It's our round-up of the stories your clients may have read in the national newspapers over the weekend...
How about this for a loophole? Get £11,000 worth of pension contributions - by contributing just £2,250! As the Telegraph explained, anyone earning between £100,000 and £150,000 can do it through the larger-than-normal tax rebates on their pension contributions. The article goes into all the technical details but the two key words are that it is all "perfectly legal".
Although it was no surprise to see an extensive piece about with-profits pensions in the Telegraph - it is bonus season, after all - there was an interesting focus on ‘smoothing out'. The paper explained how actuaries will save good returns for final bonuses to make up for losses in previous years.
However, it also suggested smoothing has been an "easy sell" for advisers, adding they have "not always worked in practice". It also pointed out advisers take up to 7.5% commission on the policies - up to £1,500 on a £20,000 investment.
It's becoming a familiar one-two punch: explain how investment trusts are outperforming their fund counterparts then detail how financial advisers are avoiding them because of the lack of commission. The Daily Mail once again went with theme, citing research which suggested investment trusts have beaten funds by a healthy margin in eight out of nine sectors, and benchmarks in seven over the past ten years. It also stated as fact that OEICs and unit trusts "are favoured by financial advisers and investment platforms due to their commission payment".
We may have been been keeping you up to date with it all here, but it seems the nationals are also paying attention to the ABI's proposed code of conduct on annuities. The Observer actually provided little detail on the code, although it did point out the huge differences in annuity rates available and what people can do to maximise their retirement income. Among the tips was to consult an IFA who, by just shopping around for a few hours, could probably make a big difference.
How far ahead should clients and advisers be looking when making investment selections? A piece in the Independent may have provided food for thought as, thinking like futurologists, it attempted to find trends for the next few decades.
One expert said ageing populations meant anything which helps them stay in their home longer could do well, while another suggested companies which facilitate the growth and creation of more food could take advantage of emerging market demand. However, as one advisers said, it is probably best not to try to be too clever.
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