28 September 2005
Over the past month, the great industry debate has been retention. Most of the lending industry would love to do without intermediaries.
Alliance & LeicesterFive Year Fixed Rate
Angela Merkel's failure to win a mandate in the German general election has sent ripples through the investment community.
One of the key roles of financial planners - if not their only role - is to enable their clients to move as close as possible to a position of financial security as quickly as possible. For those of their clients who are already financially secure, the financial planner's role is to help them stay in that position.
As someone who has endured the lack of technical expertise from many product providers, the latest rantings which will ultimately damage the position of our clients are to be deplored.
I imagine that IFAs are going to have to handle a number of embarrassing phone calls from clients invested in the much hyped DWS Ratebuster fund. Barely six months after it opened for business, investors have received letters telling them that Ratebuster is to close.
Bristol & WestIncome & Growth 20
Should product providers have more rigorous testing processes in place to ensure they do not blow up down the line?
Big may be beautiful once again. During the 1980s and 1990s, average annual returns of around 12 per cent above the rate of inflation were commonplace for blue chips.
Coventry Building Society5.25% Flexx Capped Rate Mortgage
Should people be making additional voluntary contributions after the start of the simplified pension tax regime on April 6, 2006? There are some interesting and important issues to consider.
The future of financial advice for protection is hanging in a precarious balance. Never before have we seen such a threat to the value of professional advice.
Hearing someone declare their love for the English weather is not something one hears every day. But, given that Elena Shaftan, manager of the Jupiter emerging European opportunities fund grew up in Siberia, her passion for the climate here seems understandable.
I have come across a few individuals with this problem and also financial advisers who are not sure what to do when asked for a certificate of non-domiciled status by banks.
F&C Alternative Investment is positioning itself as a provider of hedge funds to multi-managers with the opening of the F&C citrine fund to new business.
There are two types of person who buy property overseas - those who want a holiday home, chiefly for their own use and perhaps to rent it out to friends and family to help with financing, and the property investors looking to buy for commercial reasons to expand their property portfolio.
Earlier this year, extracts from taped conversations between FSA staff investigating an IFA were published in Money Marketing.
The FSA is going back to investigate the self-certification mortgage market clearing the sector just two years ago after a probe by the BBC's Money Programme claimed to uncover malpractice.
John Charcol managing director Ray Boulger says the buy-to-let market will, undoubtedly be boosted after A-Day but the real question is by how much.
Perhaps the industry needs a little bit of Dutch courage in its dealings with the regulator.
By the middle of last week, it was beginning to look as though stockmarkets around the world were prepared to hand back the gains made earlier during the year due to hurricane Rita.
European smaller companies are an attractive asset class to own because of the much higher growth rates achieved by some smaller companies compared with their bigger rivals. This is my biased view as a fund manager in this asset class but a view which I am happy to back with my own savings. The marketing messages you keep hearing about undiscovered smaller companies offering higher rewards to stockpickers are true.
Identity theft is the major new crime of the decade. In just a few years, it has gone from being virtually unheard of to being a big issue which is seriously undermining many consumers' attitude towards more efficient methods of working.
Multi-manager Investment Manager Selection is entering the corporate pension market through its acquisition of MM Asset Management from Threadneedle.
Sorry, I know what I am about to comment on happened a couple of weeks ago but I really had to come back to this topic, if only because of the utterly mendacious way in which the Government has chosen to treat the issue.
Those villified for selling the plans may feel aggrieved. They might suggest that morally the FSA shares some of the blame and argue that to assess the marketing material requires an understanding of how the plans worked. However this is probably academic. The FSA did not have the power to strike out this sort of plan at the time.
If an IFA uses a provider's marketing material to endorse and promote a product and it is later found to be flawed, who should pay compensation if a client makes a claim for poor advice?
Matrix Money ManagementIncome & Growth VCT
Accountability is a funny thing. Everyone recognises it is a good thing, yet few people rush toward it with open arms.
MGM Assurance believes a multi-manager approach could help restore confidence in the with-profits market.
IFAs who steer clear of healthcare cover are missing a decent chance to strengthen their offering and increase the lifetime value of their clients.
Mortgage Express managing director Tim Dawson has been celebrating the 10th birthday (of sorts) of the specialist lending arm of Bradford & Bingley.
House price inflation has far outstripped the rate of increase in wages and borrowers have been looking to step outside the traditional income multiples.
Prime minister Koisumi's landslide victory in the Japanese general election means there should be a continuing period of stability. Corporate restructuring, deregulation and the growing strength of the underlying economy, along with a pick-up in domestic demand, are indications of positive returns on Japanese shares. Furthermore, the Japanese stockmarket looks cheaper than most other markets and its prospects are still not fully factored into stockmarket valuations.
New StarCautious Portfolio
Travel is meant to broaden the mind and, as I near the end of my annual pilgrimage to the US for the Financial Planning Association's annual conference, I thought I should share my reflections.
Premier Fund ManagersUK Growth Plan - Limited Editions No 28
Brokers are concerned by research showing that 35 per cent of borrowers on short- or medium-term mortgage rates are not planning to remortgage when their current deal expires.
The fact that we have such an array of multi-managers to choose from should be seen as an advantage for advisers but is it?
The FSA found a mixed picture on sub-prime mortgage compliance. What more needs to be done by providers, advisers and the regulator to ensure a fair and safe playing field?
As many column inches have been written about sickness absence in UK businesses as solutions have been offered to the problem. As many companies offer bonuses for good attendance as deduct pay for the first few days of absence.
The Mortgage WorksThree Year Fixed Buy-To-Let
Offset mortgage business is growing but there is uncertainty among many people in the industry over who these products are suitable for.
Treating Customers Fairly - is it a catchphrase or a reality with providers? IFAs have no choice but to treat customers fairly if we want any sort of long-term relationship. The client has to believe we are treating them fairly and operating in their best interests. But I do not get the same feeling from providers over whether they care about long-term relationships with their customers and certainly it looks as if some pay lip-service to treating customers fairly while in reality doing ...
Woolwich Plan ManagersAccelerated Growth Plan - Issue 8
Woolwich Plan ManagersCapital Plus Plan 9