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FREE seminar to share industry secrets

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI This Spring marks our 32nd anniversary in business – and three decades in which I have seen many changes in the financial service industry. These have mainly been in the transition to better quality of advice, achieved through more regulation and mandatory qualifications for advisers. Unfortunately, the ‘industry’ is still More…

First life saved by client’s drone donation

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI In January I wrote about a lovely client who made some very generous donations to Glenmore Lodge and Cairngorm Mountain Rescue. Louie’s gifts, in memory of her late husband Norman, funded a course teaching children mountain skills at the outdoor training centre near Aviemore and a hi tech thermal imaging More…

How you can turn your grief into a lasting legacy

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI The loss of a life partner is one of the most traumatic experiences we can have. But out of the resulting grief can emerge a lasting legacy, as our latest client case study shows. With no children or close relatives, Louie and husband Norman were absolutely devoted to each other More…

How proper financial planning can be truly life-changing

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Our last blog focused on value for money and how there is a lot more to financial planning than investment returns. When it’s done right, it can be truly life-changing – as the client case studies we will share over the next few blogs will demonstrate. Our first is Bob More…

How much are your investments really making?

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI One of my major issues with the investment industry is its high charges. They are often difficult to understand and are frequently hidden – or ignored – due to ‘good’ returns. Just because your money is ‘growing’, doesn’t mean you’re getting value for money. Charges often include a product fee More…

Listen to The Boss

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI My last work meeting before leaving for Rome to see a Bruce Springsteen concert early this summer was an investment risk analysis with a new client. During the discussion I asked him his views on the investment industry. He responded that he thought it was a necessary evil and considered More…

The review: the financial planning equivalent of satnav

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI  I ended my last blog by saying you could sit back and relax for 12 months on completion of the implementation stage of your financial plan. After this first year the next stage is your initial review. A financial plan is always work in progress and one of the worst More…

Implementation of your financial plan: a team game

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI  In my last blog I explained why cashflow modelling should be at the core of a professionally structured financial plan. On completion of the plan, the next stage is implementation. At this point in the process you may need to build a good team of experienced professional advisers around you, More…

Cashflow modelling: the next best thing to a crystal ball

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI  In my job I use lots of different tools, from compound interest rate calculators to investment risk analysis systems. But the one piece of equipment I would really like is a crystal ball. To see into my client’s futures would be invaluable. Unfortunately, despite years of searching, I can’t find More…

Why you can’t do financial planning without a financial plan 

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI  In recent blogs I’ve detailed the data needed to complete a financial plan and the importance of assumptions.   Now we get to the structure of the financial plan itself. The plan is not a static document and should evolve as the client’s life changes.  It could be relatively simple More…

What you need to ensure your financial plan takes off properly

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI A pilot wouldn’t dream of taking off without a flight plan and a properly qualified financial adviser shouldn’t provide advice without a properly constructed financial plan. In the ideal world, a financial plan would be built using a crystal ball. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world, so More…

Data gathering – the next step after choosing your financial planner

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Once you have settled on a financial planner you feel comfortable with and are confident that they can provide value for money, the next stage of the process is data gathering. For most people, the main aim of financial planning is to achieve and maintain their desired lifestyle, without the fear More…

The cost – and value – of financial planning

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI The cost of the service is an important factor when deciding to work with a financial planner, but equally important is to understand the value that the planner provides. Obviously financial planners need to be paid for their service, not just to earn a living or cover their business expenses More…

Here are the budget winners – but who are the losers?

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Well, I didn’t see that coming! Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has abolished the pensions lifetime allowance and increased the annual allowance by 50% to £60,000. The lifetime allowance (LTA) is the maximum amount you can have in pension funds before paying tax. The current limit is £1,073,100. If this is exceeded, More…

Capital gains – and losses – after tax changes this April

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Significant changes are being introduced in April to Capital Gains Tax which reduce the exempt amount but increase the timescales for asset transfer. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a tax on profits when you dispose of an asset, either by sale or transfer.  There are no liabilities for transfers between spouses More…

What to expect from your first meeting with a financial planner

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI If you have decided you want to enlist the services of a lifestyle financial planner, what should you expect from your initial consultation? The first meeting should be an exploratory session where you and the financial planner get to know each other to determine if they can help you and More…

What’s in a name? A lot!

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI I have seen the name given to people who give advice or sell financial products change many times in the 38 years I have worked in the financial services sector. Common examples include insurance agent, financial consultant, broker, financial adviser and wealth manager. The latest favoured term seems to be More…

What yesterday’s Autumn Statement means for taxpayers

Ouch! That’s stung a bit… Yesterday’s Autumn Statement came at a time of significant economic challenge for the whole world. We are currently facing a war in Ukraine contributing to a surge in energy prices, increasing global inflation and central banks raising interest rates to control inflation – which increases the cost of borrowing and More…

Should I be worried if my investments are losing money?

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI English philosopher and statesman Sir Francis Bacon famously once said ‘Money is like manure, of very little use except it be spread’. And how you ‘spread’ the risk of your investment portfolio is crucial if it is to be of future use. Historically, stock market investments provide good longer-term returns More…

What the current political financial crisis means for investments

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Amid the ongoing political financial crisis, turn on the news and it’s all doom and gloom for investments. Almost daily it seems that we are being told that gilt yields are rising and that it is bad news. But why is that? How do gilts operate? In this blog I More…

An action plan to help you cope with the cost of living crisis

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI With inflation at its highest level in 40 years, how can you formulate an action plan to manage the resulting cost of living crisis? The first thing to do is not to panic! The second thing is to complete a detailed budget analysis. This will help you plan how much More…

Economic blogger explains current financial crisis

If you want to understand the causes of the growing financial crisis gripping the UK economy, a video explainer has been published today by Joe Blogs. The film provides a clear analysis of the background behind the events of recent days which have seen the value of the pound plunge and fears grow over increasing More…

The damaging consequences of high inflation

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI For those of us whose memories stretch back that far, in April 1976, Brotherhood of Man and Abba were at the top of the UK music charts, Jim Callaghan became Prime Minister and the Ford Escort was the UK’s best-selling car. The Bank of England base rate was 9.75% and More…

Why are we suffering from spiralling inflation?

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI It does not seem so long ago that we were in the middle of a pandemic and inflation was only 0.3% (November 2020). The reason inflation was so low was down to the lockdowns, when we could only really buy essentials; we could not go the pub or restaurants, go More…

How a detailed financial plan can ease those money worries

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI When people complete our ScoreMy questionnaire for the first time, the most common low score is not worrying about money. Financial stress can take a huge toll on your emotional and physical health and your relationships and the overall quality of your life, leading to insomnia, weight gain and depression. More…

Find that elusive work-life balance with our Lifestyle Wheel

Do you want to improve your lifestyle? The answer is a definite yes for most of us, but to do so you need to balance various aspects of your life. So how do you achieve this? As part of our lifestyle financial planning service, Lamb Financial has developed a simple online tool that enables you More…

The importance of life assurance, a pension fund and a lasting power of attorney

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Nobody likes to think about catastrophe scenarios such as death, serious illness or even losing a job. But failure to plan can be planning to fail and will subconsciously create nagging worries. The first thing to do should be to create an emergency fund, which I discussed in an earlier More…

The many reasons you need a will

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Many people do not make wills. The most common reasons for this are procrastination, fear of tempting the ‘Grim Reaper’, not being able to decide who should inherit, not wanting to pay the fees or thinking that assets will pass automatically to the family. Then there are the people who More…

Cashflow modelling can help you share your wealth when your family needs it most

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Do you know how much you want, need and will leave after your death, and how you are going to achieve this? These questions are so important! Many people when asked how much they want to leave will say nothing. One client told me that the last cheque he wanted More…

Are you using all available tax allowances to avoid paying unnecessary tax?

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Nobody likes to pay unnecessary tax but are you taking advantage of all available methods to reduce your tax bill legally? With careful planning, you can: Reduce your income tax Is your tax code correct, can you claim tax credits and anything from the marriage allowance or pay into a More…

How to tackle the biggest threat to your wealth: inflation

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI I have seen many investors with a portfolio that has no real relevance to their lifestyle and ambitions. Often they have some lower risk investments in deposit accounts and then longer-term investments to provide the best returns they can get, or an income to supplement their pension. But far more More…

Keep calm and take a long term view

Investors should not panic about short term down markets following the invasion of Ukraine, and instead take a long term approach. That’s the clear advice in our Ukraine-Russia Crisis guide, just published on our website. The 24-page guide looks at emotional v market volatility, risk tolerance and how it is important at times like this More…

Why you need to plot your lifestyle ambitions before deciding on level of investment risk

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI During my three decades in financial planning I have found many investors take far more risk with their money than they need to. This often leads to tears because they have invested in poor performing or risky investments. Financial advisers need to complete an investment risk analysis before that client More…

Why a bucket list is essential if you are to make the most of your life

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI As I mentioned in my first blog in this series, financial planning is about ensuring when you have one foot in the grave and look back over your life you have no regrets. Because by then it will be too late to do anything about it and you will be More…

Looking down memory lane as we celebrate 30 years in business

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI It is a momentous week for Lamb Financial.  For it’s exactly 30 years since I launched the business which went on to become Lamb and Associates (now Lamb Financial). And what a week the first week in February 1992 was. In other news, Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd signed the Maastrict More…

Why financial planning needs to be designed to support your lifestyle

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Many people invest their money to get the best returns possible and the financial services industry encourages this (it helps them sell more products). But within a financial plan it is essential that your investments are designed to support your lifestyle. The first thing to consider is an emergency fund. More…

Triple lock suspension leaves pensioners out of pocket

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Welcome to 2022! It’s hard to believe that it is now more than two decades since people were partying like it was 1999 and worrying about the millennium bug! But time flies and, for many, retirement seems to be hurtling towards us. It is prudent to review your pensions on More…

Why yesterday’s interest rate rise may not be all good news for investors

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Yesterday the Bank of England announced that it would increase interest rates from 0.1% to 0.25%.  This is the first rise in interest rates in three years. This may seem good news for investors struggling to achieve value with interest rates of around 0.5%, but unfortunately the news is not More…

How much is enough to support your lifestyle? If you don’t know, you don’t have a financial plan.

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Do you know how much is enough to support your lifestyle, without the fear of running out of money? This is one of the most important questions financial planning will help answer. We see many people working longer than they need to because they do not know how much is More…

Big increase in inflation means now is the time to discuss investment options with your financial adviser

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the Consumer Price Index hit 4.2% in October, up significantly from the September figure of 3.1% and the highest for more than a decade. Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey admitted this was slightly above their predictions and suggested More…

Achieving your life’s aims – the real focus for financial planning

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI We have looked at the ten key components that make up your lifestyle in a series of blogs over recent months. Once you have identified your desired lifestyle, the next step is to establish how you will fund it, which brings us on to financial planning. Many people think that More…

Lamb Financial joins exclusive list of accredited CISI financial planning providers

Lamb Financial has joined an exclusive list of financial planning firms accredited by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. We are one of only four financial planning providers in the North East, and 67 nationwide, to achieve Accredited Financial Planning FirmTM status out of more than 5,400 advice firms operating across the UK. Those More…

Who will look after your money if you can’t?

By David Lamb Most of us do not want to do think about our loved ones or ourselves losing mental capacity and many people think ‘it won’t happen to us, we’re fine’. But what would happen to our finances if this were to happen? Effectively the Court (of Protection) comes along and puts a padlock More…

What can I do if my pension fund is suspended?

One of the major perils in the minefield that is pension funds is a fund being suspended, which can happen for a variety of reasons. David Lamb, from The Pension Sharing Service, explains what your options are if, like Karen, this happens to you. Karen was awarded 100% of one of Norman’s pensions, and a More…

Why your biggest fear should be running out of time – not money

By David Lamb In the last in our series of articles on the components that make up our lifestyle we look at abundance. This is when you have more money than enough…enough to give you the lifestyle that you want without the fear of running out of money, whatever happens. Many people do not realise More…

The most important thing about money? Knowing how much is enough…

By David Lamb When I first started writing about the components that make up our lifestyle, I suggested that money was at number nine. We eventually got there! It doesn’t matter how much money you have, if you don’t have quality physical and emotional health, good relationships, enough time, personal fulfilment, a satisfying career, enjoyable More…

Beige budget balances spiralling debt and stagnant economy

By David Lamb Last Wednesday’s budget was quite beige, but what could Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak do? He must balance spiralling Government debt with an (almost) stagnant economy. Hopefully that stagnation will turn into a coiled spring as we get closer to the end of lockdown and the £130bn that the British public More…

Who will look after your money if you can’t?

By David Lamb Most of us do not want to do think about our loved ones – or ourselves – losing mental capacity and many people think ‘it won’t happen to us, we’re fine’. But what would happen to our finances if this were to happen? Effectively the Court of Protection comes along and puts More…

Why financial independence may be a lot closer than you think…

By David Lamb The next component of lifestyle, after fun and recreation is financial independence. Financial independence can be described as having enough income to pay for your living expenses for the rest of your life without having to work or be dependent on others or a business. At first this may sound quite difficult More…

Leading investment firm highlights interest rate threat to fixed rate investments

By David Lamb A couple of days after I wrote my last blog, highlighting my concerns about fixed rate investments, I found a very interesting article written by Giulio Renzi-Ricci of Vanguard Asset Management Limited – one of the world’s largest investment companies and a leader in passive investments. Giulio is concerned that the correlation More…