For the past two decades or so, as final salary schemes have declined and it has become increasingly clear that the state pension alone will be barely enough to scrape by on, we have been exhorted by the powers that be to take control of our own financial destiny.
The 10-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which precipitated the global financial crisis in mid-September 2008, has provided a great opportunity for the financial services industry’s statistics geeks to wheel out some impressive figures demonstrating the power of long-term equity investment to dull the pain of market crashes – and the extent of people’s capacity to be wise after the event.
The Lifetime Isa (Lisa) has been surrounded by controversy ever since its adoption in April 2017. It’s the seventh member of the Isa family, and one that appears to have been set up specifically to squabble not only with at least one of its siblings, but also with its pension cousins just down the road.
More than three years have passed since George Osborne announced a raft of pension freedoms leaving us in charge of our own financial destinies for retirement. Now, a review by the Financial Conduct Authority, focusing on consumers who have not taken professional advice, has revealed how we’re getting to grips with our new opportunities and responsibilities.
We have run queries on the letters pages of previous issues of Money Observer from readers concerned about the safety of the investments they hold on broker platforms in the event of their broker going to the wall. We’ve reassured them that rules set out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) mean their funds (and cash) must be held in a separate nominee account that cannot be raided by a broker or its creditors if the firm goes out of business.
Passwords. We all know they have to be there to keep the data we put online safe – but everyone hates them, and as more and more aspects of our lives have become digitally governed, the problems they bring have got worse. Not only do we need them for growing numbers of accounts, but there’s increasing pressure to make them more secure by introducing kooky characters or making them longer or more random.
The oldest investment trust, Foreign & Colonial Government Trust, as it was then known, was set up 150 years ago.
Although most see pension schemes as the safest route to save for retirement, 30 per cent pin their colours to the property mast.
While there's been no shortage of major pension revisions in the past few years, there's still much to be done.