OpinionJun 22 2016

Debt: it’s all in the mind

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Hopefully, his attention will focus not only on financial institutions, but also on those who help drag people into debt, such as the betting firms whose advertisements saturate the breaks in sports programmes.

I myself have personal experience of a depressed friend who gambled away thousands at the touch of a button on his phone. So I know this is an important campaign.

There is now a significant voice highlighting mental health and financial issues.

It is only when we understand and discuss these problems we can begin to ensure they are addressed in a more practical and sympathetic manner.


Time will tell if I was right to hold

By the time you read this, you may well have cast your EU referendum vote. But as I write this, both the stock market and currency markets are falling amid nerves.

My wife has been telling me I should sell for several weeks – and I am beginning to think she was right. After all, the potential downsides of staying invested are rather greater than the upsides when you are close to retirement and the only certainty is uncertainty.

But, mug that I am, I have hung on.

Whatever the result, it is a very useful time to be a financial adviser. Like the rest of us, you may not know the answers, but at least you can provide some soothing words.


Don’t bank on mum and dad

Pensioner property wealth now stands at £926bn, according to equity release specialist Key Retirement.

That is an awful lot of cash tied up in bricks and mortar – and an awfully good reason for family squabbles when the owners die.

There is definitely a feeling among some people they have a right to inherit every last penny of equity built up in their parents’ properties.

And it can come as a surprise to discover mum and dad had other ideas and opted to spend some of their money.

So it is hardly surprising many lenders remain cautious of moving into equity release.

It is also why it must remain tightly regulated – because such regulation is likely to provide the main protection to lenders when disgruntled relatives come knocking.