For many financial planners and IFA, the day-to-day job of seeing clients comes first, as it should. This makes it difficult to keep tabs of all the debates and developments in the profession. As Paraplanners, our jobs is to make your life a bit easier and in this post we have cut through the maze to give you a summary of the relevant stuff. Click on the title to read the article in full (opens new window). So here goes…
The Lang Cat (aka Mark Polson) has been causing a bit of a stir by suggesting that advisers, not the client, should pay for platforms. Mark suggested that platforms are really a tool for advisers, not clients and as such advisers should absorb the cost of platforms themselves and incorporate the charges into their fees to clients. Needless to say, opinions differ on this and there are others who believe that transparency is key and clients should understand that they are paying for three separate elements, which should be charged separately.
Some great ideas from Tim Page of Page Russell, about some steps advisers might want to think about as part of their preparation for RDR.
- Get a credit licence: Comes handy if you need to get fees paid in installments
- Sort out your reporting systems: This one is all about MI and Record keeping, especially on risk management
- Keep a record of who you don’t serve: Shows why certain products might not be suitable for your client base
- Make your charges clear: Personalised illustration of effect of cost, possibly using reduction-in-yield figures
- Record (non-product) advice: He suggests creating a register of all advice given, not just product related ones
- Check your insurance bond fees: Facilitating ‘adviser charging’ from an insurance bond will now use up part of the 5% allowance.
This article argues that annuities and (capped) income drawdown policies have become far too similar, and radical change is needed to boost pension income. Apart from stating the obvious (annuity Vs. drawdown, fall in GAD rates etc.) and calling for a complete overhaul of the GAD system, the main policy idea was the concept of ‘Enhanced Drawdown’ suggested by Ros Altmann of Saga, who said the government should allow those who would qualify for an enhanced annuity to take more income in drawdown.
In this article, Martin Bamford points out that many property funds don’t do what they say on the tin. In his research of funds in the IMA Property Sector, only 40% of the sample (37 funds) can be regarded as ‘true’ property funds, investing the majority of their assets in real UK commercial property. The rest are largely invested in global property, shares of property companies or even global property securities. Also worrying is the fact that some ‘property’ funds hold far too much cash or near-cash assets and others are heavily exposed to retail property sector, which is currently struggling. As always, understanding the underlying asset held within fund is a key part of every investment recommendation process.
I hope you have found this really useful but let me know what you think.