26 January 2017

Tony Mudd: The dubious value of probate trusts

In life, as in the microcosm that is financial services, there are examples of finely judged arguments to be had over the value of particular courses of action. Indeed, such arguments form the basis and prove the value of advice in a complex world. Where such arguments are finely balanced with advantages and disadvantages, debates […]

Mark Barnett: The sectors bouncing back from a Brexit beating

After a year of extremes and the unexpected, the road ahead for UK equity markets looks uncertain. While forecasts of systemic financial disruption as a result of the EU referendum have proven largely unfounded, the decline in sterling and UK government bond yields following the vote triggered significant rotation across sectors. Companies perceived to have […]


Stephen Womack: Advisers should stop moaning and count their blessings

Plenty of things have been winding me up this week. The ridiculous degree of complexity the lifetime and tapered annual allowances have introduced to the advice process, for example. I have just spent half an hour writing a response to a client – a hospital consultant in his early 40s – to reassure him that […]

Can housing wealth save retirement planning?

People often over-estimate their knowledge about retirement options yet lack confidence when making financial decisions. The shift from final salary to money purchase pensions and the freedom and choice reforms of 2015 have brought the issue to a head because of the extra responsibility on retirees to make rational and informed choices. Equity release is […]


Tony Wickenden: New chargeable event gain rules under the microscope

So the Government has decided not to legislate any of the three options presented in the consultation on the taxation of part surrenders and assignments under life insurance policies. Instead, it will accept an alternative proposal put forward by the industry. This would allow the small number of policyholders that inadvertently generate a “wholly disproportionate” […]


Billy Burrows: The retirement market trends to watch in 2017

Following my series for Money Marketing last year looking at the tools of the retirement advice trade, I want to move my focus now to the changing nature of the retirement income market. There are some major topics to get our heads around, including robo-advice, sustainable income levels from drawdown, the future for annuities, Brexit […]


Can the FCA regulate for a lack of morals?

The financial services world moves on apace, continually evolving and improving in terms of its reputation and value to customers. Over the next 15 months or so we will see the implementation of two significant pieces of regulatory change: Mifid II and the senior managers and certification regime. Whether these end up being contemporaneous in […]


John Lawson: New tax planning ideas for advisers

January heralds the start of tax-year-end planning. Alongside the well-established ideas, advisers should explore some new areas this year: The money purchase annual allowance: The MPAA falls from £10,000 to (a proposed) £4,000 from 6 April. Clients who want to pay in the higher amount before the tax-year end should do so now, as carry […]


Robert Reid: Paul Bradshaw – a true industry leader

We all need role models in life. Sometimes they will be friends or relatives but more often than not they are bosses or colleagues at pivotal points in our development. As well as personal role models, there are a few people that really make an impact on the sector as a whole. The recent loss […]


Where the industry is going wrong on pension projections

It is an article of faith for providers: pension illustrations are merely an indication of what a client’s pot might be worth at retirement. They are neither a promise of future value nor a comparison tool, and they are most definitely not advice. Such projections must factor in the impact of inflation and three different […]

Tom Baigrie: Meeting the protection sales challenge  

For some months now, this column has been drawing together several lines of thought on keeping protection relevant to the consumers and communities who might buy it – but mostly do not. Sales might be up right now but the long-term trend looks dismally downwards. This is only reversible if we sell policies that cause […]