Can we gain financial lessons from Scrooge?

It’s been a tumultuous year in 2016, from the death of popular icons such as David Bowie, through the vote for Brexit to the election of Donald Trump as the next US President.

The value of the pound has dropped, there’s uncertainty in the stock markets and England were again rubbish at a major football tournament!

So, is it any wonder that, with the festive season upon us, it’s tempting to act like Scrooge and hoard our money under the bed rather than look for financial investments.

Scrooge, himself a money-lender, despised spending money, refused to give to the poor and subjected his staff to grueling hours and low pay – especially at Christmas.

Bah humbug indeed!

But grumpy old Ebenezer was visited by the three spirits of Christmas; Past, Present and Yet-To-Come, and perhaps we can do the same to help us through the current financial maze!

Christmas Past

They were happier times, before the Government started taking aim at investors, especially in the property sector. This year the three per cent surcharge on the current rate of stamp duty, announced in 2015, came into effect, hitting anyone buying additional residential properties.

It was a time before the announcement that the tax relief landlords can receive on mortgage interest was to be changed from next year, whittling away by 2020.

And it was also a time before employee perks linked to salary sacrifice were targeted by the Government. It is consulting on reforms to the scheme which lets employees swap chunks of their salary for taxable or non-taxable perks.

Christmas Present

But despite these financial concerns, there has been some positive news from the Government this year and moving into 2017.

There’s a new savings bond which will receive interest of 2.2 per cent on up to £3,000.

Since April this year, everyone is entitled to receive a tax-free dividend allowance of £5,000.

And there has been help for families to avoid Inheritance Tax on the sale of homes after the death of loved ones through the Residence Nil Rate Band which comes into effect next April.

Christmas-Yet-To-Come

So, is it best to sit on your hands and do nothing when it comes to financial matters? Well, no, as Scrooge found out, it is better to be proactive or you could face a bleak future.  And with all the complex changes that are going on you need the guidance from experienced independent advisers to help you through the increasingly complicated business of personal finance.

Contact Innes Reid on 01244 347583 or info@innesreid.co.uk and then, like Scrooge, you can look forward to a happy future, and enjoy that turkey and all the trimmings!

As Tiny Tim said: “A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one.”

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