Alistair Cunningham


Alistair Cunningham: Time to end tax meddling

As a result of incessant tinkering by previous chancellors, our tax system is more complex than ever before. Successive changes have added more reliefs, created tax traps for the unwary and, in many cases, introduced perverse incentives not to earn. The High Income Child Benefit Charge is one of the earlier examples of such poor […]

Alistair Cunningham

Alistair Cunningham: Chartered status has been cheapened

I was one of the first to be granted chartered financial planner status, but I wonder what the future is for the accolade. The Personal Finance Society does not seem overly concerned about erosion of the title, seemingly allowing its abuse with impunity. There have been high-profile incidents of more than one chartered financial planner […]

Alistair Cunningham: Drilling down into capacity for loss

Assessing clients’ capacity for loss requires a different conversation to risk tolerance but advisers’ views on digging deeper will vary. Risk profiling questionnaires have significant issues and we use them as part of a far broader discussion of the investment risk someone is willing and able to take. Capacity for loss is a related but […]


Alistair Cunningham: Where are all the good conferences and events?

Good events are becoming increasingly hard to find. There are several reasons for this, and the prospects of the situation improving in the near-term look bleak. Technical sessions from providers have been drying up – I assume for fear of being deemed to break FCA inducement rules. I fondly remember the pensions education sessions with […]


Alistair Cunningham: Charging biases need addressing

We are all fallible humans, each with a complex set of biases influenced by our past experiences and other incentives available to us. Contingent charging is an area where this bias is at its most extreme. But although it has been called for by some, I would not ban the model. The problem could well […]

Alistair Cunningham

Alistair Cunningham: Advisers will stop fools rushing into decisions

That advisers are undervalued will come as no surprise to readers and this concerning trend is only likely to increase in the age of the dangerous fools. The fool comes in many forms but all share a few common features: they over-simplify complex concepts, make reckless assumptions and devalue proper advice. Robo-advisers are the first […]