As more and more of the UK comes under local restrictions following the latest wave of COVID infections, the advice profession goes into autumn more dependent than ever on the use of technology in order to continue to deliver the service which clients want and need. It’s certainly been a steep learning curve for many but the remarkable ability of the advice profession to adapt in order to continue to support clients – albeit remotely – has been a transformation that few would have expected to see at the start of the year. It’s one aspect that looks like it’s here to stay and which will change our lives for the good in so many ways.
But, and there’s always a but, as the world braces itself for the impact of rising COVID infections, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was more than enough to take centre stage for matters of investment as well as for our own health and wellbeing.
Not quite. With the end to the transitional agreement just a few months away and concerns about the implications of a possible no-deal Brexit doing the rounds, the level of uncertainty around the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU have not exactly gone away. Far from it.
And then there’s the US Presidential Election coming up at the start of November. As we go to press the Democrats have seemingly built up a lead in the polls but there’s everything to play for and the consequences of the outcome will reach right around the globe.
THE INVESTMENT DEBATE
Financial Planners are used to working with uncertainty however making investment and asset allocation decisions in this climate is particularly challenging. One important consideration which has not diminished one tiny bit in importance is the need for sustainability when it comes to investment matters. The ESG drive continues unabated, consequently many of the pages in this month’s edition are dedicated to this important topic.
We talk to Ben Constable-Maxwell of M&G Investments, to Wayne Bishop of King and Shaxson Asset Management and to Damien Lardoux of EQ Investors about their investment approaches in this key area. Compliance consultant Tony Catt talks us through how the advice process needs to demonstrate sound due diligence when it comes to ESG in order to ensure client needs are met effectively. We are also grateful to Alasdair Mckinnon of Scottish Investment Trust about his contrarian approach and to Octopus Investments about how VCTs can provide a valuable alternative and tax efficient investment option for high earners.
There are plenty of other articles on a range of topics in this combined edition of IFA Magazine and GBI Investments. With comment on tax-efficient investing, a new three-part series from our Chairman, Paul Wilson, on the financial history of the COVID 19 crisis, we hope you find them of interest.