2 June 2016

European financials are in the eye of the storm

The IA Europe ex. UK sector features a richer seam of successful active managers compared to many others. We can put this down to a variety of factors, with the breadth of opportunity across geographies and sectors being the most obvious source of market inefficiencies to capitalise upon. A decade or so ago, it became […]


Compliance and the ‘business prevention’ barrier

The two most angst ridden areas for intermediary firms are IT (principally back office systems) and compliance. If not appropriately configured and resourced, both can hold firms back from achieving their potential. In some instances, they threaten a firm’s very existence. This article focuses on the challenge of compliance but I will look at selecting […]


John Lawson: We risk a job half-done on auto-enrolment

By some measures, automatic enrolment has been a rip-roaring success. By March this year, 6.1 million people had been auto-enrolled into a pension and 110,000 employers had registered their compliance. Only 10 per cent of those enrolled had opted-out. But is this result really all that surprising? Auto-enrolment harnesses consumer inertia and the high number […]


Tony Wickenden: The options on the table for chargeable gains

Last week I looked at the consultation on the proposed change to the taxation of part surrenders and part assignments for value under life assurance policies. The need to do this has arisen from the risk of the creation of disproportionate taxable chargeable event gains occurring. While this is not a subject of huge concern […]


Mark Dampier: Blocking out the investment noise

“Events dear boy, events” was the reply ex-Prime Minister Harold Macmillan gave when asked what might unsettle him. The phase could just as equally be uttered in answer to what affects the stockmarket. Indeed, since the 2008 financial crisis it has been events that have constantly worried and undermined any investment. Markets have been rocked […]

Danby Bloch

Danby Bloch: Beware the hidden CGT liability on homes

People’s homes are mostly free of capital gains tax but there have been some changes in the last couple of years that could catch the unwary. One has been the reduction in the period for which a homeowner qualifies for CGT relief at the end of their period of ownership, even if they have left […]


Steve Bee: Knowledge is power on DB schemes

Pensions are pay. The pension fund backing a defined benefit scheme is the deferred pay of a company’s employees, ex-employees and, quite likely, retired employees. It does not belong to the company, nor does it belong to the Government. Once commonplace, DB pension schemes are now dying out in the UK. The modern trend is […]


Chris Gilchrist: Devils, deceptions and financial planning

Living in the money world can be bad for your mental health. Behavioural economic experiments show that, after participating in exercises where they have to put monetary values on things, people become less empathetic and more selfish. How much does this explain about the financial world? Financial advisers are prone to monetisis: the disease of […]