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Does your portfolio fit your retirement lifestyle?

Does your portfolio fit your retirement lifestyle?

Having worked hard for the majority of your life to save money for this point, you are now ready to begin taking money from your pension. With the right strategy, you can help make sure your retirement savings last.

Typically, client portfolios are determined through a combination of the client’s initial objectives and risk tolerance. However, upon retirement it is equally important to consider this, as well as your plans when building a well-diversified portfolio.

Whether it’s travelling the world or financing your new hobbies, different plans create different opportunities for investing for the future. Long term travel will want your full attention, and so riskier products that would have you checking markets daily may not be the best approach, instead consider index funds for lower maintenance. Alternatively, looking at discretionary fund management will help you maintain the risky investments, as a fund manager will make all decisions for you, but this will come at a small cost.

Retirement creates the time for new hobbies. From golf to pottery and everything in between, financing new hobbies can be expensive. With no income from employment anymore, you may want to gear your portfolio to be income orientated in order to fund your new found pastimes.

Most people lack the experience to safely manage and maintain their own investments, and this is where the financial advisers at Ascot Wealth Management come in. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, our advisers are happy to listen to your targets, future plans and risk attitudes in order to create a suitable financial plan, tailored specifically to you.

If you have any questions surrounding funding your retirement, a deeper understanding of your current financial situation, or just some advice on what to do next, contact us so you can spend more time doing and less time worrying.

Please note that this content is to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment based on your own personal circumstances.

Written by: George Kemp

Date: 30 November 2022

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WEBINAR – How the budget affects your financial planning

On the 15th of December, Catriona McCarron, one of our trusted Financial Advisers, will be hosting a webinar on “How the budget affects your financial planning”.

The Autumn Statement 2022 came at a time of significant economic challenge for the UK and the global economy. With fiscal changes ahead for savers and shareholders, it is important to understand the impacts of the budget on your financial planning.

Catriona aims to highlight the key points of the Autumn Budget that may have an effect on individuals’ current financial plans. She hopes to give you a better understanding of what options are available to you to better manage your savings and investments whilst we navigate through this difficult period.


  • Key changes to taxation from the Autumn Budget 2022

  • How the budget affects your financial planning and investment management

  • Alternative investment ideas

  • Key financial planning considerations going into 2023

Join Catriona on the 15th of December for 45 minutes to 1 hour to get a better understanding of how the recent fiscal changes may affect your personal financial circumstance.

Please email info@ascotwm.com for any questions.


Contact Us For More Info

Ascot Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 551744. Our registered office: Scotch Corner, London Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0ER. Registered in England No. 7428363. www.ascotwm.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this document was valid on 3rd February 2017. Not all the services and investments described are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax, trust and company administration services are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The services described may not be suitable for all and you should seek appropriate advice. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument by Ascot Wealth Management Limited. The information and opinions expressed herein are considered valid at publication, but are subject to change without notice and their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. © 2017 Ascot Wealth Management Ltd. Please note: This website uses cookies. To continue to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. 

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Ascot Wealth Management named as WINNERS!

Ascot Wealth Management named as WINNERS!

The 2022 Growth Investor Awards took place last night, with a gala dinner and awards ceremony to recognise the best of the growth investing community. The winners received their awards at the London Hilton, Park Lane, in front of 450 guests from across the alternative investments industry.

This year’s awards were hosted once again by TV and radio star Claudia Winkleman, alongside Intelligent Partnership’s founder Guy Tolhurst.

This year was the eighth Growth Investor Awards (GIA) organised by Intelligent Partnership. For almost a decade GIA has celebrated those businesses and individuals within the financial services and alternative investment industries, who support the UK’s high-growth SMEs and Startups.

Mark Insley receiving the award for "Wealth Manager of the Year" on behalf of Ascot Wealth Management at the Growth Investor Awards on 25 November 2022

Ascot Wealth Management was recognised by our judges for their outstanding contribution, as the winner of the prestigious Wealth Manager of the Year category.

Despite the challenging economic backdrop, the guidance, support, and returns they’ve delivered for their clients, and the businesses they work with, has been so impressive this year.

Mark Insley the Founder and Managing Director of Ascot Wealth Management was delighted to take home the award, He said: “We are thrilled to be recognised for this prestigious award for the second time. Without the AWM team, none of this would be possible so I would like to thank them and, at the same time, extend my thanks to our clients for their loyalty, trust and support. In a year that has presented so many Macro challenges. We will always try to innovate and bring new products and ideas to clients and we think this award recognizes that.”


Guy Tolhurst, founder of Intelligent Partnership, said:

“It’s been a challenging year for everyone, that’s why it was amazing – last night – to see a room full of the growth investor community celebrating the essential contribution they make in supporting the UK’s fast-growing SMEs and Startups. They are so much more than just investment providers.

Ascot Wealth Management, are right at the heart of this alternative investments community, so it was brilliant to see them take away the top prize in such a competitive category. The judges rightly recognised their outstanding contribution this year.

Written by: Intelligent Partnership

Link: https://growthinvestorawards.com/winners/winners-2022/

Date: 25 November 2022

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What’s your magic number?

What’s your magic number?
How much do you need to retire?

Retirement and pensions

Retirement is something we will all (hopefully) face, some sooner than others, but it is important to start contributing towards your retirement as soon as you can and workplace pensions are the place to start. Workplace pensions are set up by employers to let you save money for retirement, money is taken directly from your wages and in most cases your employer contributes towards the pension too.  Depending how often you change jobs over your working life, you can end up with various different workplace pensions.

As well as workplace pensions, you can have your own personal pension which you can contribute however much you like, whenever you like. If you can afford to do so, contributing regularly to a personal pension can help increase the amount you have during retirement substantially. With a personal pension, you can usually choose where your money is invested based off your own attitude to risk. It is important to realise that unless your pension funds are sat in cash, the value of your pension will fluctuate with market movements. When you are younger, you may be more accepting of risk and potential fluctuations to the value of your pension. As you get older, your attitude is likely to change because you will be accessing the funds sooner, therefore may want to try to keep as much value as possible, which can be done by either reducing the level of risk surrounding your fund choice, or by selling down the investments into cash.

How much do I need for retirement?

Whilst there is no set amount that you should aim to have for retirement, realistically the more the better. Everyone’s lifestyle is different, whether you live a lavish or simplistic lifestyle you will, at some point, retire. There are some important things to consider when planning expenditure in retirement:

  • Monthly expenditure should change; most people’s mortgages and debts are paid off by the time they retire.
  • You will have more free time than you have had throughout your working life
  • You may find new hobbies, they may be costly
  • You might take the opportunity to travel to places you haven’t been to before
  • You might have a bucket list

You should bear this in mind when thinking into the future and planning for retirement, as retirement may give you the opportunity to do everything you have always wanted to do, therefore it is important to start saving for it as soon as you can. Some say that if you start saving for retirement in your 20’s, you should aim to save 10% of your income. You can save more or less, but ultimately, the sooner you start saving, the more you should have to enjoy retirement.


If you think that the current retirement age is 66 in the UK, and life expectancy is 83 years, that is (on average) 17 years to live off your pension. Of course some people may retire earlier, many people continue to work beyond 66 and you may outlive the expected age of 83, therefore it doesn’t hurt to have more money than you think you need. According to research in 2021, for a single person to live moderately, they need an income of £20,200 per year. To live a comfortable lifestyle in retirement, they need an income of £33,000 per year. Given the 17 years of retirement (on average), this means to live a moderate lifestyle in retirement you would need £343,400, or to live a comfortable lifestyle you would need a pension pot of £561,000. This is a large sum of money, and of course you may not need that much, but in any case why not start sooner rather than later?

Overall, there is no specific value to achieve before retirement, it very much depends on your retirement plans, your lifestyle, your income, where you live amongst other factors. I don’t know about you, but I want to save up as much as I can to make the most out of my retirement.

If you are looking to open up a personal pension where you can invest however much you want, when you want, feel free to get in contact with us at Ascot Wealth Management where we can help you build towards your retirement goals. You have the choice of 5 different risk categories based on how comfortable you are with volatility, as well as a wider range of investment products depending on what your aim is. Additionally, we can help you consolidate your various pensions into one place, where it is easier to manage and keep on top of. We can be contacted through our website, ascotwm.com or by phone, on 01344 851250.

Written by: Michael Morris

Date: 24 November 2022

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Win 3x Tickets To The Christmas Races at Ascot Racecourse

Win 3x Tickets to Howden Christmas Races At Ascot Racecourse

Enter your details to WIN:


“Celebrate the festive season in style at Ascot’s final race meeting of the year, featuring fantastic racing and great festive food and drink off the track. The racing is set to be thrilling, with a quality Jumps card featuring a pair of Grade 2 races – the Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle and the Howden Noel Novices’ Chase, both are valuable prizes that often throw up notable performers on the road to the Cheltenham Festival.” Ascot Racecourse
  • 3x King Edward VII Enclosure Access Ticket for the Friday Only (16 December 2022)
  • 3x Drink Vouchers
  • Level 4 access
  • Elevated trackside viewing
  • Balcony overlooking Parade Ring
  • Access to Premier bars & restaurants
There will be only 1 Winner. The winner will be announced on Monday the 12th of December.
For more event details please visit the Ascot Racecourse website: https://www.ascot.com/enclosures/king-edward-vii/christmas
By entering this giveaway, you acknowledge and consent to your information (name, surname, email address and Date of Birth) being shared with Ascot Wealth Management for giveaway communications as well as marketing purposes. You will be considered to have opted into the Ascot Wealth Management mailing list. Entrants are free to opt-out of communications at any time.
Please note that transport is not included. We cannot guarantee what facilities will be open on the day and we do not have any control over the restrictions of the event and the winner will need to abide by the event rules and regulations. Ascot Wealth Management cannot refund or exchange the tickets for the winner in the case the event is cancelled.
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Autumn Statement 2022 Summary

Autumn Statement 2022 Summary


At 11:30 on the 17th of November 2022, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt presented his Autumn Budget to parliament.

It was a comprehensive Budget that, at times, sounded like a ‘State of the Union’ address covering policy in all areas.

These are the key changes.

*Source: Sky News, The Guardian, Bloomberg, The Telegraph

Economy & Fiscal Commentary

  • OBR forecasts: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) says it predicts that the UK’s inflation rate will be 9.1% this year and 7.4% next year. Inflation peaks at 11% this quarter.
  • The OBR has ruled that the UK is in recession: GDP is to grow by 4.2% this year then will fall 1.4% in 2023, before rising again by 1.3%, 2.6% and 2.7% in the following three years.
  • Unemployment will rise from the current 3.6% to 4.9% in 2024, falling to 4.1% over the longer term.
  • Borrowing to hit 7.1% of GDP, or £177bn, in 2022/23 and 5.5% of GDP, or £140bn, next year and predict a fall in 2027/28 to 2.4% or £69bnDebt is expected to hit a peak of 97.6pc of GDP in 2025-26, a 63-year high, before falling to 97.3pc in 2027-28.
  • New fiscal rules: Underlying debt must fall as a percentage of GDP by the fifth year of a rolling five-year period. Public Sector borrowing over the same period must be lower than 3% of GDP. The new budget meets both rules. This means a consolidation of £55bn and means inflation remains significantly lower.

Taxes & Reliefs

  • Income tax thresholds frozen: Freezes to tax thresholds will mean millions of people will be paying more tax on their incomes over time. The point at which the highest earners start paying the top rate of tax will be lowered from £150,000 to £125,140, dragging hundreds of thousands of workers into the highest tax band.
  • Tax-free allowances:
  1. Dividend allowance cut from £2,000 to £1,000 next year and £500 in 2024
  2. CGT allowance cut from £12,300 to £6,000 then to £3,000 from April 2024
  • Inheritance tax: A freeze on rates will be extended until 2027-28, meaning a rate of 40% will be paid on estates worth more than £325,000 for an individual and £650,000 for a couple
  • Vehicle tax: Electric vehicle exemption to be removed
  • Stamp Duty: Cuts remain in place until 2025
  • Windfall taxes: Targeting the profits of energy companies is being extended. The profits levy will rise from 25% to 35%

Public Spending

  • NHS Budget: Increase in NHS budget by £3.3bn to assist with inflationary pressures
  • Schools will be given an extra £2.3bn in both 2023/24 and 2024/25
  • International aid: Not possible to restore the aid budget to 0.7% of GDP in current circumstances
  • Infrastructure Spending: Northern Powerhouse rail & HS2 to continue. Sizewell C nuclear power plant construction to go ahead
  • Research and development spending has also been protected and will hit £20bn by 2024/25

Cost of Living

  • National Living Wage: There will be an increase in the National Living Wage from the current level of £9.50 an hour for those over 23s to £10.42 from April 2023
  • Energy Price Guarantee will reduce in generosity. Increasing the cost of annual gas & electricity an average household spends to £3,000 from £2,500 in April 2023. This will run for 12 months from April. Without continuing Gov support, analysts believe this figure would have hit £3,700
  • Cost of Living Support: Additional £900 one-off support to be paid to those on means-tested benefits, £300 to pensioner households & £150 to those on disability benefits
  • Benefits (inc. State Pensions): to rise in line with September inflation (10.1%)
  • Rent Controls: rises in the social sector (Council Houses etc.) capped at 7% for the next financial year, saving the average tenant £200 next year

Written by: Shaun Pearce & Sam Hallett

Date: 17 November 2022

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What Is An Annuity?

What Is An Annuity?

A pension Annuity is a product that guarantees to pay you a regular income for the rest of your life, regardless of how long you live. It is a way of making sure you have secured enough income to live off. It is a long-term investment that is issued by an insurance company which is designed to help protect you from the risk of outliving your income. The difference between an annuity and a pension is that you decide to purchase an annuity after you retire to provide you with the regular income, whereas you save into a pension pot throughout your life, which you then need to decide how much you draw from it to supplement your income.


Below is a short breakdown of the different types of annuities you can purchase:

  • Variable – There’s the potential for more earnings, but you also take on more risk
  • Fixed – Your investment grows based on a guaranteed rate of return
  • Fixed Indexed – The potential for increased earnings is based on index growth, but there is still a downside protection
  • Registered Index-Linked – Exposure to downside risk is limited, and there is potential for increased earnings based on index growth
  • Immediate – Convert a lump sum of money into a stream of income

Pros of purchasing an Annuity

  • There are many different features that can be included in an annuity, but you are able to customise these to your needs. This can include making adjustments to the guaranteed level of income you would like to receive, how much risk you would like to place on the stock market, and choosing how the annuity pays out to your beneficiaries when you die
  • Purchasing an Annuity removes the stress of worrying about how much you are taking from your pension pot each month, and if you will eventually run out
  • An annuity can be seen as a tax-efficient investment ad any growth in the annuity is tax-free until the payments begin in retirement

Potential drawbacks of Annuities

  • A drawback of purchasing an annuity is that they are complicated to understand and can be difficult to know how much money you will require during retirement. Because of the complexity, they can have high fees
  • Annuities do not offer much flexibility once they have been set up. Depending on the type of annuity, the owner may have to pay surrender fees to take more money out of the annuity than what they originally agreed on

Is an Annuity suitable for me?

An annuity may be the right option for you if you would like a guaranteed income in retirement and are sure of how much you will need. However, before you purchase an annuity it is important to fully understand the plan fully and all the associated fees. Recently, pension annuities have become a lot more popular, as people want to be extra safe in knowing that their money won’t run out during retirement, particularly due to the market’s recent volatility and uncertainty. It is a way for the investors to be in control of how much income they would like to take, and the risk they are willing to take.

Written by: Jemma Long

Date: 11 November 2022

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How Can A Lifetime Mortgage Benefit Me?

How can a lifetime mortgage benefit me?

A lifetime mortgage is when you borrow money secured against your home, provided it’s your main residence, while retaining ownership. Interest is charged on what you have borrowed, which can be repaid or added to the total loan amount. Also called equity release.

How is equity release paid when you use a lifetime mortgage?

You’ll have two options as to how you receive your money from the lifetime mortgage. It can be paid all in one go, or as a smaller initial amount with the option to receive additional 

payments (drawdowns) later on. Choosing a single cash lump sum may suit your requirements, but you’ll be paying interest on the full loan amount from day one. This approach may also affect how much tax you pay and any means-tested benefits you receive.

What are the lending criteria for a lifetime mortgage?

A number of factors will affect your eligibility for a lifetime mortgage. Typically, you’ll need to be at least 55 years old, although in some cases it’s 60. If you’re submitting a joint application, the age of the youngest person will be used. The older you are the more you’re likely to be able to borrow, and having existing health conditions might also qualify you for a larger loan.

Some providers will require your home to be worth a certain amount, usually around £70,000 or more. They may also specify a minimum loan amount, often at least £10,000.


  • Great if your savings and other sources of income are not enough to meet your needs in retirement. For example, as you get older a lot of people require specialised care. Care costs are very expensive, and the biggest downside of moving into a care home is leaving the comfort of your home and having uncontested privacy. A lifetime mortgage is a good way of releasing equity to fund care at home. Also, another scenario is it can be used as an alternative option instead of downsizing.


  • Reduces family inheritance. You will end up repaying more than you borrowed, and with an interest roll-up mortgage, this amount could be far bigger. Your beneficiaries will therefore inherit less when you die.
  • Receiving a lump sum in cash could also affect any means-tested support you’re currently entitled to.
  • The cost of interest payments added to the loan may erode all the equity in the home depending on how long you live. That’s why the minimum age for a lifetime mortgage is 55.


In my opinion, there are better options for retirement planning if you start the process early enough. Effective planning like contributing to a pension scheme while working and taking out care-related insurance products might be better long term. Therefore I stress the importance of speaking to a financial advisor for the best advice for your situation.

Written by: Manjinder Badyal

Date: 14 October 2022

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Stamp Duty Land Tax

Stamp Duty Land Tax

Stamp Duty is a tax you pay if you buy a residential property or a piece of land in England or Northern Ireland over a certain price. The price is set by the government.

The amount you are due to pay depends on when you bought the property and how much you paid for it. Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) only applies to properties over a certain value.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced a change to Stamp Duty rates on 23rd September 2022. The starting threshold for paying Stamp Duty has been increased from £125,000 to £250,000. Homebuyers will not have to pay stamp duty on the first £250,000 of any property purchase. The new tax tiers for amounts above the threshold will be as follows.

Stamp Duty Rates

Old Stamp Duty Rates

First-Time Buyers

This is a person who is purchasing their only or main residence and has never owned a property in the UK or abroad.

First-time buyers will pay no Stamp Duty on properties up to £425,000. For properties up to £625,000 they will pay a discounted rate. They will pay no stamp duty up to £425,000 and then 5% Stamp Duty on the amount above £425,000 up to £625,000.

For properties over £625,000 the first-time buyer would no longer be classed as a first time buyer and would have to pay the standard rates of Stamp Duty. They will not qualify for first-time buyer’s relief.   

Stamp Duty On Second Home

Those buying an additional property or a second home will pay an extra 3% in Stamp Duty on top of the standard rates. 

Written by: Nwabisa Janda

03 October 2022

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Clever Ways To Make Your Money Work

Clever Ways To Make Your Money Work

The rising cost of living is challenging people to find additional sources of income to cover their everyday expenses, including food, fuel and energy costs.  Generating passive income is just one strategy to boost earnings without having to take on another job.

Passive income is money you make with minimal time and effort. It is when your money or your assets effectively work on your behalf to boost your income. If you have a lump sum that you aren’t sure what to do with, finding a way to turn it into a passive income can help your money work harder and improve your financial resilience.

Here are some ways to earn passive income:

Dividend Paying Stocks

Investing in dividend paying stocks you become a shareholder of a company and are entitled to dividend payments. Dividends aren’t guaranteed, but they can provide a good source of passive income if you have the right shares in your portfolio.

Some guidelines for investing in stocks for a dividend is investing in companies that have a proven track record of providing a good return. Check to see if dividends from the company have been growing over time.

Advantages of investing in stocks as a source of passive income include:

  • Potential for a steady income stream
  • Some protection from stock market fluctuations.
  • A long-term source of income.

However, there are also disadvantages that every investor should be aware of. These include:

  • Share prices may decline

  • Tax of dividends may increase

  • There is less appreciation than with growth stocks

Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s)

Another option to consider is investing in exchange traded funds (ETFs). ETFs combine the advantages of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds while giving you access to a wider selection of investments at lower expense ratios. Additionally, they can be purchased or sold at any time.


  • Able to diversify your portfolio to track a wider range of stocks, or even attempt to mimic the returns of a country or a group of countries.
  • Lower expense ratios
  • ETFs tend to realise fewer capital gains than actively managed funds


  • Over-diversification as ETFs are generally not actively managed, but are set up to track a specific index.
  • Lack of liquidity hinders transactions
  • Some knowledge is needed

Buy-To-Let Property

Investing in property is considered one of the best ways to secure a passive income stream. Even though it requires the biggest financial investment and commitment, investing in buy-to-let property can generate significant levels of passive income and, as an added bonus, you have an asset at the end.

Advantages of buying a property and renting it out include:

  • Provides a steady income stream
  • Potential house price growth
  • Rent price can fluctuate with inflation, meaning no diminishing returns

Disadvantages are:

  • Landlords are liable for income tax, stamp duty and capital gains tax
  • Responsibility for maintaining the property
  • Finding tenants

Savings Account

Allowing your money to earn interest in a high-interest savings account is one of the simplest methods to make it work for you. More incentives to maintain money in a bank are provided by these kinds of accounts. It’s a long-term investment that can take a year or two to start paying off, but over time it can be a very wise one, making it a very low-risk way to make residual income.

So What Is Next?

As with any investment, you should think about the product’s level of risk and your ability to withstand losses. Unless you hold investments in a tax-efficient vehicle like an ISA, income tax will often be due on passive income.

Passive income is still income and you will need to pay tax on anything you earn above the tax-free amount. Speak to your financial adviser to ensure you enjoy the benefits of earning passive income while ensuring your tax liability is covered.

Written by: Kariemah Boltman

23 September 2022