Top 10 Investment Tips

The media would have you believe that a successful investment experience comes from picking stocks, timing your entry and exit points, making accurate predictions and outguessing the market. Is there a better way? It’s true that some people do get lucky by making bets on certain stocks and sectors or getting in or out at … Continued

When is a loss not a loss?

Now that Christmas has passed and a New Year has just begun, it is probably safe to admit most of us don’t actually believe in Santa Claus. However, we do tend to believe the news, and even some of what we read on the internet. As most of you know I try to avoid the … Continued

Pensions, life, the universe and everything

There are some major changes coming to pensions from April next year and there is no doubt people already in retirement or approaching retirement age will see an explosion in the options open to them. This will be complex and quite daunting for many people. Without proper advice many will struggle to make informed decisions. … Continued

No news is good news

Seriously, when was the last time you saw something positive on the news? I spent the first three days of this week at the Institute of Financial Planning annual conference almost entirely shut off from the outside world. I was able to enjoy the whole time listening to some excellent speakers and sharing ideas with … Continued

How much is financial advice worth?

Treating Customers Fairly The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has a policy that advisers must follow called Treating Customers Fairly (TCF). I actually find it worrying that something so basic even NEEDS a regulatory policy and its very own acronym. But apparently lots of advisers don’t treat their customers fairly. Surely, any reasonable adviser would want … Continued

Retirement plans are too important for rules of thumb

Financial Planning is a very personal experience and everyone’s needs are unique. This is especially true when it comes to retirement. Yes, there are some general principles that most people would do well to follow but we must check and adapted these to our own personal circumstances. ‘I’ before ‘E’ except when there’s a feisty … Continued

Women control 80% of family financial decisions

Women get a raw deal financially Women generally live longer than men. Women are often a few years younger than their spouses. Therefore, it is highly likely that most women will become widows at some point in their life. One recent article suggested that “85% of women will be left alone to fend for themselves … Continued

Who do you love?

  I never ceases to amaze me how many people appear to love the taxman more than their family. When we first meet new clients, we regularly find that their life assurance and pension benefits are arranged in such a way that the taxman stands to be the single biggest beneficiary on their death. This … Continued

The single biggest investment mistake – and almost everyone makes it

What is the single biggest investment mistake almost everybody makes? If you could pick just one thing what would it be? •    lack of diversification •    holding too much (or not enough) in shares •    over (or under) exposure to emerging markets •    perhaps holding government bonds when “everyone can see it’s a bubble waiting … Continued

The value of proper independent financial advice could be 10% each year!

There appears to be a perception that independent financial advice is expensive and unnecessary.  In a recent article in our Long And Winding Road series, B&Q and Financial Planning, I discussed the implications for independent financial advice given the rise of the DIY investor. In a recent report KPMG  highlighted a significant rise in the … Continued