19 October 2005
Helen Monks says despite the notoriety of precipice bonds, structured products are booming
From Blackpool to Brighton and back to Blackpool, there was change of leadership in the sea air
Income drawdown is a term used to describe what people do instead of buying an annuity. It is a relatively recent development in the pension world which enables us to think about pensions in two phases - where people are piling their money away for the future, and where they access their pension savings and start spending them.
Sesame product manager for life, pensions and investments Phil Hull says that after having been all but written off in recent years, the time has come for medium-risk investors to look again at with-profits
Matt Davis discovers how a bullish former gossip columnist and a bearish ex-policeman ended up as the dynamic duo behind Britannic's highly successful Argonaut boutique
Most supermarkets are too preoccupied with price to treat their customers fairly
Investors could see more choice, greater flexibility, reduced charging structures and transparency
Multiple-choice exams can be taken through City & Guilds' online facility
Nicola York says insurers are responding to the Civil Partnership Act by changing their policy towards gay applicants for life cover
This week by Liz Phillips, freelance journalist
Nicola York discovers that opinion in the industry is divided on whether mortgage networks have a future
Our panel look at the issues leading up to simplification, the industry's preparations and any foreseeable problems after A-Day
A top-down asset-allocation process will be applied to all eight portfolios
The new Threadneedle Absolute Return Bond fund looks set to give a return of about 5.75 per cent a year tax free through Isas and Sipps and is likely to prove a much lower risk than gilts.
Now that's what we like to see: the bosses of three of the industry's leading IFA and potential multi-tie firms having a pop at each other and descending to some of the most appalling name-calling ever seen in the pages of Money Marketing.
While Japan shows signs of a recovery, the Bank of England is still concerned about wage pressure
The adventures of The Simpsons have parallels with the pension industry
Calls for an independent body to monitor the FSA gathered momentum last week amid reports that the chairman of the influential parliamentary committee responsible for keeping tabs on Government expenditure has turned its attention to the regulator's spending habits.
Is inflation really returning to haunt us? That this element of the economic mix is moving up the agenda for the MPC's discussions was clear from Bank of England Governor Mervyn King's comments last week. No longer are ever-cheaper imported goods holding down our cost of living. Even those items unaffected by dearer oil are costing more. Moreover, service industry inflation is also on the up. That, indeed, is a worrying development.
IFS head of faculty financial regulation Mark Roberts looks back on the FSA's first year of regulating mortgages and finds that there is a renewed vigour for learning among firms
Employment-consulting firm Aaron Clarke Group managing director Ian Hopwood says communicating with staff and understanding their personal motivations is key to keeping employees rather than thinking that pay is the real motivator
Openwork commercial devel-opment director Jon Hopper says it is commonly accepted that new blood is needed in the industry and managers must be trained to again take up the mentoring role
Hybrid multi-manager Midas Capital has boosted its distribution among IFAs with a link to the Skandia platform.
Using asset allocation theories to put together a portfolio is about making sure you don't put all your eggs in one basket
A year on from M-Day it seems appropriate to assess the impact of statutory mortgage regulation. To do this, one needs to consider where we were prior to October 31, 2004, what principle improvements statutory regulation was designed to achieve and whether this has been done at an acceptable cost. Many comments about regulation overlook the groundwork achieved by the voluntary regime of the Mortgage Code Compliance Board (MCCB).
About a year ago, in answer to a question from an IFA at a conference as to what we did, I explained that T Bailey was exclusively funds of funds. "Oh", she said, "Fofs? We use manager of managers (Moms) because they research funds, whereas Fofs just pick them".
FSA guidance will not stop unscrupulous property clubs from roping in profits
Layoffs such as Standard Life's sacking of 300 staff mean there are more people than jobs'
Financial Advisers have a reputation for technophobia, which may be true in some cases, but we must face the reality that with new waves of technology forever crashing upon the shores of our business and domestic lives, financial advisers are still thrashing around in the shallows trying to blow up their water wings.
Some lenders continue to ignore the recommendations of cascade underwriting systems and are offering their clients worse deals, writes Andrea Tryphonides
Matt Davis finds opinion divided on VCT managers' sweet equity deals
Working Voices managing director Nick Smallman on what distinguishes a high-performing IFA from an average IFA and how some neworks are challenging outmoded training methods
Pension simplification has brought us a new version of the Chinese death by a thousand cuts. It works like this.
In this series of articles, I am examining the major asset classes and sectors with the aim of discussing and defining their potential roles in portfolio planning. In this article, I will look at fixed-interest funds, dividing my thoughts between funds holding government bonds and others holding corporate bonds.
The unthinkable has become a reality - pensions are officially "sexy".
Much greater transparency is needed in relation to portfolio turnover
Consultants need attitude, credibility and top-quartile interpersonal skills
There is a clear accountability gap at the FSA. The super-regulator reports to the Treasury - its creator - and to committees such as the practitioner and consumer panels which have some influence but this is limited in scope. The FSA's senior staff are also periodically grilled by the Treasury select committee.
Once we have established a healthy portfolio, a tax strategy can offer a welcome boost to our retirement fund
Having attended Money Marketing Live in Manchester, I am concerned that there is too much complacency in the advisory sector that has not been helped by leading figures within it.