Four ways to improve your business

Everyone’s busy but sometimes it’s good to take time out to delve into a topic that has the prospect of adding real value to how you work.

That’s been our philosophy over the past 10 years and explains why we create white papers that provide advisers with practical information on the topics that matter, wherever possible getting advisers’ input into the process and utilising specialist consultants to provide additional viewpoints.

We’ve recently reviewed our back-catalogue of white papers, to ensure they are still relevant for today. Looking at the papers that resonated most with advisers, there are four that stand out.

Centralised Investment Propositions

At least half of financial advisers are still running some form of model portfolios in- house. However, managing multiple client accounts across multiple providers without discretionary permissions comes with a huge administrative and compliance burden.

A standardised investment approach using a CIP should result in freeing advisers to spend more time with their clients and focus on the multi-skilled elements of financial planning.

Our white paper, Riding the Winds of Change, analyses how advisers can benefit from a CIP and the options that should be considered.

The risks of risk mapping

The regulator is rightly worried about the potential disconnect that occurs when trying to implement the output of a third-party Risk Profiling Tool using a third-party DFM. Both processes were designed independently so the chances of them arriving at the same conclusion are greatly reduced.

Our white paper, Risky Business, highlights the areas of concern and why advisers would be wise to ensure they are avoiding any potential minefields that could result in them falling foul of the regulator, or being taken to task by clients for delivering unexpected outcomes.

Why we don’t believe in investing for natural yield

Dividend income is not as reliable as people assume and increasing the search for income in a portfolio often increases its risk.

In our white paper Yield of Dreams, we outline why we advocate Total Return investing, which focuses not only on income but also on capital growth, not least because taxes on capital gains are less than those on dividend payments.

This approach is also more flexible as investors can spend from capital appreciation in years when the portfolio yield falls below the required level of income.

Capital gains allowance harvesting

The UK’s annual tax-free CGT allowance currently stands at £12,300. Effectively harvested, the potential savings can be up to £2,460.

However, an individual must make use of the annual CGT allowance in any given financial year as it is a ‘use it or lose it’ allowance. Investors routinely miss out on this generous allocation because it requires advisers to undertake additional work at a particularly busy time of the financial year.

Our white paper, There is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch, outlines a way to harvest CGT allowance for all of your clients. Our use of technology to automate the process means that the service can be offered to every client, regardless of the size of their investible assets. This is important because the benefit is actually greatest for clients with lower value portfolios.

If you haven’t downloaded these papers before, I highly recommend you take a look. The feedback we’ve had has been excellent so I’m sure it would be time well spent. And please let us know if there are other topics that you think we should be writing about.