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A year ago, in January 2020, who could have imagined what the following 12 months would bring. I know many will look back and think it’s a year that they would rather forget. 

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So are 4,000 regulated firms really going to collapse this year as the FCA has warned this week could happen?

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The economic and business impact of the Covid-19 pandemic since last March has been significant. In many cases, the worst is yet to come, with no definitive end date in mind and forecasts of peak unemployment by the middle of the year.
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In my two previous articles reflecting on my 50 years in the world of pensions and financial services I looked at current issues and challenges, focussing on what I saw as some of the dominant features of the financial landscape today: technology, complexity, (inconsistent) government policy, (increasing) longevity and the evolution of financial advice.

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I was going to dedicate this column to a timely look back at 2020 and a look forward to 2021 (see lower down). Then something happened.

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Often people think about putting in place Lasting Power of Attorney for an elderly relative. Although it is something we talk to clients about all the time, I’m writing this article now having seen two high profile cases in the press in recent weeks which underline the vital Financial Planning importance of Power of Attorney.

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The FCA’s comprehensive adviser sector review published this week brought some surprisingly positive news. The number of advisers is on the up after years of plateauing or decline.

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Much has been written about the advice gap for workers in their 50s who may be contemplating the next phase of their career, along with thoughts of retirement, writes Peter Selby of Punter Southall Aspire. 

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Sceptics may have questioned warnings that the soaring cost of Professional Indemnity Insurance would put some advisory firms out of business. They may have to eat their words.

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I spent several hours this morning poring over my old G60 manual to help work out some ‘scheme specific protected tax-free cash’ calculations in respect of some pre-2006 occupational pension scheme benefits for an adviser.

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