From taxing NHS doctors to confusing pension charges - here's our weekly heads-up on the financial stories that may have caught your clients' attention over the weekend…
Is this Britain's most taxed NHS doctor?
A 46-year-old doctor working for the NHS was handed a £125k pension tax bill, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The paediatrician, who was given the bill for the 2017-18 tax year, offers an example of UK doctors' issues with taper taxes on excess pension savings.
"I'm paying nearly 80% of my salary on tax - I've worked for the NHS for free," he says. "I'm in the red and I think I am the highest-taxed NHS doctor for pension growth."
Dr Nicholas Grundy, of campaign group GP Survival, argues it is a ridiculous situation where the doctor would have been better off staying in the scheme in previous years.
Coronavirus causes intrepid investors to look east for bargains
Adventurous investors have been ploughing money into Chinese and Asian funds as they look to profit from the market upheaval caused by the Coronavirus epidemic, The Sunday Times reports this weekend.
AJ Bell tells the paper one of its currently most-bought funds is AGI Allianz China, which is 100% invested in Chinese industrials, technology and banks. It is up 121% over five years compared to growth of 60% in the Chinese market as a whole.
Meanwhile Interactive Investor says the Asia-orientated Henderson Far East Income trust has been popular with its users. The firm adds another heavily bought trust with indirect exposure to China is Finsbury Growth & Income, which holds luxury stocks such as Burberry, Diageo and Rémy Cointreau — all of which sell a substantial proportion of their products in China.
By contrast, investors on Hargreaves Lansdown's Vantage platform appear to be adopting a more cautious approach. Hargreaves tells The Sunday Times that customers have been snapping up a gold fund, Investec Global Gold; two bond funds, Jupiter Strategic Bond and Fidelity MoneyBuilder Income; and a cash fund, L&G Cash.
Campaign for clear pension charges
This Financial Times article takes a look at "shameful" industry practices that make it hard for customers to identify and compare charges.
According to analysis commissioned by the FT, typical fees for investing a £1m pension in drawdown will cost between 2% and 2.5% per year for a fully advised service. However, it says complex fee structures make it difficult for investors to figure out what they are actually paying.
Over 25 years it argues consumers could potentially pay a total of £346,000 to £815,000 in fees, depending on whether they use an adviser or manage their own money.
Boring Money founder Holly Mackay tells the newspaper: "It is shameful and inexcusable that the industry still makes it so hard for customers to identify and compare charges."
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