21 January 2016

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Wading through the qualifications alphabet soup

Now the Institute of Financial Planning has been merged into the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, most financial planners are getting used to the new norm. The CISI is a very different beast to the good old IFP. Not necessarily better or worse, just different. And that takes some getting used to. One issue […]


Carl Lamb: Isn’t it time the FCA caught the outlaws?

It is a sad fact that there are still crooks and incompetents out there in our industry creating financial mayhem with their clients’ money. Just last month we had headlines in our local press about an IFA firm near Norwich. The two principals of the firm were arrested and were being questioned by the police […]


AJ Bell: We need to wake up to secondary annuity threat

Let’s imagine the Tardis existed outside Saturday night television. That we really had the option of travelling back in time, perhaps just three years or so to a point where neither the pension freedoms nor the possibility of once-in-a-lifetime reforms to tax relief on pension contributions were considered as anything more than a remote possibility. […]


David Shelton: Where craft beer and wealth management collide

In many markets there is a continuing debate about the structure of the relevant sector, and the merits of large and small enterprises. Typical issues centre on which are the most profitable, when all the small firms will disappear, the market power of the larger businesses, and so on. The advice market is no exception, […]

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton: A lesson in competent advice

Late last year, a High Court judge dealt with a claim by a 95-year-old widow for  damages against Zurich Assurance Limited and Zurich Advice Network (Zurich) for failing to advise her on how to mitigate her potential inheritance tax liability on a substantial inherited portfolio. The facts were that the claimant Mrs Lenderink-Woods was born […]

Robin McDonald: Brace for turbulent bond markets this year

As 2016 gets under way, we observe a US central bank desperate to move away from zero rates without distressing financial markets; an international economy trying to digest a stronger US dollar; a corporate sector that has engaged in aggressive financial engineering, issuing huge volumes of low-yielding debt to retire large volumes of equity; global […]


Ian McKenna: Give in to the rise of the robots

In a recent study, 41 per cent of those surveyed said they believed obtaining financial advice would be a good way to use artificial intelligence.  The research by Ericsson ConsumerLab further identified one-third would trust the fidelity of an AI interface more than a human for sensitive matters. The study also highlighted that consumer adoption […]


Neil Liversidge: Quest for perfection makes advice unaffordable

We all moan about the FCA, the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. But in reality the problems of regulation, high costs and all, are symptoms. The root causes are economics, the law of the land and politics. I have always been grateful for the fact that, as a teenager, I could […]


Is Pension Wise scaring users away from drawdown?

Data published by the FCA appears to show Pension Wise sessions could be pushing people away from entering drawdown contracts in favour of annuities and cash withdrawals. This month the regulator released figures collected during Q3 2015 on how savers are accessing their pensions. It includes data on whether savers who go into drawdown or […]

Nick Bamford: Pension freedoms are still a work in progress

Before we know it, we will be celebrating the first year of pension freedoms. It has been an interesting experience for regulators, providers, advisers and clients alike. Certainly, most advisers will have experienced an almost unprecedented level of interest from consumers excited by the prospect of taking their pension fund and doing with it exactly […]