20 April 2017

The key pitfalls to watch for on suitability

The FCA’s recent suitability review highlights an improvement in terms of client recommendations. But firms cannot afford to get complacent, with the results also showing that evidencing suitability remains an issue for many. As well as ensuring a comprehensive audit trail and clear, jargon-free reports, other areas should be considered to ensure regulatory expectations are […]

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How to manage change, priorities and best practice

I recently wrote about the importance of sharing best practice and the events we run to help advisers generate ideas. Although there is some structured CPD available, the majority of the agenda is driven by the attendees themselves. At the start of every meeting, each attendee gets the opportunity to highlight some of the challenges they […]

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How to leave a legacy for vulnerable adults

Tom has three adult children, one of whom, Mary, has learning difficulties. He has approached his adviser because he is concerned about making gifts to her in his lifetime and how he should leave her a legacy on his death. He wants to make sure she is suitably provided for. The solution The adviser informs […]

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Top 10 tips to being a good leader

There is something about seeing sunshine for the first time after months of winter that revs up the mood and makes us more mentally sharp and open-minded. Thus, spring feels like a natural point in time for a new plan, a fresh start; for new beginnings or just a good old spring clean. By way […]

Tony Wickenden: Need to know tax strategies on extracting profits

Last week I looked at Government action in relation to the consequences of generating earnings/profits via employment, self-employment (including partnerships and LLPs) and private limited companies. Now I want to focus on the tax changes that will need to be taken into account in determining the optimum strategy for available funds generated through profitable endeavour. Of […]


Making the jump from coaching to mentoring

A few years ago, I unintentionally mentored two people. I made a conscious effort to mentor a third after that. I found it an extremely rewarding experience. But looking back, I think I might have confused coaching with mentoring. Professional coaches and mentors distinguish between the two as follows: coaching involves a shorter-term strengthening of an […]


How should advisers attract and train new talent?

Courses and training schemes aimed at bringing new talent into an industry can only do so if they generate enough interest to make them viable. Earlier this year, the University of South Wales closed its BSc Financial Planning, Investment and Risk degree course to new applicants because demand was lower than expected. Financial planning degrees […]


Robert Reid: FAMR has been hijacked by personal agendas

When my late parents retired, one of their favourite TV shows was Countdown. I was reminded of it following the report from the Financial Advice Market Review’s working group, released earlier this month. The conundrum as to the best way to ensure people recognise regulated advice may as well have been determined using a special […]

The big interview: AJ Bell chief on easing the pain of re-reg

“The time to mend the roof is when the sun is shining.” That is AJ Bell co-founder and chief executive Andy Bell’s message to advisers considering migrating assets to a new platform. There are two approaches to migrating assets. Some advice firms do re-registrations as an industrial process; others do it as part of their […]

Alistair Cunningham

Alistair Cunningham: Advisers will stop fools rushing into decisions

That advisers are undervalued will come as no surprise to readers and this concerning trend is only likely to increase in the age of the dangerous fools. The fool comes in many forms but all share a few common features: they over-simplify complex concepts, make reckless assumptions and devalue proper advice. Robo-advisers are the first […]


John Lawson: Why we need multiple pension dashboards

The UK’s pension dashboard is progressing nicely. Seventeen providers and technology firms are on board, the Treasury and the Association of British Insurers are supporting, and a prototype has already been delivered. That said, a complete working dashboard is still some way off. It is unlikely any of us will be able to log in […]