2 February 2017

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Under the bonnet of fund research agencies: Dynamic Planner

We continue our series profiling the main UK fund research agencies with a look at Dynamic Planner. Dynamic Planner is a popular risk profiling and financial planning service offered by Distribution Technology. However, its fund ratings, which are available only to licensed users, are not as well known. Indeed, the ratings part of the service […]

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John Glencross: What EISs and VCTs can bring to a retirement portfolio

Enterprise investment schemes and venture capital trusts have increasingly become part of the retirement planning conversation over recent years. Why? Because since 2011, pensions have been subjected to almost yearly cuts to the amount of tax relief they provide. These measures have targeted high net worth individuals in particular. New restrictions have ranged from the […]

Chris Gilchrist: Why can’t we just call a sale a sale?

The provision of advice used to be a business. It involved selling products to clients. Almost all advisers and bank-owned wealth managers used this business model in the 1980s and 1990s. The RDR in 2013 mandated a switch to a model where advisers received ongoing revenues from clients, and they have slowly moved to providing […]

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Stephanie Flanders: Bond prices have met their enemy

Last year will be remembered for its political upsets. For investors, it will probably also go down as the year when global deflation fears came to an end, long-term interest rates finally started to rise and central banks stopped being the only game in town. Politics and policy will dominate the headlines again this year […]

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Ian McKenna: The robo-adviser that lives up to the hype

A recent study by Accenture of more than 3,000 UK consumers found 74 per cent would now be prepared to use a robo-type service to choose investments. One in four people saw the impartiality of an automated solution as a key benefit. Noticeably, this increased to nearly one in three (32 per cent) for people over […]

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US mid-caps’ time to shine

Global financial markets were weighed down by the uncertainty around the outcome of the US presidential elections for the latter half of 2016. Then, the shock: Donald Trump’s victory. US equity markets have been on a high ever since, with the S&P 500 index gaining almost 5 per cent in US dollar terms. Even rising […]

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Apfa boss talks tackling compensation culture

The FCA published its long-awaited review of funding for Financial Services Compensation Scheme levies just before Christmas. Underlying the wide range of proposals is an encouraging recognition that the current system is neither sustainable nor fair. However, it lacked attention to an issue of utmost importance: the level of compensation. The FCA is right to […]

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Richard Parkin: MPAA cut is bad news for good savers

It is often the case with tax policy that the good guys get clobbered in an effort to stop the minority of those who exploit the rules in a way that was not intended. And so it is for the proposed money purchase annual allowance reduction from £10,000 to £4,000 per annum. Its aim is […]

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How to invest in a post-truth, post-Trump world

Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 word of the year was “post-truth”. Its definition – circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping opinion than emotion or personal belief – renders it an obvious choice for the politically charged year that was. For investors, however, the pertinent question is how facts versus sentiment will influence markets […]

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Steve Bee: Are we nearing the final days for pensions?

I have been working in the pensions industry for almost five decades now. In that time, I have been witness to a great deal of upheaval in what seems like an unnecessarily ever-changing sector. That said, I honestly do not think I have ever encountered such a strong feeling of hopelessness as that which currently engulfs […]

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Alistair Cunningham: Time to shake up adviser directories

We have built a business around making it easy for existing clients to refer our firm to others. That said, we still receive a reasonable level of enquiries from external sources. One aspect of this is online adviser directories. However, the return on our investment there has been dwindling over the years. I have devoted […]