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Why are providers so optimistic?

With very few exceptions, the major product providers in the insurance and investment world are reporting impressive results, with increased sales and optimistic forecasts for the future.

We all know that pension business is dramatically down. Executive pensions to a large extent, FSAVCs and even personal pensions are becoming a memory. If pension business is being written, then it is stakeholder – and we know that, according to all the surveys, the sales of stakeholder plans are disappointing.

Endowments are also now frowned upon and therefore endowment sales must also have plummeted. There has been no attempt to hide the dramatic decrease in Isa and unit trust sales by many of the investment companies.

My question is simply this – is Enron-style accounting solely responsible for the continued optimistic reporting and forecasting or am I missing something?

John Stillitz

JS Independent Financial Services, Edgware, Middlesex

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