Believing in our people
...means backing them all the way
One rule for you...
Keeping in touch, the FCA way
Some reflections on ValidPath's Network model
Escape from Colditz
Some simple lessons for AC
Collusion or collaboration?
Good and bad news about CMCs
A salutary lesson from Mother Nature
Things that just work
Pandemic and 10% reporting
Getting used to this...
Some positive thoughts at Easter
Cashflow forecasting as a default mode?
Time on your hands? Here's a useful focus.
There is a right way of responding to the current pandemic
Give 'em what they want
Your COVID-19 focus
It's been a busy few weeks...
A kind of literature
The FCA's February Sector Views paper makes for interesting reading
A Smaller Slice of Pie
The PI market is not merely unsustainable, it is now in a state of meltdown
On not reinventing wheels
Following the ninth annual review of the VIP
The FCA's 'Portfolio Strategy' Letter
Eyes firmly fixed on the horizon...
2020 Vision when you need it
First blogpost of the New Year
Feeling festive yet?
Phew. We've completed our PII renewal
A new world
We're getting there...
It's December 6th, and it's time...
A significant contraction
Observations on the PII marketplace
Snowflakes and the Culture of Blame
It pays to up your Defcom status...
Data, data everywhere, but not a prompt to think
It's what you do with it that matters
Arrival in Oz
Having taken the plunge to move from advising at one of ValidPath’s AR firms..
There's plenty happening, but you might not be aware of it...
The value of narrative
A recent encounter rams the principle home
Anticipating the Expo
The madness of crowds
Complex products - again
Thoughts on FS19/04
You and the insistent client
A pragmatic approach
Ethics as the lingua franca
It really is core to your proposition
Time for a spring-clean?
Binning those tip-sheets was cathartic,,,
Sheer financial poetry
The FSCS Levy deserves celebrating somehow
People and Ethics
Professional ethics come first, every time
The practical awareness of bias
The Adviser's Line of Duty is clear
When Diligence is Definitely Due
A salient tale
A timely conversation
Bringing a few themes together
On the drafting of reports
A Bonus Blog on the FCA's Business Plan
Much Ado About Nothing?
Some comment on our improved due-diligence system
Complexity and Proportionality
Lots of new guidance and a support service that's fit for purpose
An overreaction to financial clickbait
Joined-Up Due Diligence
As I wait for the new version of Engage, I'm still enjoying the old one.
The Gravy-Train always runs on time
The full-fat redress culture is not subtle
A visit to the dentists
Bear with me, there are parallels
The 2019 VIP Review
Some general, contextual commentary
RIP: Jack Bogle
The lasting legacy
The Presses are Rolling
FCA, MiFID and Stuff
2019 - The Truth About It
First blogpost of the New Year
Christmas and Bureaucracy
Last blog of 2018
On the demise of a fund
Just one example to inform our awareness of risk
The Leopard's Spots are Unchanged
Grubby practices linger on within the financial services market...
Living in a continuum
Our focus on suitability continues
Narrative incoherence - mind the gap!
Some more lessons from recent experience
Learning from poor client files
And focusing instead on high standards
Client reviews...and MiFID II
There's new practical guidance in the pipeline...
Market timing? Oh no...
The ten plagues of Brexit
And there's more, folks...
Did you read this announcement?
Ah, the weekend...
So, how are your client reviews going?
The latest newsletter is on its way...
Reflections on the new IDD
Some reading is demotivational
Don't try this at home!
Financial services, without the...er...
There has to be a better way
Investment Platforms Market Study
ValidPath's commentary on MS17/1.2
Reflections on the FCA's 'Retirement Outcomes Review'
Cans of worms...
Another day on the FCA website
Anatomy of an event
Complex investments, due diligence and all that
On website redesign
Highlighting the changes
Life is precious and fleeting
More thoughts on regulation
Generating Deranged Procedural Reinventions
The GDPR turkeys are coming home to roost
DB Pension Transfers - Lessons
Some more reflections on PS18/6
On the receiving end of the Regulator's Largesse
New PracticeBuilder out shortly
Advance notice of our next newsletter
The Beast from the East...
Phishing and the Wild West
Recent experiences prompt this one
On train delays and MiFID II
Food for Thought
Thoughts in preparation for our CIP review
Cashflow forecasts and the GAD
Reflections on the latest QR of the National Insurance Fund
Your Xmas Video Treat
J P Sears is bang on the money.
A quick exploration of some of the implications
The Beeb and the Tata Steel Pension Scheme
Kevin has been watching the news, and he's not happy
What's in a word?
Introduction to 'periodic assessments'
Snog Marry Avoid
There is no happy outcome with the British Steel Pension Scheme
The judicious use of incentives
Giving potential customers the right motivation
The FCA, webform design and TCF
Phew! The RMAR is laid to rest...
The FCA is flagging up an issue
On setting the bar
A lesson from the florist
Weighing the data
Another good justification for cashflow forecasting
On the joy of not failing
It's been a good week
A quick mention about the conference
Real-world financial planning vs the regulatory world
An introduction to new technologies
A day in Pictures
Office closure on Friday 18th September
Just. Walk. Away
Reflections based upon some recent contentious cases
Observations prompted by the latest FCA reporting debacle
Working on your business
IFAs are subject to same principles as everyone else
The Stuff of Nightmares
Reflections on the lesson from CP17/16
Follow-up to last week's blog
How to lose your majority
Election lessons for IFAs
The Assessing Suitability Review
There are lessons here
Financial Crime + AML
Flagging up the new guidance
A strange interaction
Surely, these are two entirely disparate and unrelated topics?
How 'thick' is your proposition?
Quick-Start Your Proposition
Speed is of the essence
A reason to celebrate
The first fifteen years
It's OK to be a capitalist
Like it or not, we are this thing
The Case for Cashflow
A quick reminder about CashCalc
There's always a crash
For this, you have insurance
Somewhere, close to the brink
We've been using OM's systems, and it's not been a happy experience
The Persistent Elephant
On the PII market
Mind the gap
An example of regulatory ambivalence which affects Advisers
Christmas message, 2016
The ease of negligence
Lifetime cashflows, variable growth rates and market events
Brexit: we need entertaining!
Reflections on Article 50
Red sky in the morning...
The FCA publishes interim findings from its asset management market study
Are we building something to last, or just paying the bills?
Advertising and Attention-Span
Thoughts prompted by marketing surveys
Complexity + client understanding
More and more information? Or better-quality advice?
A world where nothing...quite...works
Feedback after our DeFaqto Engage training workshop
Dreaming the dream
The differences between being awake, and being asleep
Eve and the Apple
The lessons that Apple probably didn't seriously intend
For goodness sake
Enough of the doomsday scenarios, please
Too good to be true?
News this week regarding Film Partnerships
Wake up to a new world
The IFA's role in a Brexit world
Data in, data out
Some clarity about Clarity's clarity
Don't be like Yodel
Lessons to be learned about your service proposition?
A little nostalgia is a good thing
More thoughts on longevity and the advisory process
Welcome to my world
The RMAR is the new incarnation of the hamster-wheel, but less fun
Sorry to brag, but...
A recent member visit prompts a few thoughts
How other people do it
Intimations of mortality
Victoria Wood and the critical value of 'What If?' planning
The wonderful world of regulatory permissions
It's P2P time!
From alert to supervisory action
The FCA's supervisory actions in relation to pension switches and transfers
Due-diligence, suitability and all that
Reflections on the FCA's Thematic Review
Regulation, the one-way street
A reflection on recent experiences
The old ways persist
We are surprised by the discovery that commission overrides still exist
There is sweet irony here...
The demise of Rebus
'Wot's compliance ever done for us?'
A rumination on the relationship between compliance and professionalism
A man who made his mark
We are grateful for the memory of Richard Mein
Messy world planning
Advice when the numbers don't necessarily add up
Teabags and Data-Disconnect
Lessons learned from the humble teabag
2016: Onwards and Upwards
The perfect antidotes to anxiety
On 'Doing Network'
A reflection on ethos and future development
Tis the season to be whinging
Further reflections on the complaint culture
Futile Forecasting Frustration
Reflections on the folly of market-timing
On being deliberate
The benefits of lifetime cashflow planning
A piece inspired by the FCA's Gabriel system
Over a lifetime
Some of those old products did actually deliver
Your money is safe
Kevin is trouble-shooting at the bank
What's going on at the FCA?
Reflections on our recent experiences with approvals
The BT Engineer cometh
Observations based upon the inevitable disappointments of the Real World
Robot IFA, here we come?
What is it that you, uniquely, do for your clients?
Rethinking the basics
There's a website revamp on the way...
Reflections on a telephone conversation
What you write matters
A few thoughts on the crafting of client documentation
Be careful out there!
The world IFAs operate in is a challenging one. This is a quick reminder of a useful tool.
Crimes against information
The myth of objectivity, and what we can do about it
Realism not Cynicism
A more positive view of regulation?
A Question of Trust
Thoughts about recruitment and the qualities of human beings
Choices, promises and client experience
Learning some lessons from party manifestos
For when the beach is crowded
Just Say No
Reflecting on the recent PFS guidance
Too bright to look at?
The eclipse of DB schemes and the flourishing of risk
Compliance + Subjectivity
Compliance and financial promotions
Fostering the critical mind
Inquisitive methodologies and the pensions reforms
The sidelining of the client
Legacy products, and the insidious decay of our clients' financial capability
There be Bear-Traps
Some reflections on the pension reforms
Threats to Sustainability
Reflections on the dynamics of the PII marketplace
2015, Looking Forwards
A positive framework for progress
The last Blog of 2014
Recent experiences don't exactly instil confidence...
Innovation and Self-Service
On anticipating the implications of technical innovation
The Challenge of Due Diligence
Reflections after ValidPath's CPD Event on BPR solutions
The joy of Notes
How and why we use information, and how we go about recording it are very important issues.
Rebalancing methodologies matter
It's all joined-up
A few thoughts about the use of data-systems
Lights, cameras, action, EIS...
A great new film, and some thoughts on tax-efficiency
Row over EU 'interim levy'
Would David Cameron be happy with FSCS Interim Levies?
Fences make uncomfortable seating
It's clearer than ever : you need to decide whether you will engage with AutoEnrolment. Or not.
Adviser Mood Swings Need an Explanation
With a new investigation into due diligence, advisers would do well to have a clear explanation for differences in their attitude to investment solutions
Here it comes...
What's your number?
The importance and relevance of Management Information cannot be over-stated ...
Yet more thoughts about independence
Further thoughts on the independence conundrum
Is it a maze?
A few thoughts about ethics
The risk of risk
How many sources of risk does the IFA need to factor into his/her consideration?
Picking the winners
A comparison of 2013 and 2014 fund due-diligences is revealing
All you need is love ...
Gill contemplates whether her chocolate habit has lessons for financial planning ...
A pre-emptive product-ban from the FCA.
It's a State of Mind
Simple is not the same as easy, as Gill if going to find out next Friday.
Face to face with the FCA
Follow-on thoughts after our recent review
Surprised by excellence
A review meeting surpasses all expectations
Afloat in the Sea of Ambiguity?
A new FCA Consultation is on its way!
Introducing our new Network-wide DeFaqto provision
Does A Fund's ACD really matter?
Should advisers avoid fund managers who are still using Capita as their Authorised Corporate Directors?
The Future's Bright, the Future's Orange?
Are financial planners designing propositions to suit a changing world, and client profile, or are we assuming (wrongly) that the future will be a clone of the past?
2 + 2 = 4 (or does it?)
Not everything in life is black and white, so advisers should address complexity in their advice too ...
What's smart about smart beta?
Vanguard's Symposium gets Gill thinking
Even Marcus needs wellies
Advance planning saves the day, every time