View more on these topics


This year, more than ever, seems to have passed by in a blur and there is the normal mad scramble in the run-up to Christmas.

Hopefully, this year the flexible plastic will be spared a little with some of the windfall cash remaining among the many who have benefited this year, despite the recent market volatility.

For others, the old adage of "another year older and deeper in debt" rings true and it is the issue of debt that I want to look at.

I have recently been talking to prospective new members of a group personal pension scheme that I administer and, in two cases, the issue of an outstanding student loan arose and this issue, of course, is something we will increasingly come across in years to come.

In both cases, loans had been taken to the maximum levels and, although individuals have good jobs, their income levels are below the threshold where a repayment holiday is permitted, thus deferring even further the day when these loans catch up with individuals and have to be repaid.

Strangely enough, as part of life&#39s rich tapestry, many individuals want to put down some roots and possibly get married not all that long after leaving university and these same people are then looking for additional sources of finances to set up home.

Many of us, no doubt, have memories of stretching out finances, which is always a delicate balancing act in the early years of homeownership.

We thus have a position that is only going to escalate, where individuals with lim ited means are left with one outstanding debt to deal with while at the same time req uiring other additional mon ies to set up home and so on.

With the number of students at an all-time high, the likelihood of them all finding jobs with a high starting income, particularly in today&#39s climate, is exceedingly remote and one does not need to be a financial genius to recognise the problems being stored up.

I would not like to be an administrator for the Student Loans Company as it must be a nightmare having to keep track of monies advanced, particularly as the years go by and where some accounts inevitably fall into arrears.

Recently, a client told me of a conversation he had overheard among a group of students where one had borrowed a maximum of £3,000 and had managed to spend it within a month, which is hardly the best form of cash management.

This type of anecdotal evidence and the continued lack of financial education, particularly for individuals such as these who have to take responsibility for their finances straight out of school, must remain high on the agenda and it is clearly up to families, schools, colleges, consumer groups and financial advisers to ensure that the message is getting across like never before to ensure that individuals get every opportunity for help with regard to the management of personal cash.

Other than trying to eke out resources as best as possible for those already in this trap, as advisers, we are able to help parents who may want to assist with the current difficulties but, more especially, for those with younger children a few years away from higher education, there is no time like the present for suitable savings vehicles to be established.

There is no doubt that costs are escalating, perhaps more than in other areas of expenses, particularly with the charge for tuition fees proposed for next autumn.

The early stages of the financial cycles of life are difficult enough without increasing the size of the financial milestone and do not forget that these same individuals are our clients of the future.


Tilney changes name to focus on investment

Tilney & Co is changing its name to reflect its change of focus from stockbroking to fund management. The firm, which has £4.7bn in funds under management, will now be called Tilney Investment Management. The fund manager is also introducing a new blue and grey logo featuring the new company name. Chief executive John Mitchell […]

IFAA calls for radical ISA reforms

The IFA Association is calling for radical reforms of the Government&#39s Individual Savings Account proposals, calling it a “tax-efficient Christmas club”. The IFAA wants to see a minimum investment period, an annual limit of £6,000, fees for IFAs advising on transfer of Pep funds to ISAs, a limit on investment in non-European Union funds because […]

Man from the Pru says sorry on TV

Prudential chief executive Peter Davis has publicly apologised for the company&#39s role in misselling thousands of personal pensions. But Davis admits that the Pru does not know if it will meet its latest deadline for reviewing 90 per cent of its priority cases by the end of November. The startling admission and apology came in […]

Fidelity closes international bond fund

Fidelity Investments is closing its £95.6m international bond fund to new retail investment and converting it into a sub-fund of the company&#39s Oeic. Fidelity says interest in the fund from the retail sector has dropped but existing retail investors will be able to remain in the fund. The annual charge will decrease from 1 per […]

Health - thumbnail

Absence management systems gone AWOL from UK’s SMEs, reports Jelf

A quarter (23 per cent)* of the UK’s small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have an absence management system in place, according to new research from Jelf Employee Benefits. Despite 69 per cent* of organisations having a system in place, three-quarters (75 per cent) report that it is not providing them with sufficiently empowering absence or health data to inform an effective wellbeing programme.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and thought leadership.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm