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Proof positive

I enjoyed and endured a recent appointment in equal measure. My clients are a 65 and 60-year-old couple running short of finances to finalise the refurbishment of their home. I had been working with them for three weeks before I met with them to answer their last questions and complete paperwork.

They were happy with my recommendation and ready to proceed, subject to checking they could trust me. Unbeknown to me, they had no trust in my profession.

They asked me to describe in substantial detail each of my qualifications. There were then lots of questions. Eventually, after two hours of grilling, they were happy I had covered all the points well (none of which related to the recommendation I had made) and they felt they could trust me.

They signed on the dotted line but after I had covered the money-laundering requirements they asked me how I could prove I was who I said I was. I offered my driving licence photocard.

I enquired why they were so distrustful and it appears they had nothing but bad experiences of advisers – an endowment that failed to achieve what they believed it would, a pension transfer that cost them thousands and an investment adviser that had put them in precipice bonds that lost them tens of thousands.

They did not trust anyone in this profession and had spoken to 10 or so advisers before allowing me to see them. We are so distrusted that the public feel safer not to trust anyone connected with financial services.

Stephen Yates

Principal, Financial Fusion



A fund in top form

A key issue for many clients remains boosting their income. For many, this has been at least partly satisfied by holding corporate bond funds, which, after a very poor 2008, have come back quite strongly.

Neutral grounds

Last month, we released the initial findings of our third GB Investor Report based on an online survey of over 4,000 retail investors. This shows that, in May 2009, the IMA Investor Confidence index turned slightly positive, with the index indicating that investors on the whole are still neutral about putting money into new investments or increasing existing investments.

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In Focus — May 2015: private medical insurance market in Germany

Welcome to the latest edition of In Focus. In this issue, Jelf examines the private medical insurance market for employers with expatriate workforces in Germany. This includes the common challenges faced in sourcing appropriate coverage, along with a selection of available solutions. This will be of particular interest to HR/reward decision makers with employees based in Germany. It will assess the cultural norms, risks and backdrop that are relevant to organisations with expatriate staff in this location.


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