Maria Merricks

Features Editor


Tim Sargisson: Why the tables are turning for small advice firms

Back in May, I wrote about the pressures building in advice firms due to a shortage of highly skilled staff and the consequent costs in recruiting. With Apfa research finding profits from retail investment advice fell 16 per cent between 2014 and 2016, I thought businesses faced a worrying future. But last month’s FCA Data […]


Phil Young: A word of warning on VCTs and EISs

As we approach tax year-end and with pension tax allowances continuing to shrink, I have noticed an increased interest in alternative income tax relief investments such as enterprise investment schemes/seed enterprise investment schemes and venture capital trusts. But while these products can be the right recommendation, they should not be seen as the next-in-line investment […]


Garry Heath: Let’s put a stop to all the FCA consultations

For the last 18 months, we have been concentrating on what is wrong with the current regulatory system. Now, we are asking the following question; what happens next if the FCA fails? Next year will be the 30th anniversary of financial services regulation. In that time, the sector’s representatives have been bombarded by a myriad […]


Campbell Edgar: Cracking the suitability code

One of the mantras for playing a good bridge hand is, where necessary, always count trumps. Recent “Trump” cards being played, together with Brexit negotiations, have been a distraction from the game in hand. In the real, regulatory world, most firms are concerned that an inadvertent rule breach could put their business in jeopardy, causing […]

Paper mountain 010514.jpg

Campbell Edgar: The simpler route to CFP

The new year is a time for resolutions, with many advisers making promises about what they want to achieve in the coming 12 months. Since this time last year, we have had a Brexit referendum, an increased focus on globalisation and, much closer to home, a simplified pathway to becoming an accredited certified financial planner […]

My three big calls: Barings’ Christopher Mahon  

Despite the jitters of the last few weeks, low interest rates are here to stay. One can quibble about whether the Fed will hike in December but ultimately it is going to go slow. Elsewhere – say in the UK, Europe and Japan – central banks continue cutting rates. The fact of the matter is […]


Sam Rees-Adams: The importance of doing nothing

Many years ago I taught a boy who regularly complained his mind was full and he could not learn any more. Funnily enough, his mind always seemed to become full when he was asked to do something he did not want to do. He was a modern day Hamlet, seemingly aware of the danger of […]