5 October 2005
A parent's work is never done as we give our children emotional and financial support throughout their early lives and after they leave university.
To be truthful, I was just a little disappointed with last week's IFA Events roadshow. The venue was great. The exhibition space was packed to the gunnels with as high a quality of contributors as you could hope for but was it my imagination or was it slightly less busy than last year? Perhaps it was the fault of the acoustics in the room in which the Investment Question Time panel session took place but the audience seemed strangely reluctant to come forward with their views.
Despite the FTSE 100's recent run, many stocks have lagged and the index averages conceal big differences in performance.
Are Ucits' rules not designed to create a single market in fund distribution across the European Union? Why have they not succeeded?
Intermediaries responding to the FSA's recent call for firms to start planning "urgently" for A-Day say they are struggling to prepare because HM Revenue & Customs is dragging its heels on publishing the final rules.
With all the commotion and noise around pension simplification's A-Day, the heralded D-Day back in June seems to fade into insignificance.
Coventry Building Society5.25% Flexx Capped Rate Mortgage
Early autumn has seen two massive hurricanes hit the US and economists have become concerned as oil prices soared. Last week, Chancellor Gordon Brown cut his forecast for 2006 economic growth from 3.5 per cent to 2.5 or less, raising concerns that recession may be on the horizon.
Global market expertise is a key driver for manager selection in multi-manager portfolios. For the discerning adviser the overwhelming focus on quantitative and qualitative manager screening techniques can be misleading to the extent that it masks weakness in the original and most important fundamentals of this investment risk management strategy.
There is no doubt that regulation for Sipps is a hot topic. The FSA does not regulate the sale of a Sipp wrapper although how long this continues remains to be seen.
The Treasury has decided to regulate Sipps but is it a year too late?
Former FSA chairman Sir Howard Davies stirred up a hornet's nest last week when he admitted that the regulator sidestepped a full pension-review-style investigation into endowment misselling because it could have meant the collapse of several major life insurers.
When watching the immortal Victor Meldrew, I often wondered what profession he had followed. On the basis of recent experiences, his life may well have been one spent as a residential property surveyor. Yes, that downtrodden and maligned species.
According to the latest figures, the volume of mortgage transactions is currently at 80 per cent of the levels this time last year. While the housing market continues to go through this current soft landing period, not only are the number of property transactions at a lower level, the amount of money being advanced is also down.
The rule for most investment trends is that institutional investors spot a new opportunity and this gradually filters down to the retail market.
MFS International UKMFS Meridian Strategic Income Fund
Multi-manager Miton Investments is looking at launching a non-Ucits retail scheme that can invest in hedge funds following its merger with Guernsey and South African-based manager Optimal Fund Management.
Aifa has embraced whole of market advisers and independent-multi-tied hybrids but pure multi-tied businesses are not to be admitted.
It may seem an unorthodox career move for a trainee priest to throw off his cassock and join the financial services industry but Prudential international sales manager Richard Leeson says his three years of training in the priesthood led to his decision that financial services was for him.
Recent studies have concluded that unemployment levels are at their lowest for 30 years.
A few months ago, a mate of mine had his 50th birthday.
The changes to the rules governing pensions, due to come into force in April 2006 on A-Day, offers a golden opportunity for the IFA industry, as a whole, to take advantage of this unique opportunity to generate new business. However, the industry must react positively to these changes and ensure that it is ready to deal with this new challenge. Too often in the past, marketing opportunities such as this have been missed and the benefits to IFAs lost.
Norwich Union sales and marketing director feels Peter Hales believes his career has come full circle after taking over the presidency of the Chartered Insurance Institute last week.
Principal Global Investors, the asset management arm of US-based Principal Financial Group, is urging multi-managers to diversify their portfolios by investing in preferred securities.
In my past few articles, I have identified and highlighted the features of collective funds investing directly in commercial property, noting in particular their applications within many portfolios.
I think the first thing which needs to be said is that it is not the payment of commission which is the problem, it is the lack of accountability.
Arate war is currently raging in the lifetime mortgage market, with fixed rates more competitive than they have ever been.
Several months ago, every single business in our industry, including the life companies, unit trust groups, banks, brokers and IFAs were offered the opportunity to comment on the enforcement procedures and workings of the regulatory decisions committee. It would appear that anyone else who felt they might like to put their oar in was also asked to comment.
The Sipp situation is rapidly descending into farce. The cowboys are jumping on the bandwagon, sensing rich pickings in promoting dubious schemes to investors who will probably live to rue the day they ever thought putting property into a Sipp was a good idea, let alone collections of banjos, swords or antique clocks.
When mortgage regulation brought around the well documented headaches of technological breakdowns, greater admin burdens and general upheaval, the impact on how mortgages would be marketed to consumers was, at the time, one of the least pressing issues.
The motives behind FSA directives to treat customers fairly are totally laudable, in the national interest and morally correct to the benefit of those companies which supply of financial products for the long term.
Millfield's decision to sell Inter-Alliance International to De Vere & Partners for 750,000 has raised question marks about the viability of the offshore market for UK IFA firms.
Wise Investments is launching an income fund of funds but is adamant it will not be overshadowed by the higher-profile introduction of New Star's cautious portfolio.