I spent the morning at an international adviser seminar in Bristol – a four-hour event covering various topics, from offshore bonds to emerging market funds. It was interesting, with a lively ‘debate’ on the effect of adviser charging on 5 per cent withdrawals and an explanation on why Indonesia may be the next ‘emerging economy’ among other things. It was good to catch up with some old faces and receive a free lunch. Ended up having to pay £8.50 for parking – there is no such thing as free parking.
My first meeting is with a client who wants to pay £100 a month into a pension. After running through a basic factfind, it transpires that she only has £600 a month disposable income, before living expenses such as food, with no savings, and she plans on getting married next year. I tell her to save what she can into an Isa and wait for her employer to start a pension in 2015, when we will assess the situation again. Then I find out an adviser she had met that morning told her he would set up the pension but would have to take a £500 fee. The RDR is not perfect for every consumer; I believe in saving and not discouraging pension planning, but it has to be workable.
I met with a new client who has a considerable inheritance tax liability, I informed her that her home (which is held in an interest in possession trust) would be considered as part of her estate and therefore her tax bill could cost her family more than £200,000. I ran through a potential solution for her investment portfolio, using a discretionary trust and making gifts out of income. We agree another meeting so I can run through options with her two sons.