve the same level of yield. While an event of this magnitude will hopefully not repeat itself in the short term, it highlights the importance of regular reviews and ensuring your financial plan continues to be appropriate.

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Preparing for spending cuts

As you can probably guess from the many contradictory reactions to the spending cuts, no one can really tell which way the economy will go in the short term. As an investor, therefore, you could be forgiven for not knowing how to position your portfolio while we find out. However, some rules never change and the first: making sure your holdings are well diversified is exactly for times like this. Over expose yourself to a single asset class say, equities – and its performance will mirror only the fortunes of the equity market. However, if you choose a range of asset classes from across different countries, the different elements will all perform differently. If one does badly, the chances are another will do better and compensate for some of that downside.

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Help to Buy scheme is soaring

The government’s flagship Help to Buy housing scheme has got off to a “flying start”.
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The Home Builders Federation (HBF) said that 4,000 people have reserved a new home in the two months since the scheme launched.

Separately, the Halifax said that UK house prices are now rising at their fastest rate since September 2010. Prices in the three months to May were 2.6% higher than in the same period a year ago. That news will add to criticism that Help to Buy is likely to boost prices artificially, and make homes even more unaffordable.

The first part of the government’s Help to Buy scheme began in April.

It allows buyers to put down a deposit of just 5%, and take out an equity loan from the government for up to 20% of the property’s value.

The HBF said interest in Help to Buy had been “huge”, with over 500 a week taking advantage of the scheme. The second part of the Help to Buy Scheme, when the government will guarantee mortgages, does not start until January next year. But the HBF is hailing part one a success.

“The Equity loan part of Help to Buy has got off to a flying start,” said Stewart Baseley, the executive chairman of the HBF. “Four thousand reservations in just two months shows both the consumer demand for the scheme, and developers’ commitment to it,” he said.

But Help to Buy has been heavily criticised by many leading economists, for helping to inflate house prices. The governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, said the scheme should not be extended.

It is currently due to run until 2017.

Source: BBC

If the scheme is something you would like expert advice on please do get in touch with us as we can help.

Life Insurance

In every day life, we often consider the cost of living. In the UK alone, millions of us work hard to support our families, spending, saving and working continually.

But have you ever considered the cost of death? If things were to take a turn for the worst, can you rest assured knowing your family will be supported by your assets?

If the answer to this question is no, then don’t delay. Read on to find out why insuring for life is an invaluable investment and how we at Rossmore can help.

 

Legal & General research shows that on average people have just 19 days’ savings should the worst happen – loss of income, critical illness or death*.

Furthermore, despite the increase in unemployment in recent years, four out of ten Britons do not have money saved in case of an emergency, leaving them underinsured*. In 2010 alone, almost 40% of Britons had no savings at all, and no short term cash to access in case of an emergency.

These statistics are especially sobering if you take into consideration how little value is placed upon your assets, as a result of being underinsured. Many people insure their car, their home & possessions, but often neglect insuring the life that allows us to enjoy these added elements. Rossmore can take you through the many options available to you, to ensure you stay insured for life.

There are three different types of protection – life cover, critical illness cover, and income protection. Let’s take a look at them.

LIFE COVER

Life insurance is a staple form of protection that most of us understand and see as a necessity.

Read More →

 

CRITICAL ILLNESS COVER

It’s easy to think it won’t happen to us, but if the worst should happen critical Illness cover could help provide financial security at an emotional and difficult time.

Read More →

Legal & General video about Life & Critical Illness Cover

 

INCOME PROTECTION

Income Protection pays out a lump sum on death but not everyone necessarily needs cover.

Read More →

Legal & General video about Income Protection Cover

 

We close with this quote by Legal & General:

“everyone in the UK has a “deadline to the breadline”, irrespective of their job, home or lifestyle.”
 

However, the good news is that with Rossmore, you and your family can be protected for the future, insured for life.

*Taken from Deadline to the Breadline report 2012.

Financial Success – No. 5

When reaching financial success, everyone has different goals and objectives. However, trying to accomplish everything at the same time could take you off track and leave you actually achieving nothing at all.

Instead, therefore, consider which of your goals are most important and start with the top one first. For example, if you have a family and new house, protecting your children against the fallout from losing either your support, your income or the same from your partner, might take precedence over longer terms plans for, say, retirement at least until they are older and the value of your assets or equity in your house begins to accrue.

For more information, please contact us