How can affluent divorcees fund future school fees?

A friend of mine, very sadly, is getting divorced.  At the moment this divorce remains relatively amicable, with both sides being constructive and the financial matters largely resolved.  But one key issue remains outstanding – how to provide for private school fees for the two young (aged between 5 and 10) children.

This couple are, relatively speaking, asset rich but income poor (though will both be higher rate tax payers).  Based on anticipated regular income levels, private schooling would be unaffordable. But based on current net assets of over £3m, they think they can set aside funds to cover, at least partially, future schooling requirements.

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My March 2016 returns

My invested portfolio posted returns of 3.3% in March.  What’s not to like?

What happened in March?

  • The Brexit debate rumbled on, with opinion polls still suggesting a very narrow majority to remain in but the pound remaining under pressure.
  • Donald Trump looked increasingly likely to clinch the Republican nomination, and be beaten in November by the less popular Clinton.
  • After a Tata Steel announcement it looks likely the UK will end volume steel manufacturing with the loss of 4000-40000 jobs.
  • The UK chancellor announced he’d use the backs of the disabled to help balance the budget. Then his mind was changed by, among other things, a cabinet member’s resignation. He also reduced capital gains tax, extended entrepreneurs’ relief and invented Lifetime ISAs.
  • The UK current account (the amount of money coming in/out of the country per day) reached its highest deficit ever – ie more foreign money is entering the country than ever. Apparently this is a bad thing.

What this meant was that the pound continued to be weak, albeit more against the euro than the us dollar. Equities rose quite strongly in March: UK equities rose about 2%, with US equities up over 5%.  And bonds rose too – UK ones by 3%.  In that environment it’s hard to lose money.

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