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ASM Financial Planning Charity Fundraising 2019

On Saturday 22nd June a team of 5 employees from ASM Financial Planning successfully completed the Cancer Focus Mourne Seven Summit Challenge.  Registration was from 05.45 and we started the challenge at 07.15.  The first 5 mountains took about 5 hours to complete and we thought we were on target to finish the challenge within our target time of 10 hours however, the last 2 mountains and the long walk to the finish took a further 5 hours and thirty minutes to complete. 

The weather was initially misty but by late morning cleared to reveal the wonder of the Mourne Mountains.  The scenery was as stunning as the terrain was tough.  We made the check point well within the 15.00 cut off time.  Cancer Focus had set up a refuelling station at the check point on the bridge across Spelga dam and we stocked up on more sugar and water before heading off for the last two mountains.  We completed the last ascent of Slieve Lamagan at 15.20 and headed off for the finish managing to cross the line at 17.55.   (There ar some photos in the link below.)

Approximately 450 undertook the fund raising challenge for Cancer Focus, with only approximately half of this actually completing the full distance of 35km. 

We wanted to raise funds for Cancer Focus to help fund research for Breast Cancer and we were all pleased that  not only finished the challenge but that, with your generous support, we are on target to raise £3,000 for Cancer Focus. 

With over 12,000 cancer diagnoses being made in Northern Ireland each year we hope the funds raised from this event can help fund research to develop tests for, treatment of and prevention of breast cancer.

On behalf of the firm and the members of the Seven Summits team we would like to thank everyone again for their generous donations, kind messages of support and interest in this challenge.  We definitely couldn’t have done this without you!
Jessica Craig and Katie McCallam

There is still time if you would like to donate to assist with the funding cost for Queens to continue their research please use this link -

7 Summit Pictures 22nd June 2019

19th June 2019

Last night three of us went back to the Mourne’s to try the last few peaks.    We found the stone in the cover photo at the cairn at the top of Slieve Lamagan, a poignant and timely reminder of the reason behind out decision to take on Cancer Focus’s Mourne Seven Summits Challenge.  Cancer affects too many people and we are taking on the challenge to help raise funding for Queens University to develop tests and treatment with the aim of preventing breast cancer.


The weather was challenging however I was much better prepared and therefore ready to take on what lay ahead.  As you can see from the photos the weather played its part but we managed to spend 4 hours last night assessing the terrain.


To date we have raised £1,823 on our just giving page and to all those who have supported us we would like to pass on our sincere thanks.


The scenery in the Mournes is stunning with views, when the mist cleared, across to Carlingford and the Isle of Man.  There is a raw, unspoilt and breath-taking beauty in the Mourne Mountains which I have been fortunate to discover.  Unfortunately, many who fall victim to cancer may not be able to experience the same views as I have enjoyed.


Today my joints are sore but I am fortunate to be looking forward to registration for the Seven Summits Challenge at 05.45 on Saturday with a 07.00 start and hopefully a pint of the black stuff around 18.00.


Keith Storey

If you would like to donate to assist with the funding cost for Queens to continue their research please use this link -



7 Summit Challenge Pics 19th June 2019

3rd June 2019

There are only three weeks to go until the team from ASM Financial Planning take on the Seven Summits Challenge for Cancer Focus NI.   The challenge will take place on 22nd June 2019 to help raise money for cancer research.  Cancer Focus provides care and support to 4,000 people living with cancer.  Their prevention team visits 250 primary schools across Northern Ireland with their schools and education programme, delivers community health events to 20,000 people and helps 800 people to stop smoking each year.


To complete the challenge we must climb to the summit of all seven peaks in the Mourne Mountains, Co. Down that are 700m or more above sea level.  Following a fixed route we will take on the following mountains:


Slieve Donard 850m

Slieve Commedagh 765m

Slieve Bernagh 727m

Slieve Meelmore 704m

Slieve Meelberg 708m

Slieve Binnian 747m

Slieve Lamagan 704m


This is definitely not (as we initially thought) a stroll in the park.  This is a tough and unforgiving challenge. The mountains are covered in loose stone and rocks making it more awkward to scramble down than climb up.  The team headed to the Mournes a few weeks ago to attempt the first 4 mountains on our route. The hike took nearly 5 hours to complete and a total of 22 kilometres were covered which nearly broke our most senior team member Keith Storey.  This week we will cover the last three mountains and see if Mr Storey’s knees (with a recently purchased knee support) can meet the challenge.  Fortunately, the two youngest members of the team, William and Conor (combined ages are less than Mr Storey’s current age), are young and strong but most importantly have indicated a willingness to carry him over the finish line should his body give up.  We hope to complete the course in 12 hours with all 6 team members still on board. 


Each year Cancer Focus raises funds and invests £300,000 to £400,000 with Queen’s University Belfast to develop tests for, treatment of and prevention of breast cancer.


Please make a small donation to help us achieve our target of £2,500 of fund raising for Cancer Focus N.I.  Cancer touches too many lives and we are taking on this challenge to help fund the research which Queens University are undertaking into the BRAC1 mutant gene which causes breast cancer. 


You can donate by following the link below:




E Cards

Third Year Anniversary of your Auto Enrolment Staging Date - Re-enrolment

The final increment in employer and employee minimum pension contributions came into effect on 1st April 2019 and whilst it is important that this increase has been implemented there are other ongoing responsibilities to be met.

Auto-enrolment was introduced back in October 2012 with the largest companies having to implement the legislation first.  This means that for many smaller companies the legislation only came into effect from late 2015.

Click on the link below for more information.

Auto Enrolment Information

Business Eye Magazaine

Article By Luke Robinson, ASM Financial Planning

The current tax year ends on the 5th April 2019 and it is therefore an opportune time to make sure that your finances are in order and that you are making the most of available tax reliefs and allowances. There is a lot to think about and as such some opportunities to explore are included in the link below.




Year End Pension Planning

The current tax year ends on the 5th April 2019 and time is running out to make the most of available tax reliefs and allowances.

Pension contributions are a great way to save income tax:

  • Higher and additional rate taxpayers may wish to contribute an amount to maximise tax relief at 40%, 45% or even 60% (by regaining personal allowance), whilst they have the opportunity.

  • Pension contributions reduce taxable income. This can have a beneficial effect for high earners on both your personal allowance and child................


March 2019 Year End Pension Planning

March 2019 - Tax Planning Guide

The current tax year ends on 5th April 2019.  Now is a good time to make sure that your finances and tax position are structured as efficiently as possible.  Taking the right steps now can help minimise your tax liability and optimise your savings.


Pensions provide significant planning opportunities.  The Annual Allowance, currently £40,000, is the maximum you can contribute to a pension and still get tax relief.  Exceeding this threshold can result in a tax charge. 


Planning opportunity – you may have unused Annual Allowance from the three previous tax years which can be used in 2018/19.  This means that a significant contribution could be made without incurring a tax charge...........  


March 2019 Tax Planning Guide





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