It's our round-up of the stories your clients may have read in the national newspapers over the weekend...
The ABI's proposed code of conduct on the selling of annuities continues to get coverage in the money pages, with the Independent on Sunday explaining how it means insurance companies will "abandon profit-boosting pressure sales techniques to persuade pension savers to opt for poor paying annuities". The news that the code is expected to push more savers towards "independent brokers" may be encouraging, but advisers might be wary of the suggestion the Money Advice Service will also help them get the best rate.
Life cover confusion
The Sunday Express ran an interesting piece explaining the problems being faced by one couple who took out a Plan for Life scheme in 1989. They stopped the benefit option in the life insurance policy in 1997 when the amount stood at £122,711 and stopped paying premiums. But diminishing returns saw them offered just £401 to cash it in at the end of last year. They were clearly in need of some sound financial advice, with an expert quoted by the paper suggesting they divert any more premiums into an ISA.
Small name managers
Bolton, Buxton, Woodford. Outperformers to the last. But are advisers and investors missing out on lesser-known talent? The Independent on Sunday identified Threadneedle's David Dudding as one such example - his European Select fund has delivered more than 50% over the past three years. Meanwhile, Cazenove Capital Management's Julie Dean has returned 165% growth since taking over the UK Opportunities fund in 2002.
It has been hard to escape talk about with-profits investments in the past few weeks and it was the Sunday Telegraph which this time questioned whether savers should hold on or not. Quite predictably, there was no straight answer and, as one contributor explained, while some people are throwing good money after bad, others are sitting on "golden eggs". Importantly, the article did tell readers to consult an adviser before they surrender any policies.
It may be a fairly technical issue but at least one national attempted to cover the ongoing trail and legacy commission saga. The Financial Times warned that nearly two million savers will be unable to top up into their current investments because providers will be unable to deal with the FSA's new rules. However, the suggestion that clients will need to agree an "upfront fee" for advice did not necessarily tally up with how many IFAs will actually go about charging.
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