10 December 2015

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Dennis Hall: Why the City still holds sway

After living and working in Central London since 1992 I have decided to ‘go west’ and live in Exeter. My business is still largely London focused so I make the journey back to the capital each week, staying for a couple of days at a time. It is a good compromise for me and the […]

Mike Aldridge: First-time buyers are the protection priority

It is regularly cited that around 50 per cent of all protection sales are linked in one way or another to a property transaction. With this in mind, you would be forgiven for expecting the recently announced stamp duty increases for buy-to-let properties, coupled with the cuts to landlords tax relief being phased in, to […]

Richard Parkin: The conflict at the heart of UK pensions policy

There was an audible sigh of relief from the industry after the Autumn Statement, as we made it through without any fundamental reform of pension rules. Aside from the state pension, the only other mention of note was that the Chancellor will align the increases to the automatic enrolment minimum contribution levels due in October […]

Paul Kennedy: The central role of tax in investment planning

While investment performance is generally depicted in terms of gross return, tax habitually dictates what part of that return ends up in the investor’s pocket. Clearly, the investor’s spending possibilities are constrained to the return after tax and one might argue it is this that counts. Investing in a great performing fund in a tax-inefficient […]

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Stephanie Flanders: Is the tide about to turn for commodities?

Domestic equities have long been the most important asset in UK investors’ portfolios and there is little sign of that changing. However, the peculiar structure of the UK market makes it surprisingly difficult for index investors to actually get exposure to the UK economic recovery. Invest in the FTSE 100 today and you are likely […]

Nick Bamford: The importance of common sense

“When a client engages you to do their financial plan they pretty much expect it to be delivered there and then.” These were the words of a consultant we saw recently to help us review the systems and processes we use to deliver financial plans to clients. The advice was very apt as we were staggered to learn our […]


Malcolm Kerr: Wearable tech will shake up UK protection market

The way in which the UK insurance industry assesses risk has been slowly evolving from pretty basic pricing models to something a little more sophisticated over the past 20 years. For example, enhanced and impaired annuity rates designed to reflect the life expectancy of specific consumer segments are now commonplace, and term insurance products promising better rates […]


Neil Liversidge: Why I never trust management consultants

I always admired the late Lord Weinstock. When he retired from General Electric Company the Financial Times gave him a couple of pages to pass on his accumulated wisdom to anyone aspiring to emulate him. One observation I recall him making was, “Every penny we ever spent on consultants was a complete waste of money.” When […]

Steve Billingham: The secret to client engagement

Nailing client engagement can be tricky at the best of times but it is particularly challenging in the world of financial advice. Most advisers are looking to hold on to the profitable clients they already have while also generating leads for new prospects. So how do you get existing and potential clients to engage with their financial […]


Stranded: Govt urged to bring self-employed into auto-enrolment

Pensions experts are calling on the Government to avert a savings disaster by bringing self-employed workers into automatic enrolment. The reforms require every employer to enrol staff in workplace pensions by 2018 but exclude people earning less than £10,000, the under-22s, those over state pension age, and people without an employer. At the same time, […]