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ESG climbs up Financial Planning agenda

Three in five (60%) Financial Planners are now factoring in ESG related questions when speaking to clients and undertaking fact finds, according to a new report.

A further one in five (22%) of those surveyed said they expected to introduce ESG related questions in the next twelve months, according to the report from analyst firm AKG and wealth manager Charles Stanley.

The report said there is growing interest amongst consumers with investible assets of more than £100,000 to ensure their investments are sustainable and socially responsible. It said that nearly a quarter (24%) of this group of respondents had independently reviewed their investments to ensure that they are sustainable and socially responsible, and over a fifth (21%) had done so with the support of an adviser. 

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John Porteous, group head of distribution at Charles Stanley said: “While awareness and appetite for socially responsible investing are increasing, we still

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Is Big Oil Still a Big Deal?

(Bloomberg Opinion) — From Monday there will be just one oil company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average — Chevron Corp. The removal of Exxon Mobil Corp. from the index after an uninterrupted presence since 1928 shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s not the end of Big Oil, but it may signal the start of the beginning of the end.It may seem odd to remove one of only two oil companies in the index at a time when the shale boom has transformed America's role in the global market. After all, the U.S. now produces more oil and more natural gas than any other country. Last year’s domestic oil production was up by 125% from levels in 2010, while gas output has increased by 60%.But those figures only tell part of the story, and not the most important part.It’s not the first time that there’s only been one oil and … Read the rest

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Pieces Of The Same Puzzle: How Business And Marketing Plans Work Together

by Annabel Maw, Director of Communications at JotForm

A marketing plan is integral to the success of any growing business. A company can have excellent products, but no one will ever know they exist if they’re not promoted well. Marketing bridges the gap between a business and the rest of the world, communicating a product’s offering, bringing in customers, and generating sales — but that bridge needs a sound strategy as its foundation.

 

Whether you’re trying to expand your marketing team, get your business off the ground, maintain momentum, or secure outside financing to expand, a marketing plan is essential. Although a marketing plan is key to running a successful business, it’s not a substitute for a business plan; the two strategic documents have distinctly different goals and serve different purposes.

 

Business Plans vs. Marketing Plans.

 

A business plan outlines a company’s overarching vision and goals. It Read the rest

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Paraplanning Hub scales up during lockdown

Financial Planning firm The Paraplanner Hub has increased its workforce as business continued to boom during lockdown.

Former financial adviser Tony Slimmings started offering freelance paraplanning services in early 2017, before scaling up and launching The Paraplanning Hub based in Castle Eden in December 2019. He has since taken on five new team members across the UK to grow its financial administration services.

The new roles include a practice manager, an administrator, two paraplanners and a systems analyst.

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Despite having scaled-up a business during the upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Slimmings is positive that the crisis can offer opportunities for growth – and is already planning further expansion.

Mr Slimmings said: ““Since 2017, the company has changed from a freelance paraplanner business to a full-service adviser support company. We offer financial administration and paraplanning support to allow single adviser firms to operate without the need for staff

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Is Facebook a Buy After Shops Feature Expansion? This Analyst Says ‘Yes’

In the current stay-at-home environment, it’s all about e-Commerce. While the shift from brick-and-mortar retail to online shopping had already been underway for quite some time, COVID-19's romp around the globe certainly accelerated it. To this end, companies everywhere are making a significant effort to keep up with the trend.This includes the likes of social media titan Facebook (FB). Back in May, the company launched its Shops product on a limited basis, offering it to only select businesses. Writing for Stifel, 5-star analyst John Egbert notes “this offering provides SMBs with the ability to build a unified transactional storefront across Facebook Pages and Instagram business profiles with direct customer service integrations through Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp.”On August 25, everything changed. The company revealed that Shops will now be available to all eligible businesses globally. Therefore, most of the roughly 160 million small businesses that maintain a business page on … Read the rest

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Mid-Pandemic Marketing 101 For Professional Service Companies

by Mike Donaldson, Carol Eversen, and Slade Kobran, CMOs at Chief Outsiders

Professional services have always been a people-to-people business, but now the industry is in a situation where professional interaction has radically changed. This represents a tectonic shift — in the services provided, the way they’re provided and business development efforts.

Same Clients – New Behavior and Expectations.

Over the past few months, many professional services firms have taken a hard look at what’s different and what they need to change to keep their revenue growth engines running strong:

  • They’ve realized that without face-to-face meetings, it’s harder to understand their client’s current needs
  • They’ve learned that the focus may be substantially reduced in some areas of practice — yet increased in others
  • They’ve been forced to consider alternate business development strategies

From law firms to consultancies, client behavior has changed and expectations are different. Some are looking for flexible … Read the rest

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Standard Life wrap increases control for Planners

Standard Life has added a number of new services on its wrap platform to support Financial Planners and improve the experience of their clients following feedback from advisers.

A new client portal offers Financial Planners the ability to personalise online user experience for their clients. The Planner decides how much information is available to each of their clients using the portal. The portal can also be configured to incorporate the Planner’s branding, contact details, and preferred asset class tier view and return calculation.

The upgrade also gives Planners more control over reporting. A new simplified report enables them to share a snapshot of their client’s account in an easy to understand format, supporting both consistent reporting and ease of use.

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The platform noted that Planners can use this with clients to provide key information at a glance, as well as supporting conversations, especially on a remote basis.  It

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Tesla Is The Unnamed Company Targeted By Indicted Russian Hacker, Musk Attests

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk confirmed late Thursday that the automaker was the subject of a hacking attempt by a Russian national and his co-conspirators. What Happened: "This was a serious attack," the billionaire entrepreneur said in response to a media report related to the attempted hacking on Twitter.A complaint was filed this week by prosecutors in Nevada against Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, a Russian national, who allegedly conspired to recruit an employee at an unnamed company, in order to surreptitiously install malware on its computers.Musk's tweet confirms the company detailed in the lawsuit is, in fact, Tesla.Kriuchkov approached the employee who had access to the company's computers through Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) owned WhatsApp messaging app on July 16 to arrange a visit to its Nevada location, prosecutors allege.The complaint states that Kriuchkov and a group of Tesla employees were in touch with each other between August 1-3 … Read the rest

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A Guide To Remote Work Success

Even before the current pandemic, more and more businesses were shifting towards a remote work system. Yet since the world was turned upside down, this has gone into overdrive. For many who were fortunate enough to still remain employed, they suddenly found themselves working from home.

At first, this could have been seen as a dream scenario for those who were tired of the daily commute to the office. However, remote work presents its own set of challenges, and it can be difficult for people to adjust to the changes.

If you’re struggling to find the right balance since becoming a remote worker, this guide is here to help. Below are the steps you should take to ensure your performance and morale both remain at a high level.

Have the right apps in place.

There are many, many different tools to collaborate online available. Settling on the best collaboration apps … Read the rest

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Expect Chancellor to raise cash from pensions says NFU

The Chancellor could introduce a limit to the tax-free lump sums taken from pensions, cut the pension annual allowance, and tax pensions when left to descendants to raise cash in the Autumn Budget.

Making changes to pensions are one of the ways Chancellor Rishi Sunak could look at raising cash for the debt-laden UK economy, according to NFU Mutual.

Sean McCann, Chartered Financial Planner at the advisory arm of NFU Mutual, also said that Capital Gains Tax could be added to home sales.

Exemption from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on main homes cost the UK Government £26.7bn in 2018/19, according to estimates from the National Audit Office.

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It has been estimated that a 10% CGT levy on profits made on sale of main homes would generate £421bn over the next 25 years.

Another way the Chancellor could raise cash is by introducing a £100,000 limit to the tax-free

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