Guardian puts forward tips for prosperity in 2013

The chief executive for international advisory firm Guardian Wealth Management, said: “We are still very much weathering an economic storm and naturally there’s a desire to do as much as possible to safeguard our finances in times of uncertainty.”

He said checking and challenging the tax code is crucial as many people tend to hand over more of their cash than is required.

Investing surplus cash into tax-efficient investments is also a handy way to help protect clients against a heavy tax burden, while Isas, enterprise investment schemes or venture capital trusts can offer a favourable environment for taxpayers.

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Mr Howell also said people needed to keep an eye on their debt levels, and it was important for adviser to keep an eye on the mortgage market.

He said: “People should consider switching deals if they spot a more attractive interest rate repayment.

“Having health and life insurance in place can prove invaluable, while planning for private medical insurance and life insurance should not be underestimated.

Added to this is the importance of making a will, something often overlooked.

When it comes to pensions, Mr Howell said he advocated self-invested personal pensions, because they offer the sort of investment flexibility and control that many clients want when it comes to their money.

Facts and figures:

A recent poll conducted by Standard Life found that 61 per cent of adults in the UK still have not made a will.

One in three said they had not got around to even planning how their assets will be distributed.

More than 50 per cent of people aged 55-64 had not made proper financial plans for later life or the event of their death.