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Lockdown Diaries – 6 months on!

30th September 2020


It has now been 6 months since the introduction of a UK wide lockdown. My last article introduced additional easing of lockdown and just 4 weeks later we are now subject to increased restrictions! Please don’t ask me to explain the current changes to living our everyday lives as I’m as confused as you!

So, I’ll concentrate on bringing you the third and final element of the Advice Tree I first introduced to you a couple months ago. But before I do that, I have been reflecting on the interactions I have been having with clients and their families since the onset of lockdown back in March. There is no doubt that Covid-19 has impacted people in many different ways and a recent conversation with a friend reminds me that livelihoods have, in some cases, been very adversely affected as a direct consequence of the pandemic.

To explain, my friend is a very successful company executive with high earnings and associated benefits with a large UK employer. Well, he was until he was made redundant recently as a consequence of the financial impact brought about by the pandemic on the company employing him. Suddenly, he found himself out of work for the first time in his career. What’s more, he had never paid a lot of attention to his personal finances as his monthly income was more than adequate to meet his family’s normal expenditure and he was a member of the company’s Pension Scheme. Now, he has his redundancy capital payment but no regular income. He is approaching age 50 and has been a member of his company’s Pension Scheme for many years but is faced with a decision over the future of his pension benefits. He is also concerned that he has not made the most of his savings.

I shared the Advice Tree with my friend and it is fair to say that he was relieved to learn that Brunel are able to help him and his family make the best decisions for their financial future. If you have any members of your family or friends that may have suffered in a similar way, please do not hesitate to speak to your Planner to see if we can help. We would be delighted to hear from you.

Now for the final element of the Advice Tree, the Money branch.

Sequence of return risk mitigation – thus avoiding the negative impact of taking withdrawals at the wrong time. This is a pernicious risk that few investors are aware of. It can have a massive impact on how long your pension fund will last. We can help you plan and take the steps to mitigate that risk.\

Investment due diligence – There are more than 9,000 investment instruments available in the UK and we research the market on your behalf to give peace of mind that a rigorous due diligence process has been applied to the investments we recommend to you.

Risk Assessment – risk is a complex subject with many dimensions. We help you navigate and understand risk to ensure the investments we recommend meet your requirements.

Portfolio management and rebalancing – we use sophisticated tools to maximise your return for a given level of risk/risk tolerance. Rebalancing your portfolio twice each year means that your risk is managed in line with your risk tolerance and financial goals.

Tax efficiency – we use all the applicable tax reliefs and allowances available to you each year. Estimates suggest that this could boost your investment returns by 1% per year. So, on a £400,000 Portfolio that would be £4,000 per year.

I hope you have found the Advice Tree a helpful insight to the service we provide to our clients and of course to prospective clients. As always, please contact your Planner if you have any questions.

Until next time, I wish you and your family good health.

Peter Hill
Peter Hill



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