Worldwide Commission Disclosure Could Sound Death Knell for Isle of Man Life Companies

Death-001.jpgWhilst worldwide commission disclosure for life companies based in the Isle of Man such as Old Mutual International, Friends Provident International, and RL360 are two years away, life companies are beginning to brace themselves for a major slump in sales once the changes come into effect in January 2019. Some have argued the regulatory changes may sound the final death knell for life companies, which sought to delay commission disclosure that were intended to come into force in January 2018.
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Market Update – The Third Way

  • Oil rose 3.4% on the week with Brent at USD 56
  • Gold fell 1.8 % to 1315
  • Haven assets decline, global equities rise
  • North Korea launches second missile over Japan

Thus far President Trump’s leadership has been long on noise but short on results. He has failed to come up with any legislative wins in his first eight months, despite the Republicans’ control of both chambers of Congress and the executive. This is mostly due to intransigence – the White House has simply not been playing its traditional coordinating role to help bills through Congress.

There are also now rumours of another potential deal with the Democrats on DACA, a program to legalise people who arrived in the country illegally as children and have grown up in the US. Yet to be confirmed, this deal would be in exchange for additional border security funding but surprisingly doesn’t mention the wall with Mexico, a key issue for Trump’s base.

Jeromine Bertrand (CFA) of Momentum Global Investment Management, one of our UK regulated, discretionary fund managers, shares his view. Click here to view.

What Is ‘FEE ONLY’ Advice And Should I Be Using It?

How do advisors get paid.Fee-only financial planners are investment advisors with a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients’ best interest.  Fee-only means that they do not accept any compensation based on product or fund sales. Fee-only advisors have fewer inherent conflicts of interest, and they generally provide more comprehensive advice that is in the clients best interest.  Fee only advice is now becoming the norm in many developed and regulated markets unfortunately Fee-only advice is extremely rare in the expatriate market place with most advisory companies still offering a purely Commission-Based or Fee-Based services which can be a minefield for clients.  

Fee-Based Is Not the Same As Fee-Only

Commission-based agents and brokers often take offense at this distinction.  Blurring the difference, they created the category dubbed “fee based,” which means they charge a fee in addition to collecting commissions from the provider of a product or fund.  Studies show that even consumers seeking a strictly fee-only advisor find these terms extremely confusing especially when these commissions are often not disclosed to an investor.

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The Global Cycle Has Further To Run

News this past week:

Stock graph
• Oil prices rose 2% on the week with Brent at USD 53.9
• Gold rose 1.9 % to 1347, its third week of gains
• Risk appetite returns as treasuries retreat, stocks advance
• Apple set to launch the iPhone 8 and X models this week
• Hurricane Irma devastates the Caribbean and Florida

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Medical Insurance, What Do We Need And How Much Should We be Paying?

hurting walletMedical Insurance is a sore subject with many expats these days.  Gone are the days when all expat contracts included top level medical insurance with all of the bells and whistles.  Many employers have cut back on costs and with it the level of coverage that is offered to their expatriate employees; sometimes offering no coverage at all, coverage with a local provider or only coverage for the employee and not extending cover to the family or dependants.  The cost of coverage also seems to be increasing every year with many insurers increasing the cost of insurance cover by more that the rate of inflation.

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The Value of Insurance

Insurance, in everyday life, is well understood. Simplistically, it’s something that you and I buy to protect ourselves from losing money in the event of a bad outcome. But when it comes to investments, we would argue that portfolio insurance is often overlooked.

Richard Stutley (CFA) of Momentum Global Investment Management, one of our UK regulated, discretionary fund managers, shares his view. Click here to view.

5 Leading Misconceptions That British Expats Have With Regards To Domicile And Taxation

IHT.jpgThere are some crucial misunderstandings amongst the British expat community when it comes to their understanding of domicile status and their tax position.  These misconceptions could leave their loved ones financially exposed and could even cause trouble with HMRC if they are not paying the correct UK Tax.

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