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From another planet

I was interested to read Terrence O” letter (Money Marketing, April 29).

I have read his odd letters over the years and have refrained from providing comment but his latest suggests he is firmly upon another planet as far as the debacle of with-profits is concerned.

Sadly, it would appear that Mr O’ continues to reflect the ignorant naivete of the average insurance salesman who began to realise that things were turning rather bad a decade or so ago.

There are so many unfortunate conclusions about the whole episode of endowment policy sales (for example, the abject failure of the vast majority of policies to persist beyond four years), let alone the obscene commission and cost/profit levels on them, the evolving negative tax implications of with-profits funds (especially compared with better developing alternatives) and the absolute lack of transparency, overall issue which have destroyed the honourable intentions of numerous insurance societies established centuries ago.

Mr O’ would be wisely guided towards the numerous alternative investment opportunities which have been available for decades now, becoming better and more suitable as the years have progressed even though the one-size-fits-all endowment sale would appear to remain unchallenged by the with-profits zealot.

May I suggest that some training along side someone with a different perspective, such as Ned Cazalet, may save Mr O’ from an ongoing barrage of client complaints in the future. We owe our clients the best advice we can deliver based upon thorough under-standing of the underlying products and their appropriateness and our ongoing opportunity to review these. We must stop trying to kid our clients but first perhaps some people must stop kidding themselves.

Philip Milton
Philip J Milton & Co,Barnstaple, Devon

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