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Call: 020 8296 1799

MLP Wealth

Planning for your future

Claire Trott

More and more of my conversations with advisers are focused on those clients that have exceeded the lifetime allowance and have either not been eligible for any of the protections available at the time or have invalidated the options before they realised.

There is little the adviser can do; a problem compounded thanks to not knowing what the future holds from one week to the next, let alone in the years to come.

Three reasons firms should record client calls, regardless of Mifid II

There are commercial and compliance benefits to recording all telephone calls

The FCA’s recent policy statement on Mifid II, outlining the final rules of the regime, saw much of the confusion around conversation recording largely clarified.

Article 3 firms, including advice firms and corporate finance boutiques, now have the option to take detailed notes of a call rather than have to record it.

However, firms should consider the following wider benefits of conversation recording when evaluating whether to adopt this approach, regardless of Mifid II exemptions:

Chancellor Philip Hammond will ban pensions cold calling in the Autumn Statement next week with scammers facing fines of up to £500,000.

Under the proposed regime, all calls where a business has no existing relationship with the consumer will be forbidden. This includes scammers targeting those who are opted-in to receiving third-party communications.

The announcement follows the pensions sector getting behind a petition to ban pension cold calling that was started by Red Circle Financial Planning director Darren Cooke in September.

Helen O’Hagan, technical manager at Prudential, has produced a third article in the trust series range exploring discounted gift trusts (DGTs). These can take different forms, but in this article she looks at a ‘standard’ DGT and will cover:


W – why use a DGT

H – how to use a DGT

A – access for the settlor and beneficiaries

T – taxation of the trust

Govt confirms MPAA cut

MPAA reduction will hit retirees from 2017/18 tax year despite legislation yet to be passed

The Government has confirmed that its cut to the money purchase annual allowance will apply retrospectively from April this year, despite having yet to enact it in legislation.

Amid the election, a number of measures – including the one to reduce the MPAA from £10,000 to £4,000 – were taken out of the Finance Bill to speed its passage through Parliament.

The Government had previously said dropping the Finance Bill measures did not mean there was any change of direction on reform. However, there was confusion over whether the MPAA cut would apply for the 2017/18 tax year.

Does your portfolio need a post-Brexit makeover?

In the year since the EU referendum the pound has plunged and the stock market has soared, and many investors have enjoyed stellar gains in their portfolio as a result.

The FTSE 100 is up by more than 16pc over the past year, as companies with overseas earnings have seen their profits boosted by weaker sterling. Meanwhile, the average UK “all companies” fund has returned 28.6pc over the past year while the typical UK smaller companies fund is up by 37.9pc over that period.

While many investors will rejoice at these gains, what they may not realise is their portfolio is likely to have been thrown out of kilter by the market moves.

“Rebalancing” your portfolio is something you should do once or twice a year, experts say.

Cashing in your final salary pension?

Incredibly generous offers made to people with “final salary” pensions have convinced thousands of savers that swapping the guaranteed income offered by these schemes for a cash lump sum is the right thing to do.

Such sky-high “transfer values” are one reason savers are transferring out of these schemes, which also go by the name of "defined benefit" pensions. Flexibility over how you can use your money, including passing unused cash on to the next generation, is a further appeal of transfers to “defined contribution” pensions.

But making the decision to transfer is only the first step.

People who take financial advice '£40,000 better off'

For the affluent & on smaller incomes

People who receive either independent or restricted financial advice are on average £40,000 better off than their unadvised peers, research by the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK) has found. 

The research, supported by Royal London, found those who received financial advice between 2001-2007 had accumulated "significantly more" liquid financial assets and pension wealth than their unadvised counterparts by 2014.

The report ‘The Value of Financial Advice' examined the impact of financial advice on two groups - the ‘affluent' and the ‘just getting by'.

The affluent group was formed of a wealthier subset of people who were also more likely to have degrees, be part of a couple, and be homeowners. The 'just getting by' group was made up of less wealthy people with lower levels of education, be single, divorced or widowed, and renting.

The research analysed data from 5,000 people and households across the UK.

South West Thames Kidney Fund

Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

I am raising funds for what is commonly known as the silent killer. My wife was fortunate enough to have received a live donation from her sister 5 years ago. All is currently still good and the new kidney is functioning well with 3 monthly check ups at Guys Hospital. My wife is physically fit and goes to the gym twice a week. So life has been restored to a normal life compared with having to go on dialysis 2/3 times per week.

A Sinking Ship
David Buckle 09 June 2017

Key points

  • Cash can be viewed as the most expensive asset as negative real interest rates continue to destroy its purchasing power.
  • Therefore, asset allocators should resist the temptation to invest in cash in the medium term.
  • Central banks must address the impact of this ultra-easy monetary policy.

Should interest rates still be at emergency levels?

Cash is not king. In fact, I think cash is the least attractive asset class at the moment and most strategic asset allocations should avoid it. For sure, many asset classes are expensive now, but I argue none more so than cash. To make my case, I ask a simple question:

“Is it acceptable for a public institution to reduce a population’s standard of living over the course of a decade or longer?”

This question is directed at the world’s big central banks: the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, and the Bank of England amongst others. To be clear, I hold these institutions in high regard for their rapid and decisive response to the global financial crisis of 2008, which doubtlessly averted an even more serious outcome. Yet, a decade on, should we still be at emergency levels of interest rates?

Central bankers could retort:

“Why not, what’s the downside? Economic theory warns that an interest rate set too low can cause long term inflation; if there is little sign of excess inflation, why raise rates?”

Equity release


Equity release is growing in popularity across the UK as more and more homeowners over 55 look to access some of the wealth tied up in their property. As house prices have increased, so has the amount of equity in your home. Now could be the perfect time to see how much equity you could release from your home, and how you could use that tax-free cash. So why should you consider releasing equity from your home?

Five reasons Emmanuel Macron’s EU love-in cannot last

Emmanuel Macron has vowed to “turn a new page” on Europe after a decade of crisis and stagnation in which Eurosceptic sentiment has been on the rise, both in France and around the continent.

On the campaign trail, the young president-elect has promised to rebuild the links between the European Union and its citizens, both economically and politically.

He has promised a “Buy European Act” and EU ‘citizens conventions’ - and supports EU-wide constituencies for the European Parliament.

Here, with the help of leading analysts, EU diplomatic sources, and Mr Macron’s own policy guru Jean Pisani-Ferry, we look at five obstacles that lie between Mr Macron and the realisation of his new European dream.

€100bn Brexit bill is ‘legally impossible’ to enforce, European Commission’s own lawyers admit

A massive €100bn Brexit bill is "legally impossible" to enforce, the European Commission’s own lawyers have admitted.

The Telegraph has seen minutes of internal deliberations circulated by Brussels’s own Brexit negotiating team, which had warned against pursuing the UK for extra payments.

But member states appear to have ignored the Commission's own advice by demanding €100bn (£85bn) from the Government, a sharp hike in the original demand of €60bn.

The inflated bill deepened the rift between Brussels and Downing Street. A leaked report of a Downing Street dinner with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker accused Theresa May of living in “another galaxy”, prompting the Prime Minister in turn to accuse EU politicians and officials of seeking to disrupt the General Election.

Why will no one help me cash in my pension?

Savers are being thwarted from cashing in their “final salary”-style pensions because financial advisers are refusing to work with them over fears of compensation claims.

Millions of people with final salary pensions, where income is based on salary and length of service, have the right to move their savings into other pension arrangements.

Thousands have chosen to do this because, while the schemes offer guaranteed, inflation-linked income paid by their former employers, they do not allow lump sum withdrawals and are less tax efficient on death. The terms that savers are offered are often very generous.

Drip-feed investing: does it really work?

Deciding when to invest is one of the most important decisions investors face. One universal rule is not to try to time the market, as choosing the wrong moment can prove costly in the long run.

A £10,000 investment in the FTSE All-Share in 1986 would have grown to £36,752 by the end of 2015 if it was left invested for the entire period. 

However, missing the 10 best days of the market in that period cuts that return almost in half, dropping it to £19,888, according to JP Morgan Asset Management.

The conventional way to avoid market timing issues is to invest regularly, “drip feeding” money in, rather than investing in one-off chunks.

Limitations when combining property and pensions

Many times we hear “my property is my pension”, where people are talking about their home or buy-to-let portfolio, but combining property and pensions can achieve greater tax efficiency.

First, the money used to buy the property will have received tax relief on it; this makes saving for the property a lot easier, especially if employer contributions are involved. The employer contributions will have received corporation tax relief, which can be a real benefit for owner-managed firms. 

On the purchase of the property the usual taxes apply, such as stamp duty land tax and VAT, although in many cases the VAT can be reclaimed by the pension scheme.

The real benefit comes when the rental money is received into the pension scheme, as it is tax free rather than subject to income tax if it has been received personally. 

These funds can be used to pay off a mortgage if there is one, or to build up additional funds for retirement and invested accordingly. If and when the property is sold, there will be no capital gains tax to pay on the increase in value.

DB pension transfers worth more than houses

Defined benefit transfers are regularly topping 40 times the value of their annual entitlement, making them many members' most valuable asset, according to Drewberry Wealth.

Neil Adams, head of pension planning at the firm, said record transfer values - a result of low bond yields - meant many people's pensions were now worth more than their houses.

"I’ve recently had clients come across my desk with pension transfer values in excess of 40 times their annual entitlement from the scheme," Mr Adams said.

"If you’re in a final salary scheme, in today’s environment it’s definitely worth calculating how much your final salary pension could be worth if you decide to leave.

Vouchedfor IFA

VouchedFor has revealed the UK’s most well-liked IFAs, based on those with the highest number of positive reviews from clients on its website.

Taking the top spot was Anthony Villis, managing partner at London-based First Wealth, who secured the most favourable feedback to pull away from the rest of the top IFAs with positive reviews within the last two years.

Advisers had to receive at least 28 reviews of 4 stars or more to qualify for entry in the list of top 250 UK advisers. They were also required to be using VouchedFor’s paid-for service, Professional Plan.

Relatives buy homes

A mortgage that enables families to raise funds from their existing property to help relatives buy a home has been launched by Nationwide.

The family deposit mortgage is available to family members who want to help their children onto the property ladder, as well as home movers and those wishing to help older parents to move. 

New borrowers can choose from a two-year fixed rate, five-year fixed rate and two-year tracker rate mortgage deals with a £999 fee or no fee, available direct from Nationwide or through brokers.

Hour Glass

Financial advisers predict they will, on average, continue to receive defined benefit pension transfer enquiries for a further nine years.

According to research carried out by Investec, which involved 108 advisers, two thirds of those surveyed expect client enquiries about transfers from DB to defined contribution schemes to increase over the next 12 months, with almost one fifth expecting a significant increase.

Only 2 per cent of advisers surveyed expected a fall in enquiries.

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