6 February 2008
Conservative shadow chancellor George Osborne has urged Alistair Darling to introduce the £25,000 flat rate non-dom tax proposed by the Tories and abandon the £30,000 charge he announced in his pre-budget report.
AbbeyThree-Year Stepped Fixed Rate
Monday, January 28, was a milestone for Aifa and the IFA profession when we launched a clear, far-sighted and ambi-tious vision for the future of our profession. After months of work by a group of committed individuals from businesses across the community, Aifa unveiled its Manifesto for Advice at the Houses of Parliament.
Alliance & LeicesterBuy to Let Three Year Fixed Rate
Arc Capital & IncomeArc Fixed Income Plan 4
Bernard Henshall, head of multi-manager distribution at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, is relishing many aspects of his new job but airline breakfasts are not among them.
Wrap accounts have long been touted as the ultimate panacea for IFAs. The online administrative systems pioneered in the US and Australia, where the adviser manages all client investments under one roof, have not taken off as quickly as predicted but they are still very much in the early stage of their evolution in the UK.
A short while ago, I bumped into an old acquaintance of mine who asked if I was interested in some freelance writing work. Unfortunately, my full-time job meant that this was not possible anyway but, just out of interest, I asked how much he was he prepared to pay.
Catalyst and Stargate Capital have teamed up to offer the Catalyst Stargate enterprise investment scheme green fund.
Since last October's pre-Budget report, there have been predictions that thousands of non-domiciliaries may decide to leave the UK. This prospect has become even more likely after the draft legislation on amending the residence and domicile rules was published in January.
Collins StewartUK Focus Fund
Advisers will face “significantly lower combined regulatory costs” in 2008/09 compared to previous years, according to Aifa.
Alistair Darling has vowed to help the recovery of wholesale mortgage markets which he says are "essential to stabilising the housing market".
Six months into the credit crisis, investors are still reeling as the sub-prime contagion spreads through investment banks and other businesses. We have the continuing aftermath of the Northern Rock crisis, not to mention the fraud at SocGen and heavy losses and/or moratoriums on withdrawals from some property funds.
The FSA’s annual funding requirement for 2008/09 will increase by 6.9 per cent to £320.7m, up from £300.1m last year, meaning another fee increase for advisers.
The future of fund management firm F&C is up in the air once again after Friends Provident confirmed its intention to sell its 53 per cent stake in the firm.
Do you expect the Federal Reserve's recent rate cuts to calm market volatility?
Fidelity has launched an Asia aggressive fund under the management of David Urquhart.
Fidelity InternationalFidelity Funds European Special Situations Fund
Higher mortgage payments and the sub-prime aftershocks mean advisers could soon be facing an unprecedented volume of complaints from clients.
The top selling funds on the Skandia MultiFunds platform in January show high demand for fixed interest investments.
It is always good to witness and applaud success within our profession. The CII has seen a record increase in the number of members and Aifa has just announced its Manifesto for Advice, with ministerial support.
Foresight GroupForesight Linked Offer Top-Up
The FSA has banned Mohammed Suba Miah, a former broker at Square Mile Securities Limited, and fined him £21,000.
Fidelity FundsNetwork has prepared for the implementation of the proposals in the Retail Distribution Review by introducing a fund of funds range with different share classes for fee-based and commission-based advice.
Corporate IFAs could have something very exciting to talk to smaller employers about if early discussions between the Association of British Insurers and the Government on tax relief for small and medium-sized firms that buy health and well-being products bear fruit.
The Office for National Statistics has told the Government it must include the £26bn the Bank of England loaned to Northern Rock in its national accounts.
Hargreaves Lansdown chief executive Peter Hargreaves says the current market volatility is the worst he has ever seen during his 30 year career in the industry.
Today marked yet another victory for the 125,000 workers who lost their occupational pension schemes as the Court of Appeal found the Government guilty of misleading them.
North Investment Partners chief executive John Husselbee will not reduce the equity exposure in his City Financial funds of funds despite expectations that market volatility will continue.
The ifs School of Finance has announced it is piloting a new advanced qualification for financial advisers, the Advanced Financial Advice Module.
Funds under management in the fund of funds sector rose to £34.3bn in the fourth quarter of 2007 marking an 18 per cent increase from the same period in 2006.
January's large-scale falls followed last year's weak showing by the UK's mid-tier stocks. After a number of years of excellent returns, 2007 was tough for UK mid-caps, with the FTSE 250 finishing down by 2.5 per cent.
The letter in Money Marketing, headlined, Keep your nerve over claims, was an inaccurate account of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme's powers and practices.
This year Money Marketing is very unlikely to publish anything even remotely resembling a top 100 IFAs.
Invesco Perpetual has appointed Andrew Shard as manager on the group’s struggling US equity funds.
Investec has taken Tim Guinness off its global energy fund after deciding to take the portfolio in-house.
The announcement on Monday that sub-prime firm Black and White was withdrawing from the regulated mortgage and insurance market caused surprise and confusion across the industry.
Higher adviser fees, above average pay rises for FSA staff and a partial U-turn on job cuts were the headlines that emerged from the regulator’s business plan last week.
Keydata has brought out issue 17 of its extra income plan, a capital-protected bond linked to two stockmarket indices.
Lawrence House Fund Managers has used the dip in equity markets as an opportunity to add the Threadneedle UK equity income fund to its equity income portfolio.
Leeds Building Society3 Year Fee Free Fixed Rate
Trade and investment minister Digby Jones has attacked plans to crackdown on non-domicile foreigners living in the UK claiming they will deter people from investing in Britain.
The UK economy is in difficulty, the US economy in greater difficulty but the wholesale money markets are broken, with the securitisation market effectively closed. "Effectively" because deals could probably be done at prices that would be unacceptable to the sellers.
Aifa's manifesto for advice is a remarkably astute, agenda setting document. It sets out rights and responsibilities for advisers and has scored a remarkable success in securing the endorsement of the minister for pensions reform Mike O'Brien.
Meteor Asset ManagementPrima Growth Plan 6
Midas is set to merge with fund management company iimia MitonOptimal.
Miton Asset Management says the consistent outperformance of its special situations fund over the last 10 years is due to long-term asset allocation without following any particular investment style or benchmark.
The ‘R’ word was everyone lips again this week after shock figures from the US sent markets into a tailspin.
Neptune has denied reports that it is set to close its £200m Russia and Greater Russia fund to new business.
Norwich Union saw with profits sales increase dramatically in 2007 with sales increasing 38% to £1,208m from £878m in 2006.
It is now official. The Treasury select committee says that the FSA is guilty of "systematic failure of duty" over Northern Rock.
Do you know the joke about a guy staying in a hotel who tries to get rid of all the little bars of courtesy soap in favour of his own preferred larger size and it all goes horribly wrong, with notes being sent back and forth to managers and maids, as sarcasm turns into temper tantrums? If not, take a look at www.ahajokes.com/fp034.
Professional indemnity insurance brokers and insurers are warning that market conditions and the FSA's spotlight on mortgage advice mean that PI premiums could soar for some mortgage advisers.
As ever, Nick Bamford makes many good points in his lengthy response to my letter about the need to be prepared when it comes to justifying CAR.
Skipton Building SocietyBase Rate Tracker Capped 5.99%
Russian shares, along with the rest of world markets, have fallen heavily despite the economy being in excellent shape and its stockmarket having considerably lower price/ earnings ratios than the UK, US and European markets.
Scottish Widows Investment PartnershipSwip European Income Fund
Venture capital trust fund-raisings have continued to fall from the heady sums achieved during the bumper years of 2003-06 and investors could be forgiven for thinking that these investment vehicles have had their day.
Customer agreed remuneration should be exempt from VAT, regardless of whether the adviser is paid a straight fee, a fee deduction or a commission from the product, says Skandia.
Smith & Williamson Tax Efficient SolutionsCountry & Food Dining EIS Fund
Volatility is likely to be the keyword as unpredictable markets continue to grab headlines.
For Christmas, the family kept me quiet with two autobiographies - one by Jools Holland and one by Eric Clapton. The latter made me recognise that Eric was totally committed to his craft despite his volatile state of health in his most formative period.
Tele-interviewing firm MorganAsh has announced an impressive 2007, claiming it increased its interview rate and capacity by 250 per cent.
Last week, I started to look at corporate investment in the wake of the extension of the loan relationship rules to companies which invest in investment-based life insurance policies - another fundamental change introduced in the name of simplification.
A growing number of unregulated sale and rent-back schemes promise a quick sale of a home at less than market value.
One of the pleasures of this business is the buzz you can get from the atmosphere on a trading floor. The newsrooms of daily journals and broadcasters can deliver a similar adrenaline rush to the news junkie. I have been fortunate to spend time in both during my career.
So far, 2008 has been very busy for protection in more ways than one. The FSA's new Icob rules came into effect, albeit with a requirement to only implement the changes within a six-month period. Whether the new rules are welcome or not very much depends on a number of factors, not least of which is the product areas you operate in.
I have been talking to an adviser about my investment portfolio. He has mentioned forwards, futures and options and, in particular, a managed futures fund. Can you explain the difference between these products and how any of them might be of benefit to me?
First State star manager Angus Tulloch has passed the management of his two global emerging funds to Jonathan Asante.
GLG, which runs Virgin Money's new climate change fund, has responded to adviser criticism of the product by claiming it is a progressive step in the market.
Leading fund manager Neil Woodford has forecast that UK house prices will fall by 8 to 10 per cent this year. In an investment analysis from Invesco Perpetual, he predicts that consumers will start reining in their borrowing and spending. He says a correction in house prices will begin to bring the house price/earnings ratio back to a more healthy level.
Woolwich10 Year Fixed Rate