Care Fees – The Truth Is Not Being Told.

I have included a short presentation below which outlines some important points about your Care Fees planning. It won’t take long.

Send me your details via the box below and I’ll send you important information and let you know when I am next running these informal workshops. No salesman will call and your information is not shared.

Care Fees  despite the  NHS being under great strain  in recent months, and all of the talk about social care there are a couple of massive problem building up (or here already).

During the last quarter of 2016  I presented  some educational workshops for those of a ‘certain age’ that were likely to run into  problems with Care Fees planning. One of these was for the Indigo Umbrella Group. It was clear from these workshops that few really understood the implications of the 2014 Care Act and more education was required.

Since then I have raised at least three complaints againsts Will Writers and other “advisers” in Sussex who are selling solutions to the Care Fees conundrum without explaining the downsides. These are many.

Asset Protection Trusts

There have been a good number of arrests for firms selling these products. They dont work, are not effective and can only be described as complete rip off.

Giving Your House To Your Kids

Good luck with that. The 2014 Care Act puts in place specific provision that follows on from the Deprivation of Assets rules that went before.

Life Assurance Bonds

Sold for many years by advisers (independent and otherwise) as THE solution are flawed in many ways and you probably have grounds for complaint  if one of these has been sold to you.

Over the coming few months I will be arranging a number of meetings to discuss this important area of your financial planning and outlining some of these things and a lot more.

  • Social Services – what they won’t tell you and why.
  • Don’t rely on a valid Will and a Trust – it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.
  • What really happens to a Trust if you need to fund Care Fees.
  • Investing to cover Nursing Home Care and why that will never work.
  • The truth about the costs of Care.
  • State Provision – Continuing Care and the problems with that.

Leave me your details below (your information is never shared) and I’ll get you some more information out about these new meetings and some more information meanwhile.

Let me assure you of this… if you get to be post zimmer then you’ll appreciate the guidance and advice in this content. No salesman will call, there is nothing to buy.


Meanwhile, still not sure. Here are some snippets of what existing clients and workshop attendees say.

Care Fees Planning Workshops – Feedback

Get advance notice and further information, just send me your details below .

Financial Advisers – They Don’t Do This

I am getting sick of financial advisers, sick of their whining and moaning about problems with compliance and clients – if they just did their job then they wouldn’t need to concern themselves with any of the moaning.



Importantly if all you needed  in order to be rich and wealthy, was to sit down in front of your local Independent Financial Adviser, let him take a slice of your wealth (annually) we’d all be doing it. Fact is – it’s not like that, never has been, most of them are surviving on just above wages in an industry that has contracted by some 95% in the last ten years. Hardly an advert.

Back to now, let’s look at investments, pensions, ISA’s or whatever you have.

Firstly. Most people don’t utilise their tax free capital gains tax allowance. Why?
Not met an adviser yet who recommended, as a first stop that you invest in something
that can use up your annual capital gains tax allowance.

Instead they use Bonds, ISA’s or anything that keeps them in control. Pensions are just
about the worst thing to invest in, yet are heavily recommended by advisers – yet removed
from the Government advice leaflet produced in 2016. Should tell you something.

And then, simplicity is disregarded and replaced with complexity. Let’s look at the truth.

I now (and for always) have educated clients and users of my training to invest for income
and never for growth. It’s a simple thing, supported by Einstein (and not some half witted
advisers) that works in your favour, not only today but forever.

See if you buy (invest)in shares of a good business, you are make a decision to grow your
future as they grow theirs. Company does well you do well.

As a shareholder they’ll also pay a share of any profits a dividend.

Even if you don’t want those dividends now, you can use them to buy more shares, meaning you earn even more dividends in future. Not complicated is it.

Albert Einstein called this the “eighth wonder of the world”, and even
he couldn’t have predicted interest rates at today’s lows of 0.25% .

The FTSE All-Share has grown by 210% over the last 24 years or so, and had you added
dividends to that you could have ended up with over 600%. Put one pound in and got £6 back
Of course, past performance is not a guide to future returns, but the same principles will
still apply.
Fact is there are far to many advisers out there that ignore this simple principle and
end up creating portfolios of utter rubbish, which you as a client can do nothing about.

Get in touch when you are ready for some real investment education. You can join my list
below, you get a weekly email that teaches you all you need to know and will be worth
at least £10,000 to you over your lifetime.

Get in today, the sooner you start the sooner you’ll be making money.




Trumped – Alternative Facts and Pensions


Everywhere you look this topic is in your face; pensions are  a must have, something you couldn’t possibly live without. But is  that the truth or hype?



Even in the most Trumpesque of moments I can’t help but think his ‘two types of truth’ line
applies to all of the pension providers and advisers in the UK, let me explain.

You’re bombarded with facts about pensions you can’t ignore, your later years will end up
in a kind of Dickensian hell if you don’t start saving now, and you have to save it with us.

Look at the tax breaks they claim, look at the benefits, secure your future, only fool would consider anything else, we are supported by the Government, given tax breaks.

Some alternative truths are these…

1. You’ll commit to paying charges on your pension right up until you retire and these
will be ongoing (probably in the region of 20% of your fund every ten years).
2.  The choice of fund in which to invest are likely to under perform the markets generally – statement of fact about fund performance.
3.  The value of your advisers business will increase because of their guaranteed income.
4.  A change in pension rules could massively impact your final pot (there have been hundreds in the last twenty years).
5.  With modern tax rules you can invest tax free (virtually) outside of a pension, only not
many in the pensions industry want you to know this.

Alternative truths or just the truth? You decide, but if you want me to help  solve your pension problems in the space of an hour, simply borrow me for an hour, it comes with a  fixed price and unlimited potential to make you more money. I’ll also tell you why rich people don’t invest in pensions – charges are one thing, but there are others.

You can  ‘borrow my brain’ to solve a problem quickly  and be safe in the knowledge you’ll make many thousands of pounds from just one hour of your time, and you can do that here or you can get on the list, it’s where I share my best stuff first, and that’s below.

Be stupid not get on the list.


Richard Smith - The Finance Zone If you want to get ‘cutting edge, financial information
the industry would rather you didn’t have. Send me your details below.
Remember – I don’t share your information. That’d be wrong.


Investing and Your Lizard Brain.


You need to know how this works in order to contain that bastard Lizard Brain that lives inside all of us and how it will damn you to a life of abject poverty if you keep acting on what it tells you.
The Lizard Brain is the primitive, limbic system that overrides a lot of our brain and our thinking. It is concerned about very little apart from mating, eating, running away from danger and sleeping. It seems it’s a hangover from when humans were, well Lizards.
It  plays tricks on you, when it smells danger it will make you run and hide, but it’s simple and it’s childish. It’ll look at the world and say “ struth, everyone else is doing it, must be safe”  – let’s put that in context.
Chickens and many other birds have the same brains. Squirrels also spring to mind.
Further on on in the development of brains we arrived at Dog brains, all of the above except they have the ability to run in packs and need to communicate so the brain needed to develop a bit more.

So now we have sleep, eat, shag and of course communicate and run away. From there human brains were developed and of course gave us the power of advanced communication and thinking skills but there is a problem, that bastard Lizard Brain.

The Lizard Brain – And Investing,
Most people decide to invest in the stock market when the world and his stupidity is also investing. “market high again” bleats on the news and the tabloid papers.

“Our fund is the largest in the UK” crow on the marketing messages – you interpret that as “well there must be hundreds of others who have invested it must be good” – like lemmings running toward a deep sea.
Lizard Brain thinks, everyone’s investing gotta be good, large fund with hundreds of other investors – gotta be good.
Facts are far too many large funds don’t perform and the worst time to invest is when the market reaches an all time high – only I doubt there are many advisers who will point that out, especially not when their income today will be directly affected by you not investing.

The same applies to your pensions and ISA’s, a large chunk of your funds should be held in cash and then you can utilise market timing to benefit your investments, and not an adviser’s pocket.

The Lizard Brain really is the nutter inside your head, it’s quite  mad. Every time you start something new it finds a way to tell you it’s a waste of time, it won’t work. Tries to intervene unless it’s about sex, food, or sleeping in which case it lets you get on with it. You must have noticed it even if you have not reacted to it.
Your Lizard Brain – the nutter will always tell you it won’t work, will find reasons not to go/do/say/learn and just want’s to keep you safe. No new stuff, no moving forward. One reason
Chickens have never taken over the world (have you ever seen the film Chicken Run – if not  you should).
Don’t forget you can always ‘borrow my brain’ to solve a problem quickly and you can do that here  or you can get on the list, it’s where I share my best stuff first, that’s below.


Richard Smith - The Finance Zone If you want to get  ‘cutting edge, financial information

the industry would rather you didn’t have. Send me your details below.

Remember –  I don’t share your information. That’d be wrong.




State Pension Changes 2017

Do You Wanna Know a Secret?

State pensions are not about to increase massively, the @WASPI campaign for all of the women that have been treated pretty poorly buy succesive Governments are not going to get the result they want.

But Richard Harrington the new Pensions Minister still doesn’t have a clue  about the real world and nor is he telling the whole truth.

State Pensions have been eroded for years and look like they are going to continue in that way. Let me ask you a question, do you think your State Pension is likely to increase much over the coming few years?

For every year retirement ages are pushed back it will cost you least £6,000 under current rates of payment. And then there are the existing pensioner voters who have been kindly given a ‘triple lock’ – guaranteed increases in payment over their remaing lifetime.  All funded of course by those of us currently paying into the system but not yet being old enough to draw a pension.

For some specific guidance on this area of your planning you can ‘borrow my brain’

Steve Webb (who blocked @moneytrainers on Twitter) seems to think he’s done a great thing, and of course has been knighted for his work. Only… it’s us who are left picking up the bill for his great work.

Pensions are a problem.

  • Gilt edged Final Salary Schemes (think Teachers, Civil Service) have massive liabilitys that will have to be funded by future taxpayers.
  • The ever decreasing state pension will have to be funded by future taxpayers.
  • Auto Enrolment is putting fees (charged as percentage of funds) into the pockets of firms and advisers – with no explanation as to the options.

Pensions are tax deferred income, they are not the sole solution to a problem that’s been around for years and years. Taking income from those on low wages, forcing them to invest in a pension and then forcing them to pay the charges, and then having their final pot taxed is not in everyone’s best interest.

Do the maths on pensions, look at the fund performance, look at the charges. They are not what they seem and not a solution for most and certainly not the lower paid.

When you need some help remember you can borrow my mind and get some solid information about your long term future planning. Pensions have never ever made any one rich and nor will they now.

  • If you have old style pensions (before 2010) there is a chance you’ll be paying more charges than you need to.
  • If you don’t know how to extract the right information about your pensions.
  • If you don’t know what your State Pension is likely to be.

Get in touch. I’ll solve those problems for you free of charge. No problem.


Pension Charges

Pension Charges Cash Cow

Investment Charges – Watch your fund get smaller.

Invest In Unit Trusts? Like millions of others, perhaps you have OEIC’s or pension funds, managed insurance funds. There are many names for them, and many providers. One way the industry helps itself – by adding in some complexity. Bit like trying to compare mobile phone charges etc.
Have you checked the fees? Think you’ll be shocked or even annoyed to find out how high they really are. The Economist run an article a few weeks back. It makes for an interesting read.
Following on from a report by the Financial Services Regulator the FCA even the bastion of the middle class writing seems be concerned about what is actually happening to their own readership when it comes to investment fund charges.

Not Sure How Much You Pay In Charges – template letters are available.

  It’s something I have been concerned about for many years, yet something various regulators have been refusing to address. Indeed most of the popular ‘personal finance’ columns have been willing to ignore the problem but the Economist saves the day as it’s the same high charging fund managers that pay for large scale advertising in the same mediums that these columns appear in. No vested interested I’m sure.

Some of my (well old) post’s are linked below.
High Pension Charges
Investment Charges
In all fairness the Economist has a right to be concerned. Some years ago the Blair Government got all stroppy about investment charges, nothing happened. Then Cameron and co got all besides themselves, nothing happened.
“Please don’t make us lower our charges just to benefit the consumer” the industry wailed. Ok said Blair/Cameron – and they  kicked it down the road. That’s one a future administration will have to sort out.
This is what Blair and Steve Webb had to say

Blair and Steve Webb On Pension Charges

Only it never really happened.

And Cameron

David Cameron promises to tackle fee transparency

Don’t hold your breath for any of these changes to arrive at most pension schemes anytime soon. Despite  the fact that pension charges are the only thing that you really have any control over. Your money, and industry deliberately do their utmost to obscure what you actually pay.

Let me ask, what are the charges under your pension plan?

Didn’t think you’d know!

You should be concerned, with some twenty percent of your investment being deducted in charges every ten years, you’ll be lucky to make money from many of these investments.
Reality is, as an investor you are likely to end up paying…
.50%  – 1% Adviser charge

1.5% – 2.5% Investment Charge

.3% – .50% Wrap or Platform Charge.

That’s 2.3% on the lowest side and 4% on the highest side. Do that maths and on that and you’ll note that the total costs of investment of £100,000 are £23,000 every ten years [lowest] £40,000  on the higher amounts.

Factor in most financial advisers initial charges (circa 3%) and these become £26,000 and £43,000 respectively.
With average fund performance [Pensions] across the industry over the last ten years being less than 6.5% (Source Trustnet) you’ll be lucky to be making more than inflation  if you end up investing in one of these products.
For most consumers of financial products you’ll find that these charges are buried under a pile of information that is designed to throw you off the scent, if you are thinking about investing in number of funds, you’ll have to look at at least one document, or possibly even five or more before you can work out what your costs are.
It’s bloody complicated and I think the fund management industry does it’s utmost to make sure you consumers don’t fully understand how these things work in practice. Let me ask you the question now, how much are the charges on your ISA, your Pension or your other savings?

How much does your adviser charge?

How much is the wrap or platform charge?

If you can find out the answer to the that you’ll be part way to solving the high charges problem.
I have a templated letter you can use in order find out the truth, all you need do is drop me a line, ask for the letter, please tell me if it’s for a pension or a non pension investment and I’ll get it back to you. Once you have the information back, get in touch and I’ll tell you what to do next.

Get in touch today for your copy.

Financial Adviser Twitter Trolls – Al Rush

Twitter has been alight for me over the last couple of weeks. With RAF_IFA getting involved with another of his Twitter buddies.

I wasn’t going to bother with a formal reply, but as I posted one for Annie Shaw   it seemed fair to do one for Al. Now Al seems to have a couple of problems, he doesn’t publish much information on his main website just a holding page, his other claim to fame is also showing a server error.


Lot’s of credibility there Al.

See for most of the advisers in the country, they will take a percentage of the funds invested or put under their management. If they don’t sell something they won’t get paid. Accepting of course they could charge a fee whatever happens. The financial advice industry is contracting to the point of no return (less than 23,000 authorised independent advisers) and most still playing the ‘commision game’, and the regulator (both this and the last) messing around with regulation rather than consumer protection – my work is needed more than ever.

Al, it seems you also have some followers, another couple of trolls that I kind of concur with in part. The man Morrow who seems to offering some kind of platform for something, that is not quite ready yet – another one to swerve I guess.

And then you do some incisive googling to find a phone number – all of which are on several of my contact pages – not one of you has bothered to phone. But trolls wouldn’t would they?

Interesting , all I can find out about you Al l is that you are  some kind of financial adviser, but lacks the skills to a] put up a website with any information on it or b) add any value to anything financial. How can that be in the this day and age, not even a terms of business document. Is that even legal?

Bottom line is this. I will continue doing what  I’m doing, educating my public as to the truth about the industry, helping them avoid the scams and showing them the true path to financial independence, without an adviser. As you know full well, if all you needed in order to be rich was a meeting with an IFA we’d all make that plan, only that’s not true is it Al?

With one IFA to every 2.7m people in the UK I don’t see how that will work, their days are over. The world has moved on. As Henry Tapper said “am I buying and adviser or a process?” They can’t even answer that themselves. Meanwhile I’ll go and help the masses that need the help and Al you can keep trolling along

Me I’m helping the consumers out where they can’t or shouldn’t bother with an adviser. I don’t provide regulated advice, and every one of the thousand or people I have worked with since 2010 understand that. Had you bothered to get in touch before your little rant you’d have found out all of  that.

Annie Shaw – 99 Problems But Annie Ain’t One.

Interesting week over here, got a number of Finance Industry trolls hawking around with some unfriendly banter.

A financial journalist Annie Shaw wanted to know how the Money Trainers Pension Training was legal?

Her tweet was quickly followed up by another couple of professional trolls who don’t really seem to offer much in the way of genuine help for the consumer.

In my world financial  journalism is on it’s knees. What was once a profession held in the highest regard is now struggling. I would certainly encourage any of you reading this, to treat anything you read in newspapers as suspect. The industry does not have the expertise anymore and certainly doesn’t deserve much respect. For them it’s about the clicks and the advertising, sod standing for something.

    Annie Shaw – Financial Agony Aunt Extraordinaire started a little rant. Which I assume means she is probably not qualified, or experienced in many financial matters, but is of course a writer on the topic – and quite prolific. That’s a bit like taking medical advice from the ‘fat bloke down the pub’. Interesting, but on balance probably flawed.

As mentioned before, there was  time in the dim and distant past when a view from someone like her may have stood for something. In reply to Annie I have this to say.

I am not sure who put you on a pedestal, most of your writing is unusable in terms of making a financial plan, soundbites is about it. I get that you’re media savvy – well you are a journalist by trade.

Your website  carries advertising for Schroders – hardly a  fund manager that should warrant support given it’s heavy fines and sanctions by a number of regulators worldwide, didn’t see any mention of that anywhere on your website. Ok, I agree a good number of it’s funds perform above average historically, however don’t see that it’s worthy of promotion above all else.

Unit prices can fall as well as plummet, past peformance is not a guide to the future performance. Charges are also important for consumers, Schroders are not a low cost fund. So you are promoting them without any warnings or alternatives. Nice.

You could do your readers a favour and promote low cost tracker funds or ETF’s.  I wonder why you don’t – methinks the reason you don’t is because of some vested interest I’m sure, are Schroders paying you for the ads?

Your own disclaimer tells me all I need to know about you “Nothing on this website constitutes or is intended to be financial advice” it’s just Annie’s opinion and of course the blatant advertisements for a fund management business of questionable repute.

So let me ask you about the the legality of some financial things before I answer the issue of my legality under the banner.

  • How is it legal for pension providers to transfer pension funds to a scam provider?
  • How is it legal to accept fund based income by financial advisers? You wouldn’t consider instructing a solicitor/doctor (or any other profession) on that basis. Nor would you have to pay your Oncologist a percentage of income for your annual check-up.
  • How is it legal to ask consumers to fund MAS levy’s and PI insurance costs, FOS costs,  and FCA costs indirectly and then hide these costs within the advisers business.
  • How is it  legal to allow pension providers to maintain high charging funds/products when they offer a lower cost version?
  • How is it legal to offer ‘Robo Advice’ which really isn’t advice?
  • How is it legal to allow pensions to be sold when there are other clear options like reducing debt or repaying mortgages? Pensions are of course just deferred income according to Steve Webb, not that he should have much credibility on the matter considering his unaffordable “Triple Lock”,
  • How is it legal for the Government to force savings into pension schemes that have a percentage of fund charge? Inc Nest, B&CE et al.
  • How is it legal for the financial services industry to be given tax breaks in relation to VAT.
  • How is it legal for poorly performing fund managers to continue to offer their rubbish and not be responsible for the returns?
  • How is it legal for advisers to to choose ‘managed funds’ instead of using proper asset allocation models? Having helped develop one of the first of these for advisers back in the dark ages of 2001 I know how easy it really is.
  • How is it legal for the industry to still sell mirror funds when everyone knows the investment returns are not not the same, yet the charges are usually higher

Why would it be illegal to highlight all of theses things (and more) in a safe and controlled way and teach non financial people the truth about the industry you seem so willing to support?

In terms of what I do, it’s legal. Of course it is. I provide a financial education, like you. However rather than getting paid by a third party like SAGA or a newspaper, my customers pay me directly. I don’t have to run ads for Schroders on my sites (I still feel that this is a financial promotion and should be removed or you should be regulated)

Do I provide ‘advice’ as in ‘regulated advice’ – no. I did for over twenty eight years, but learned that I could help more people by providing  education instead of advice. The problem with the advice industry is, it’s too busy looking into it’s own navel, instead of changing things.

Or are you saying that consumers should buy into what you are selling instead, what because you are the wise old sage?

I think it’s great that you are at least carrying some articles from Paul Gorman. One financial adviser I do have a great deal of respect for, having worked with him for a big chunk of my working life.

Keep up the good work in this area Annie. However I don’t think his article which carries the ad’s above it is fully compliant. It’s not possible for an Independent Adviser to be seen promoting a single product without compliance approval or having considered the readers needs specifically and  a formal recommendation made. Does he even know you are running these ads above his content?

Meanwhile, a financial education, delivered by a qualified and experienced industry professional is perfectly legal and the right thing to do. If I can show consumers of financial products what has been done to them and then teach them how to deal with it, that’d be a good thing right?

When people I educate are able to move pensions from really rubbish providers, like Abbey Life, Allied Dunbar and also include the likes of  Scottish Widows, Aviva et al. And can start to switch from other providers allowing them to reduce pension charges from over four percent pa to those that do it for less than one. That’s a good thing right?

If I can show them how to  avoid

  • Really rubbish investment funds, including the with profits/mirror fund sector
  • Adviser charges of 1% every year
  • Scheme charges of 2% every year
  • Funds don’t outperform the index

And also to explain

  • How the Government Advice website – MAS omits big chunks of information
  • Why the newspaper Financial Columns are no more than adverts and the opinion of one, rather than an educational truth.

All of these things are important I am sure you’d agree?

I do what MAS and the Pensions Advisory service don’t do. Show those that want to make changes to their planning how it should be done, in a safe way. I also provide a money back guarantee on all of my training and facilitate collaboration.  Don’t see many advisers offering to refund fees for non performance, yet all of my services come with a guarantee.

Are you really saying that what I do should be illegal?  If you are my dear you are deluded – it’s what you could  be doing. It’s what the regulator and other bodies could be doing, but don’t  – because the industry doesn’t want the truth out in the wild.

Perhaps if you focused on the some the above rather than producing lightweight and meaningless fill in for the ads,  your readers might learn something. Then again it’s not about them is it Annie.