Actuarial Post: Alexa…Should I do a fund switch?

February 07, 2019 Tom Murray

Financial Adviser Actuarial Post smart technology Alexa robotics

Alexa…Should I do a fund switch? This article was originally commissioned for Inner Workings, a monthly column written by Tom Murray, in the  February 2019 edition of the Actuarial Post.   Among the biggest sellers this year for Christmas gifts were voice-controlled assistants that allow people to control various operations in their houses from the comfort of their own sofas.  Alexa from Amazon is the most famous but other tech companies, such as Apple, Google have similar devices now, which respond directly to the owner’s voice and carry out basic tasks such as playing music, timing dishes being cooked, answering general knowledge queries and providing news and weather information.   
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Personal finance does require personal responsibility

October 12, 2018 Tom Murray

Financial Adviser regulator Sipp Financial Ombudsman Service FOS

ACTUARIAL POST: Personal finance does require personal responsibility  This article was originally commissioned for Inner Workings, a monthly column written by Tom Murray, in the  October 2018 edition of the Actuarial Post.   It’s rare, in the world of personal finance, that I find myself completely taken by surprise but the ruling of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in the recent opinion on Portafina was one such occasion.  FOS ruled that a client, who had transferred out of a defined benefit scheme into a SIPP was incorrectly advised, and therefore Portafina were ordered to put the client back into the financial position he would have been in if he had never transferred out.
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Is this really pension freedom?

June 03, 2015 Tom Murray

Financial Adviser Pensions UK Pensions freedom pension provider

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
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Attacking IFAs is counter-productive

September 10, 2013 Tom Murray

Financial Adviser Pensions UK Retail Distribution Review advice gap

There is a huge advice gap in the UK. Everyone is fully agreed on this and every week there are a number of articles lamenting this fact in the trade press. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed urgently as so many people are approaching retirement, a time when they really need to get financial advice.
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Aussie rules score over UK’s RDR for effectiveness

September 08, 2010 Tom Murray

Financial Adviser UK Retail Distribution Review Life and Pensions Chris Bowen

As anyone who has watched a game of Australian Football knows, the rules involved are minimal and do not inhibit players excessively. The same directness of approach and focus on objective has informed the Australian government in its proposals for the banning of commission and regulation of financial advisers. Compared to the FSA’s retail distribution review (RDR) with its voluminous reports and consultation papers, the Australian Ministry for Financial Services rules are a model of brevity and clarity.
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