When your investments are more than just money

For a significant number of investors, investing in shares and funds can feel like a dance with the devil as they have to compromise beliefs to achieve a return. With the growing awareness of the environmental impact of modern life, interest in ethical and environmental funds is increasing, and you can get a return on your investment without troubling your conscience.

Many people will avoid buying from certain companies, or will make ethical consumer choices, so it is only logical to extend this to how you invest your money.

These days, the funds that we previously described as ethical or ecological, all come under the umbrella term of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) and there are myriad choices, so if you would like to invest without compromising your personal beliefs this could be of interest to you.

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2018 – how will it be for you & your finances?

There is no doubt that we live in interesting times on many levels and naturally people will have financial concerns. High on the list of worries is the potential adverse effect of a geopolitical event but it is the potential repercussions of this and how issues impact us locally and well as globally that we need to consider. There is not much most of us can do about these global issues but we can take steps to protect ourselves and our families.

Life in the UAE has its own pressures and challenges and whilst there is usually a lot of optimism, right now there are issues facing us. It is no worse here than in the rest of the world but being an expat can have its own demands. To find out what UAE residents are thinking and feeling as we start the new year, I put together a survey and this article is about the results. All responses were anonymous.

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UAE Public holidays for 2018

These are the official dates of public holidays for the UAE for the coming year so you can make a note in your diary now and plan ahead. Actual days off work for both the public and private sector will vary but these are the dates announced by the UAE Government so far.

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Need to know: VAT in the UAE, what it means for individuals

We have known about the introduction of VAT on 1st January 2018 since early 2016 but the official guidance and final rules have not long been issued. There seems to be a fair amount of misunderstanding as to how it will work, and who and what, will be affected so this article, is an overview of some of the facts.

Businesses should be taking professional advice on the topic, so I won’t be going into detail in here, as this article is designed as an overview for individuals only.

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UK Autumn Budget 2017 – the facts for expats

This is the first Autumn Budget after it was announced that the main one would be issued towards the end of each year. This time there is little that directly affects expats and much of the focus was on the UK housing market with a surprise announcement about Stamp Duty.

This article is a brief overview of some of the main points with particular reference to any changes that have relevance to those living outside of the UK.

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Can you afford to have a serious illness? The facts for the UAE.

The sad and somewhat worrying fact is that anyone can suffer from a serious illness at any time. It doesn’t matter how healthy you feel, and serious illness does not discriminate by gender, age, nationality or income.

Have you considered how you are your family would manage if you were seriously ill, or if your partner became ill and unable to work for an extended period? Not happy thoughts but ones that need to be addressed.

The statistics for serious illnesses in the UAE are significant, even for a relatively young population, when compared to countries with large numbers of retired residents.

Your medical insurance should cover the cost of treatment but it won’t replace an income. That’s where critical illness cover comes in. This is a plan that will pay out a cash lump sum in the event that the policyholder is diagnosed with a serious illness and this insurance is both important and worthwhile.

Consider the statistics for the UAE:

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How to focus on your financial priorities

Many of us muddle through our financial lives, not focusing on what matters the most, so this article is designed to help you sort out your financial priorities.

You have probably thought that there are some issues you need to address but it is common to be stuck in limbo, not quite sure what to tackle first, or a to have a vague to-do list but are unsure where to start.

I am often asked what are the most important topics to focus on so this is a guide to what you may need to look at if you haven’t reviewed your personal finances before, or haven’t done so for some time. What should you do now and what is most important?

All too frequently I see people who have been sold long-term savings plans without having been given the right advice to address more immediate issues. The most important consideration is to focus on what could go wrong tomorrow and then to take steps to protect you and your family. This doesn’t have to be expensive but this is what proper, ethical, financial planning is all about.

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