Aaaannnnd…here we go again. Eyes down for another six months of all this, whatever ‘this’ is for you. The good news is that (I think) Covid-19 doesn’t work on Mondays to Wednesdays or before 10pm at all other times in social settings unless it’s in your house with groups more than six which may or may not include children of 11 and under depending on which side of Berwick upon Tweed you’re sitting. So there’s that.

I owe many of you a big thanks for sending nice messages about the lang cat’s tenth birthday last week. Some of you even watched Steve’s dissection of what remains of my self-respect on HomeGames – if you’d like to find out about an amusing cobble-related bike accident very nearly turned me into a eunuch then you can catch up here. We’ll continue doing HomeGames for the foreseeable – this week’s guest is Dave Ferguson of your actual Nucleus and you can join the session live here at 12.30pm today.


Interesting timing for this piece from Michael Klimes at Money Marketing yesterday – the thick end of 200 firms have either ditched or limited their DB transfer permissions since June. Something like 800 or so had already done the same during the DB transfer contingent charging ban consultation process.

So there’s 1000 firms or so who won’t be getting involved in all this any more, and will be hoping for a reduction in their PII premiums as a result. This remarkable interview with Stephen Gazard of Quilter also makes it clear that high risk and potentially unprofitable DB business isn’t going to be part of many more practices at his end of the street.

It’s no surprise that firms who work on a share of assets under advice chase big pools of asset, and DB certainly is one of those. The gold rush is clearly over, but I wonder what happens to the people who genuinely do have a need for measured, professional transfer advice – will there be enough supply? Assuming that more and more people face genuine hardship over the coming months, some degree of realism about the desirability of borrowing from Future You so that Present You can, for example, eat may be required. Anything else is a scammers’ charter and we have had enough of that.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when we ask the advice profession (whether you be adviser, business owner, admin & ops, insourced or outsourced paraplanner) for your opinions on a whole bunch of stuff in our annual State of the Adviser Nation survey. Over 400 firms helped us last year; we’re shooting for over 500 this time. Please would you be one of them? No silly prize draw incentives or any of that stoof – every participant gets a playback of the results later in the year which we think will be of genuine use, and we will owe you a favour too. Our favours are legendary. Maybe. But we would be massively appreciative. Thank you in advance.

The 2020/21 State of the Adviser Nation survey is here.


  • Tremendous piece here from Neil McGillivray of James Hay on the Staveley pensions and IHT ruling. This is a proper, old-school technical piece which took me back to G60 and fills my heart with joy. Who said financial planning isn’t technical?
  • This is interesting on the tension between avoiding scams and being unnecessarily thorough – all kicked off by the Phoenix bit of Standard Life not recognising Fundment as a legit receiving organisation. For the record, Fundment is absolutely legit, but the issue is worth talking about.
  • I’ll be doing a wee compliancey / due diligence podcast with Chris Davies of Model Office on Friday – we’ll no doubt cover all sorts of suitability stuff including our recent paper, Let The Suitable Ones In. The Model Office podcast is here.
  • And your music choice this week was sparked by hearing this bunch on the radio for the first time in a long time and feeling very happy. Please do lose your decorum to the epic-on-a-budget America: What Time Is Love by The KLF. Buckets. Flying Vs. Ships. Justified Ancients wearing bedsheets. What more do you want?


See you next week