How the Lifetime ISA will replace pensions, in just five easy steps


Since last July, the pensions industry had been on tenterhooks to find out the Chancellor’s decision about pensions tax relief.

Retaining the status quo seemed unlikely, so the majority of the industry backed the idea of a single rate of tax relief. However, it was widely believed George Osborne’s favoured solution was a pensions ISA – where contributions would be taxed (maybe with a bonus) and the proceeds tax-free. This would, in a single blow, save an enormous amount of money for the Treasury (some suggested £25 billion) – especially if it could figure out a way to apply it to the world of defined benefits.

5 keys to a brilliant business


Ever get the feeling there could be more for you and your business? I’m pretty sure everyone feels that from time to time.

Here’s the good news: the potential that you can see and feel in the odd quiet moment is real. It exists. It’s not a pipe dream. You can create a business that can be sold for that figure you’ve always had in your head. It’s doable.

However, like a rough diamond buried in the ground, it’s not going to reveal itself without some digging and polishing. A change every adviser and consumer needs to know about


I’ve long believed that Unbiased and Vouchedfor listings, along with an effective website, should be central to an adviser’s marketing strategy.

I still believe that to be the case, although a change on Unbiased, which will affect both advisers and consumers, troubles me.

Why you must claim your Google My Business listing


Despite the fact that it controls information about your business available online, an estimated 40% of firms are yet to claim their Google My Business (GMB) listing, according to data available in 2015.

Even if online marketing is not a focus for your firm, claiming a GMB listing is vital for protecting your information, allowing clients to get in touch with you and, if it is a focus, increasing the visibility of your firm online.

Adviser charging, the good, the bad and the ugly


Over the past few weeks a number of conversations have led me to consider how advisers charge for their services.

The majority of those conversations have been hugely positive, with advisers determined to build a profitable and sustainable business, built on the foundations of value for money and high quality on-going service.

However, a small number of the conversations are potentially extremely worrying, so in reverse order…

10 tips to help advisers get more press coverage


Being seen as an expert, whilst reducing anxiety, is the key to any marketing strategy designed to attract new clients.

Being regularly seen in the personal finance press, helps massively to achieve both of these objectives.

So, based entirely on my personal experiences, here are my top 10 tips for getting more press coverage and positioning yourself as an expert in your field.

Pension freedoms, challenges and lessons from abroad


The new legislation governing pension freedoms now provides clients with the ability to access their defined contribution pension funds once they reach 55 and have control over how those funds are used.

These changes have raised a number of challenges for clients, financial planners and investment management services. To highlight and discuss the main issues surrounding these new freedoms, Sanlam Private Wealth commissioned a report written by Dr Paul Cox from the University of Birmingham. The report focuses on the key factors that influence the post retirement generation and how to plan for income in later life.

Adviser marketing: The 7 questions I get asked most often (and the answers!)


Over the past year I’ve spoken to many advisers about their marketing.

There are some clear trends, for example, the aim of most advisers is to build a flow of new enquiries, whilst there’s no doubt that most are working to a tight budget.

The same questions keep cropping up too, so I thought I’d reveal the seven most common. Of course, that wouldn’t be the most helpful blog I’ve ever written, so I’ve included my answers too!

Six pension predictions for 2016


Even by the standards of the last few roller-coaster years, it’s fair to say 2016 is going to be jam-packed full of pension changes. And whilst we can guess the outcome of some of these, others might be more difficult to call. One thing’s for sure – it’s going to be a busy year for both you and your clients.

Here’s my top six pension predictions for 2016:

Advice Wars – Return of Commission?


Is it really credible that the Advice Review will re-introduce commission?

The RDR, as predicted, has produced an advice gap and in the wake of the Government’s flagship pension reforms, there now appears to be a rush to increase the supply of advice simply to save red faces in the Treasury.

Is this good news or not?