Stephen Womack

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Stephen Womack: Will it be a Happy New Tax Year?

Do not make the mistake of thinking you have time to pause for breath. After the rush of last- minute questions, applications, pension top-ups and Isa reshuffles, tax year 2016/17 is now history. Yesterday, we bid a cautious welcome to tax year 2017/18, which will bring with it fresh challenges, new numbers to commit to […]

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Stephen Womack: Advisers should stop moaning and count their blessings

Plenty of things have been winding me up this week. The ridiculous degree of complexity the lifetime and tapered annual allowances have introduced to the advice process, for example. I have just spent half an hour writing a response to a client – a hospital consultant in his early 40s – to reassure him that […]

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Stephen Womack: Training young advisers will reap rewards

Earlier this month, I spent a fascinating day as one of the judges for the Personal Finance Society’s Chartered Financial Planner awards. The judging panel quizzed those shortlisted for the individual chartered award and the representatives of the firms who made it to the final three in the chartered firm award. I have been lucky […]

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Stephen Womack: Advice is the calm amidst Brexit noise

“May you live in interesting times” is widely known as a Chinese curse. Supposedly, by wishing your enemies to war – the interesting times – you were wishing them ill. In fact, the curse is a myth. There is no equivalent Chinese saying and the “interesting times” phrase can probably be traced back to the […]

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Stephen Womack: The dangers of forcing firms to give pro-bono advice

Last month, I was lucky enough to attend the latest Personal Finance Society graduation ceremony. Held in the splendour of the City of London’s Insurance Hall, I joined more than 100 other chartered financial planners and fellows of the society to formally graduate. A word of advice for anyone invited to graduate: go. It was a memorable […]

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Stephen Womack: Osborne must listen to pension tax relief views

Treasury officials will be working overtime in the next few weeks digesting the responses to the latest consultation on pension tax relief, which closed last week. Chancellor George Osborne has asked whether today’s model of tax-free contributions and growth, then taxed pension income, is still the best way to encourage a healthy savings culture. You […]