Informed Choice Radio - financial peace of mind with Martin Bamford

My guest on the podcast today is Dr James Hannam.

James writes about the politics and policy decisions behind tax and economics. He’s particularly interested in the reasons the UK tax system works the way it does and the possible consequences of Brexit.

He's the author of the new book What Everyone Needs to Know about Tax.

His book takes an entertaining and informative look at the UK tax system in all its glory to show you just how much you pay, how the money is collected and how it affects ordinary people every day.

Giving context to recent controversies including the Panama Papers, tax avoidance by multinationals, Brexit and more, this book provides a straightforward explanation of tax and the policy behind it for non-specialists — no accounting or legal knowledge is required.

James has been a tax accountant for 20 years and currently works for a ‘Big 4’ accountancy firm in London.

In addition to his tax writing and consultancy, James is also the author of God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science, which was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize.

In this episode of Informed Choice Radio, I speak to James about whether taxpayers tend to focus on particular types of taxes, if the wealthy have a different set of rules when it comes to taxation, the golden rules of tax we all need to know about, how the government could reduce levels of tax avoidance, and much more.

Welcome to What Everyone Needs To Know About Tax with Dr James Hannam, in episode 193 of Informed Choice Radio.

Some questions I ask:

-Do you think that as tax payers we tend to focus on one type of tax more than the other?

-You mentioned about a third of national income goes to taxes, is this really a case of tax payers taking the time to understand each time they make a payment or each time they receive an income what amount is going away to taxation?

-Do you think the perception the wealth pay less tax is justified and is there really one set of rules for them and another for the rest of us?

-How much of an issue do you think tax avoidance has become and is that the result of the complexity of the UK tax code or is it because people with larger estates and more wealth simply have more motivation to structure their affairs to avoid tax?

-What do you think the best approach for the government would be to reduce tax avoidance?

-Will we eventually see a single structure of tax for each different type of employment?

-Can you tell our listeners about your three golden rules and why they're so important for tax payers to understand?

-Do you have a favourite tax and do you have a least favourite type of tax?

-Are there any taxes from history that are particularly interesting?

 

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Your reviews on iTunes are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.

 

Direct download: ICR193_Dr_James_Hannam_What_Everyone_Needs_To_Know_About_Tax.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

My guest on the podcast today is Lars Kroijer, former hedge fund manager and author of Investing Demystified.

Lars was the chief investment officer of Holte Capital, a London-based market neutral special situations hedge fund which he founded in 2002 before returning external capital in the spring of 2008.

Prior to establishing Holte Capital, he served in the London office of HBK Investments focusing on special situations investing and event-driven arbitrage. He's also worked at SC Fundamental, a value-focused hedge fund in New York.

Lars graduated Magna cum Laude from Harvard University with a degree in economics and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

His first book was "Money Mavericks - Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager". He's also the author of "Investing Demystified - How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights", which has a second edition out next month from FT Publishing.

In this episode of Informed Choice Radio, I speak to Lars about what makes investing so complex, why a low cost approach to investing works well for most investors, the lowest risk investment available in the current economic environment, the impact tax and liquidity has on portfolio returns, and much more.

Welcome to Investing Demystified with Lars Kroijer, in episode 192 of Informed Choice Radio.

 

Some questions I ask:

-What is it that makes investing so complex?

-Why does a low cost approach to invest in work best for most investors?

-Where's that line drawn between investors who should go for a low cost passive approach and those that should put their faith in professional fund managers and hope to get better returns?

-How can investors go about constructing a portfolio which performs well?

-What steps would investors take to determine what the right split was between the equity proportion and the gilt proportion?

-What are the lowest risk investments that people can make in this current environment?

-How much of an impact does tax and liquidity have on your investment returns?

-To what extent does our behaviour influence investment returns?

 

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Your reviews on iTunes are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.

 

Direct download: CR192_Lars_Kroijer_Investing_Demystified.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

Assumptions are at the very heart of financial planning as they provide the foundations for a robust plan.

Because financial planning is more of an art than a science, it is important to make a number of assumptions about what might happen in the future.

In this episode of the podcast, I'm talking about some of the key assumptions you need to make in your financial plan.

Personal finance news update

-Two reports for the government have recommended people wait longer before receiving their state pension.

-Higher prices for fuel and food have pushed price inflation to its highest since September 2013. 

-The typical property in England and Wales now costs more than seven times the average earnings of employees. 

-The proportion of women continuing to work into their 70s has doubled in the past four years, nearly reaching the same level as men doing the same.

-New analysis by Royal London shows that the typical person entering residential care will face total bills of between £50,000 and £93,000, depending on where they live.

Get answers to your personal finance questions

Do you have a personal finance or investing question for Martin?

Email martin@icfp.co.uk or ask on Twitter @martinbamford.

You can call our dedicated podcast voicemail line on 020 8144 2745 with your question or visit www.icradio.co.uk/voicemail to leave an online voice message.


My guest on the podcast today is Tasneem Clarke, Research Officer at the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute.

This is a really important conversation, and here's why. People with mental health problems are three times as likely to be in problem debt. The Money and Mental Health Institute was created to change that.

They are an independent charity, committed to breaking the link between financial difficulty and mental health problems. To do this, Money and Mental Health conduct research, develop practical policy solutions and work in partnership with both those providing services and those using them to find what really works.

The charity was launched last year by MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis, who funded it with a donation of two million pounds.

My guest from Money and Mental Health is Research Officer Tasneem Clarke. Tasneem is a social worker currently practising in a mental health crisis team. She has previous experience conducting research for policy and campaigns work in various organisations including Oxfam, Earthrights International, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

In this episode of Informed Choice Radio, I speak to Tasneem about the link between money problems and mental health problems, why people fail to seek help when they need it, how different mental health issues make it harder to deal with personal finances, the impact of austerity on vulnerable members of society, gaps in the public health system when it comes to helping those with mental health and money problems, what the regulator and others are doing about the issue, and much more.

Welcome to Money & Mental Health with Tasneem Clarke, in episode 190 of Informed Choice Radio.

 

Some questions I ask:

-What's the relationship between mental health problems and money troubles? Does one cause the other?

-Does a failure to talk about money contribute to these issues?

-How can mental health problems affect the way we make important financial decisions?

-What impact is austerity having on services for the most vulnerable in society?

-Are there any particular gaps in our health system when it comes to mental health and money problems?

-Is the Financial Conduct Authority doing enough?

-What steps could the banks take to improve their services for people with mental health problems?

-Where can people turn for help in times of a mental health and money crisis?

 

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Your reviews on iTunes are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.

 


My guest on the podcast today is Paul Mumford, one of the longest-serving fund managers in the UK.

Paul has 50 years’ experience in the markets as a stockbroker and fund manager.

He runs the Cavendish Opportunities Fund, AIM Fund and Select Fund, having launched the first in 1988 as the Glenfriars Opportunities Fund.

He is a stock picker who aims to find shares in undervalued companies and often ends up swimming against the tide and buying unloved shares.

Paul's new book is The Stock Picker: A financial history from the sharp end. The book is not an investing how-to: instead it is a financial history straight from the horse’s mouth.

It contains much from which investors can learn, and is also an evocative window into a vanished City of stock jobbers, messenger boys, luncheon vouchers and ledger-keepers - not to mention financial crises, booms and busts, and the life and death of companies great and small.

In the book, Mumford also covers how his own personal life has influenced his stock-picking approach: from running his own bookmaking business as a schoolboy to an ill-fated attempt at oil painting at night school.

In this episode of Informed Choice Radio, I speak to Paul about what first attracted him to fund management, what's changed in the world of investing since the 1960s, Paul's secret to finding undervalued companies, any uncertainties he feels when swimming against the investment tide, the signs Paul looks for which suggests investor sentiment will change, some of his less impressive stock pick during his career, what the future might hold for active fund management, and much more.

Welcome to The Stock Picker with Paul Mumford, in episode 189 of Informed Choice Radio.

 

Some questions I ask:

-Were you always attracted to investments and was that always a field you wanted to work in from day one?

-You mentioned the Big Bang, the deregulation of the stock market. What else has changed in the world of investing since 1963 when you started out in that business?

-What's your secret to finding under valued companies?

-When you're buying undervalued companies, what are some of the signs you look out for which indicate that sentiments going to improve and there's going to be a good opportunity to sell in the future?

-Your approach is very much active fund management, I know the FCA and others have been quite critical recently about the cost and value of active fund management. What do you think the future holds for that approach?

 

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Your reviews on iTunes are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.

Direct download: ICR188_Paul_Mumford_The_Stock_Picker-MP3_for_Audio_Podcasting.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

Today on the podcast, I'm talking about investor sentiment; what is it and why is it so important?

With the FTSE 100 index closing at a new record high and rising investment sentiment, we look at the definition of investor sentiment, some useful measures and how it can be applied to your investment decisions.

There's also an interview with Martin Dropkin, Director of Research for Fixed Income at Fidelity International, about the latest Fidelity International Analyst Survey.

Personal finance news update

-The FTSE 100 index of leading company shares has closed as a new record high.

-The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold at 0.25%, although one policymaker voted for a rise.

-Plans announced in the Budget last week to increase National Insurance contributions for the self-employed have been abandoned.

-The basket of goods and services used to calculate price inflation has been updated.

-The number of jobs available in London fell by 17% in February, according to data from Morgan McKinley’s latest London Employment Monitor.

Get answers to your personal finance questions

Do you have a personal finance or investing question for Martin?

Email martin@icfp.co.uk or ask on Twitter @martinbamford.

You can call our dedicated podcast voicemail line on 020 8144 2745 with your question or visit www.icradio.co.uk/voicemail to leave an online voice message.

 

Direct download: ICR188_The_Importance_of_Investor_Sentiment.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

My guest on the podcast today is Jo Thresher, author of What’s Your Excuse for Not Being Better With Money?.

Jo is an award-winning financial services professional with almost 30 years’ experience, a trained money coach with a true understanding of the difference between what people want and what typical financial services businesses tell people.

Jo’s system of challenges and workshops are tried and tested to gently push people forward to being in a better financial place without being boring or selling anybody anything.

Her business is Better with Money, which was established to reduce financial misery and confusion in the UK.

They aim to bring money matters to life in an accessible and interesting way, delivered in the workplace to employees helping them think clearly about money so they are less stressed.

Better with Money help employees plan earlier for life’s ups and downs and the knowledge and tools gained from the workshops can reduce financial unhappiness, increasing people’s engagement with life, their career and workplace benefits.

In today’s episode of Informed Choice Radio, I speak to Jo about the benefits of financial education, whether learning about personal finances can be fun, how improved financial education can reduce workplace stress, and much more.

Welcome to Better With Money with Jo Thresher, in episode 187 of Informed Choice Radio.

Some questions I ask:

-What prompted you to start your new venture, Better With Money?

-What are some of the benefits of financial education in the workplace?

-Do you think learning about personal finance can be fun too? Should it be fun, or should it be a really serious subject?

-How can employers help to protect their employee's health from this impact of financial stress?

-Your new book is called What's Your Excuse For Not Being Better With Money? Can you tell us some of the reasons?

-Why did you write the book? What was the motivation behind it?

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Better With Money

What's Your Excuse for Not Being Better With Money?

Jo on Twitter

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Your reviews on iTunes are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.

Direct download: ICR187_Jo_Thresher_Better_With_Money-MP3_for_Audio_Podcasting.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

My guest on the podcast today is Malene Rydahl, author of the international bestseller, Happy as a Dane.

For decades Denmark has ranked at the top of the world’s happiness surveys.

How is it that these 5.6 million Danes are so content when they live in a country that is dark and cold nine months of the year and where income taxes are at almost 60 percent?

In Happy as a Dane: 10 Secrets of the Happiest People in the World, Malene shares anecdotes and research, and explores how the values of trust, education, and a healthy work-life balance with purpose – to name just a few – contribute to a “happy” population.

The book became a best-seller and was awarded the prize of the most optimistic book in 2014. It has been published in Japan, Korea,Taiwan and Russia, and will come out later this year in Spain, Germany and United States.

In this episode of Informed Choice Radio, I speak to Malene about the factors that make the Danish lifestyle unique, their approach to work/life balance, how the Laws of Junte underline behaviour towards others, how gender equality contributes towards happiness, why so many Danish citizens are taking ant-depressants, how we can find a sense of purpose in life, and much more.

Welcome to Happy as a Dane with Malene Rydahl, in episode 186 of Informed Choice Radio.

Some questions I ask:

-What factors make the Danish lifestyle unique?

-What’s the Danish approach to work/life balance like and how does this contribute to happiness?

-Can you tell us about The Laws of Junte in Nordic countries and how these laws underline behaviour towards individuals?

-To what extent do you think the Danish model of gender equality contribute to their happiness?

-As well as scoring highly on measure of happiness, Danish citizens are reported to be the highest consumers of anti-depressants in the world. How do the two things tally?

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Happy as a Dane: 10 Secrets of the Happiest People in the World

Malene’s TEDx talk

Malene on Twitter

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Your reviews on iTunes are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.

 

Direct download: ICR186_Malene_Rydahl_Happy_as_a_Dane-MP3_for_Audio_Podcasting.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 1:30am UTC

In this episode of the podcast, I take a look at everything you need to know about the final Spring Budget which took place on Wednesday lunchtime.

I talk about the current state of the economy, changes to personal taxation for shareholders and the self-employed, and what the Budget means for pensions.

Subscribe in iTunes | Click to listen now | Right click to download episode

Personal finance news update

-Unclaimed cash lying dormant in investment accounts could provide a £2bn windfall for charities and community causes.

-Women in some ethnic groups have narrowed the gender pay gap and overtaken the earnings power of men.

-The estate agents Foxtons has reported a 23% fall in revenue from its property sales during 2016.

-New research has found 40% of people over 40 have no idea of the cost of a basic lifestyle in retirement.

-The squeeze on family and public finances will continue until well into the 2020s, according to a prominent think tank.

Subscribe in iTunes | Click to listen now | Right click to download episode

Get answers to your personal finance questions

Do you have a personal finance or investing question for Martin?

Email martin@icfp.co.uk or ask on Twitter @martinbamford.

You can call our dedicated podcast voicemail line on 020 8144 2745 with your question or visit www.icradio.co.uk/voicemail to leave an online voice message.

Subscribe in iTunes | Click to listen now | Right click to download episode

Aftershow links

Surrey Digital Awards

Hit Makers: How Things Become Popular by Derek Thompson

Direct download: ICR185_Spring_Budget_2017-MP3_for_Audio_Podcasting.mp3
Category:investing -- posted at: 2:30am UTC

My guest on the podcast today is Diana Chambers.

Known as The Family Wealth Mentor, Diana is committed to helping her clients manage their wealth in emotionally intelligent ways.

She has always been a trailblazer. Not only was she the first woman hired into management as a member of the strategic planning team at Redland PLC, a major British company, but also she subsequently became the fundraiser for an educational project in Bosnia during the war, and then the team director launching schools of servant leadership in the United States.

In these settings and others, Diana reflected on the impact of money on her life and she is now a trusted confidant to others as they address the challenges and opportunities they and their families face when owning, spending, and allocating their wealth wisely.

Her new book is True Wealth: Letters on Money, Life, and Love.

In True Wealth, Diana gets to the heart of how we feel about money and shows us how to be truly wealthy. If you’ve dated someone who has more or less wealth than you do, tried to talk with your children or parents about sensitive financial topics, struggled to define your unique identity in the context of your family, sought to discern how best to share your wealth with others, or wondered about your impact and legacy, then True Wealth is for you.

In this episode of Informed Choice Radio, I speak to Diana about how she became known as the family wealth mentor, the best ways to clarify what you want from your wealth and your intent in life, whether we have similar concerns about money regardless of our levels of wealth, giving children from wealthy families the best possible start in life, and much more.

Welcome to The Family Wealth Mentor with Diana Chambers, in episode 184 of Informed Choice Radio.

Some questions I ask:

-How have you become known as the family wealth mentor?

-What's the best way to clarify what you want from your wealth?

-Do people face similar challenges, regardless of their wealth levels?

-To what extent do our emotional behaviours play a role in the decisions we make with our money?

-What was the motivation behind your new book, True Wealth?

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

-Diana Chambers website

-True Wealth: Letters on Money, Life, and Love

Thank you for listening!

To get new episodes of Informed Choice Radio sent directly to your device as soon as they are published, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Your reviews on iTunes are incredibly helpful and really appreciated. We get notified about each one; please leave a note of your name and website URL so we can mention you in a future episode.