Homebuyers will not pay stamp duty on properties up to £500k until 31st March 2021

Rishi Sunak announces Stamp Duty holiday

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on 8th July 2020 a measure that could save the average homebuyer over £2,000. The last stamp duty holiday was back in 2008, in a bid to lift the market following the financial crisis. In a move costing £600 million, the then-Chancellor Alistair Darling suspended stamp duty for a year on properties worth up to £175,000. It’s a measure of the severity of the current crisis that Johnson’s government is now removing SDLT up to a £500,000 threshold, at an estimated cost of £1.3 billion to the Treasury. The current stamp duty holiday will however be not quite as long, at around nine months, and will end on 31 March 2021.

At the moment, the threshold where you start paying stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland is £125,000, or £300,000 for first-time buyers (if buying a property worth less than £500,000).

If you’re a first-time buyer in England or Northern Ireland buying a property for up to £500,000, you already don’t pay stamp duty on the first £300,000 and pay 5% on any portion between £300,001 and £500,000 (if your property’s worth more, the normal rules apply).

But for now, no one will pay stamp duty when buying a main home worth up to £500,000.

For properties costing more than £500,000, the stamp duty bands are unchanged – however, you will still make a saving of £15,000 on the first £500,000. So if you bought a £600,000 property for example, you’d pay £5,000 stamp duty (5% of the £100,000 above the threshold) – before the changes were announced, you’d have had to pay £20,000.

It’s good news for Landlords buying properties under £500,000 will pay only the 3% additional home surcharge, while those buying for their primary residence will pay no stamp duty.

Bull and Bear Markets!

Following a decade-plus of generally rising markets, a meaningful downturn in stocks has unfortunately arrived. We don’t know how bad it will be or how long it will last. We do know that without advice, investors will make costly mistakes. We’ve seen 13 corrections and 8 bear markets in global equities in the last 40 years. That’s about one every other year…So hang in there. This too shall pass.

What is the Bull and the Bear? Two formidable creatures and images of strength and ferocity. The characteristics of each of the animals are often used to describe the behavior of the market.

2020 Finalist for ‘Service Excellence’

The 1st Financial Foundations team were thrilled to find out we had made the Finals for the SME MK & Bucks Business Awards!

We have been invited to celebrate our achievements with the best of the country’s exceptional businesses. It has been a good year for our team to be recognised in areas for Pension, Retirement, Investment, Savings, Mortgage and Customer Service. We thank all our Clients for choosing to work with us and look forward to helping more people to achieve financial freedom and giving independent financial advice in the future.

Seasons greetings from all at 1st Financial Foundations and wishing all the finalists luck in 2020.


The awards ceremony will be held at Whittlebury Hall on Thursday 27th February @eventsandprmk @WhittleburyPark

#1stFF #SMEMKBucks #smebusinessawards #smeawardsuk #corevalues #integrity #service #excellence #pension #retirement #investment #savings #plan #mortgagebroker #team 

Seven habits of financially astute people.

financially savvy

End your year how you plan to start your next.

So what is it to be Financially astute?

We are talking about those with more modest means who make the most of their money. … To make the most of their wealth, the financially astute may consciously or unconsciously hold onto a set of money management principles that protect their wealth and ensure that their money is working as hard as possible.

1. They borrow wisely

Not all debt is bad debt know the difference between good and bad debt.

2. They control their expenditure

Temptation to follow ‘I can have it now” world we live in. For example, you could walk into a car showroom today and drive out with a brand-new car. How tempting is that? The difference between the financially astute and the financially inept is discipline.  The financially astute are also tempted but know when it is right to say NO to themselves. Learning to keep your desires under control can make a huge difference to your long term financial position and goals.

3. They have a plan

A strong financial position takes years to build and like any building, takes design, planning and execution to become a reality

Few people end up in a strong financial position by accident. The financially astute understand that trying to do it all themselves may be unrealistic and would happily pay an expert to help them with the most difficult parts of the plan; the design and planning.

4. They put their money to work

Getting a decent return on your savings is difficult in this low interest rate environment. That’s no excuse for leaving your hard-earned cash in a savings account that doesn’t keep pace with inflation. Rainy day money is one thing but anything longer term should be viewed with a discerning eye. With their financial adviser, the financially astute would find a better deal for their cash and would assess the viability of investing some of their savings in risk assets like stocks and shares for a potentially better return.

5. They own their property

Every young person paying rent probably aspires towards owning their own property. With house prices increasing, property ownership is no longer a right, but a privilege, and saving for a deposit whilst paying rent is easier said than done. The financially astute would accept that successfully getting onto the property ladder was a huge challenge and would need careful planning, consideration and the assistance of an expert.

6. They insure what they value

What are the most valuable things in your life? Are they material things like your home, contents, car or bike? Or are they your health and ability to work? What about your life itself? What’s it worth to someone else, perhaps someone who depends on you financially? The financially astute would prioritise and insure what they value.

7. They invest – in themselves

Learn before you earn and set goals

Increasing your ability to earn through learning is often overlooked but could go a long way towards boosting your value in the marketplace. The financially astute understand that becoming financially secure is a lot easier when you earn more; more importantly, investing in yourself should give you the self-confidence to know your worth and to ask for what you deserve.

Business Excellence Awards


Wow, so Thursday 21st March 2019, 1st Financial Foundations proudly received this email. 

Hi Tina
I do hope this email finds you well.
Following on from your nomination acceptance and our in-depth research phase, it is with absolute pride that I can inform you that 1st Financial Foundations has been deemed successful in this year’s Business Excellence Awards, the details are outlined below;  
Best Financial Planning Firm 2019 – Buckinghamshire
Award for Excellence in Pension Planning Services – Buckinghamshire
I do hope you are pleased with the outcome, it has been an honour to have supported 1st Financial Foundations on the journey so far!