Firstly, I’m starting with an apology. It might be almost February, but this is our first publication of the New Year, and the whole IFA Magazine team wish to extend a very warm welcome to 2019 to all our readers. And what a year it looks like being. The phrase ‘Brace Brace’ spring to mind as the ongoing Brexit turmoil does little to suggest that market volatility is likely to ease off any time soon. But as all good advisers know, it’s when times get tricky that the role of a financial planner proves to be even more valuable to clients, helping them to steer a path through what might seem to be unfathomable situations.
The job of a financial planner involves trying to make educated assumptions as to what might lie ahead for the economy – and in particular for factors such as inflation, interest rates etc. – in order to try and build clients’ financial plans which are as robust as possible. All we can say, for the moment at least, is good luck with that.
And it’s not just Brexit which is causing all sorts of imponderables for financial planners and paraplanners who are trying to make some sense of what on earth is going on. As Mike Wilson reflects in this month’s rather snappily titled rant ‘Beached’, there are all sorts of factors at work within European markets – not least the present incumbent at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There are more imponderables when it comes to technology so Brian Tora is reflecting on whether the latest news from Apple might spell concerns for investors in the technology sector more generally. As always, in the pages which follow, there are helpful ideas and tips aplenty on how you can conduct your business in a more effective way this year, with articles from Brett Davidson, Michelle Hoskin and Tracey Underwood.
We’ve got a few guest interviews included for good measure, as we talk to Prudential about the changes they’ve made to their multi-asset range and to Calculus about how they work behind the scenes to deliver consistently robust EIS and VCT schemes for clients. There’s all this and a lot more of course.
ETFs in the Spotlight
This month, the mid-section of IFA Magazine consists of the latest IFA Magazine special focus supplement, this time on the subject of exchange-traded funds. ETFs are growing rapidly in terms of take up by advisers and investors alike. We talk to various experts about what’s going on the sector, and report the conversations and highlights from our ETF round table discussion which was held back in November. Our thanks go to all those who participated.
Finally, it’s been three years since yours truly joined the IFA Magazine team here in Bristol. And a very happy three years it has been too. As someone who didn’t previously hail from a journalist or even media background, it’s been a fascinating and very enjoyable journey (hmm, I’m sounding like Strictly or the X-factor now so that’s enough of that). Anyway, I’m hoping for many more years in the hot seat here. Thanks to so many of you who sent me kind messages on Linkedin when you saw my work anniversary flag up – many were names from the past and which were particularly appreciated. Three cheers for social media!