In Focus: Tax  

What was the most vital thing for advice in 2020?

Polson said: "An adviser I spoke with this morning said they were 50 per cent over where they thought their client's investments might be this year. 

"That extra uplift is money appearing from existing clients, suggesting there is some stockpiling going on. The question is, in your financial plan, did the planner say it was okay to splurge, or does the planner want the money in the savings pot?"

He said: "Advisers have won the last decade, for sure. Advice is incredibly important."

However, those without advice are likely to spend and splurge, indulging their delayed gratification impulses, Polson said, adding: "We can see how those without advice are likely to fall for get-rich-quick schemes. You can never legislate for stupid.

"You can educate people where Peru is, but you can't educate people out of financial behaviours we don't like. You can't imagine that if they open their mouths like baby birds, and we ram information in, they will behave in the way that we like."

Moreover, he said while people look for immediacy in terms of filling that economic black hole, it was also important to understand that running the economy was not like "running the household budget".

"We will be living with this for a long time, so tax policy in this Tax Day or the next Budget does not feel that profound. I think this will take a long period of time as things stutteringly get back on their feet."

He added: "But do you know what I would love with all tax stuff? Any marketeer in financial services, any of them, that writes a press release or piece of content saying, 'will this be the year that higher rate tax relief goes on pensions?' – I have some punishments devised for you. 

"They say a stop-clock is right twice a day. This particular stop-clock hasn't been right for 20 years." 

If we want people to save for pensions, then marketeers "might want to shut up" when it comes to various tax predictions that haven't come true for "decades", Polson concluded.

To view the full Fireside Chat, including references to electric shocks, cats and vanilla Coke, click on the image above.

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com