The UK property market just oozes confidence - but what about the people trying to secure a mortgage? Not so much. The launch of our first Mortgage Application Confidence Index reveals widespread anxiety among homebuyers that their mortgage application will be refused or at best delayed. Out of a maximum score of ten, confidence sits at a decidedly nervous 5.7 - but a majority aren't taking any steps to improve their chances. Far more encouraging is the finding that 80% of applicants who take professional advice are approved first time, and that advice-seeking becomes more prevalent further up the property ladder - indicating that homebuyers learn from experience to value it.
We've done our bit to try and boost mortgage confidence with our Mortgage Survival checklist. It's good for advisers too, in that it helps clients to prepare for their meeting and be ready to act on the advice they receive. Find it here and share it with your clients. You can also take a look our amazing press features at Mortgage Introducer and Zoopla.
One thing you can guarantee about human behaviour is that you just can't predict it. Emma Jones of Royal London discusses pension freedoms and what everyone thinks will happen - from drawdown schemes to sports cars - and the problems this uncertainty creates for advisers, especially those setting up or renewing corporate pension schemes. If you don't know what the scheme members will do when they retire, how on earth can you know what investment outcome the default fund should target? And what is the solution? Read her article here.
We asked visitors to our site if they liked Steve Webb's proposal to introduce a flat rate of 33% tax relief across all pensions. Our poll found that most of our visitors didn't like the idea, though the result was fairly close: 55% were against it and 45% were in favour. It seems that pension savers are attached to the concept of higher tax relief for higher-rate taxpayers, and the greater planning potential this offers. Tax issues in general are likely to be a key factor in the upcoming election, with one in three voters claiming that tax policies will influence their decision. Is the upcoming tax season the perfect opportunity to prove how valuable advice could be? Have your say.
What constitutes good value? A survey by Defaqto found advisers underestimate total costs of multi-asset products, sometimes by up to 3%pa.
Is the cost the same as the price? Many advisers still use AMCs and TERs to compare costs rather than OCFs. OCFs are universally quoted for UCITs collectives.
Are some propositions better placed to provide value than others? Advisers who use single-asset class funds to build a client portfolio should consider whether they can offer a competitive, suitable portfolio compared to multi-asset funds in regards to asset allocation, research capability, fee transparency, risk and governance for clients. Total cost of Discretionary Fund Manager propositions are varied and dependent of the service level required. Click here to read the whole report