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  • The 7IM Asset Allocation Committee met again recently to discuss their short term views on global economies. Their objective is to identify suggestions for short term tactical changes to reflect our current view of the market and economic outlook. The aim is to enhance investment returns by making controlled adjustments over relatively short periods, rather than to fundamentally alter the portfolio’s long term risk and return profile.

    These views go some way to outlining their strategy for  portfolios for the next 3 to 12 months. A summary is available below to download.

  • 06 October 2014

    In Remembrance...

    In my last blog we saw Arved Waterhouse, who was living at Shenstone House in 1914, enlist as a 2nd Lieutenant in the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. He embarked for France aboard the SS Saturnia and arrived in Boulogne on 23rd August 1914.

    The British Expeditionary Force was fighting a series of bitter actions against the swiftly advancing German Army. Arved’s battalion fought from the 7th to the 10th September at the Battle of the Marne and from the 12th to the 15th September at the Battle of the Aisne.

    The Battalion arrived at Hazebrouck on October 12th in preparation for what would be known as the ‘Battle of Armentieres’. This action was one of the first formal attacks made by the British Expeditionary Force since the outbreak of war.

    The following day, 13th October, the British attacked the line running between Armentieres and Wytschaete, an area of low ridges which provided good defensive positions for the Germans and they were eventually successful in capturing the village of Meteren, near Ypres.

    The attack began at about noon in a thick mist which hindered visibility on both sides.The four Companies of the Battalion all attacked in support of each other.

    Image A

    In ‘A’ Company, Arved led his platoon in the attack against their objective which was strongly defended with machine guns. As they moved forward there was no serious opposition to contend with other than a few shots from small arms.

    The Battalion advanced in extended order with about four paces between each man. The officers wore their swords and the first casualty was Arved Waterhouse who was killed by a bullet as he walked over the quiet fields. The bullet smashed his sword and entered his body.

    He had joined ‘A’ Company only two days before.

     

    Arved is buried in the Military Cemetery at Meteren along with 45 other men from the King’s Own. A further 34 were wounded in the attack and 15 men were listed as ‘missing’. He is also commemorated in St John’s Church, Helsington.

    The village of Meteren, or what was left of it, was captured by the British and was held until the Germans re-took the area in their final offensive in April 1918.

    I think that it is an extreme irony that Arved, who was born in Vienna, should become one of the first casualties of a war between the land of his birth and the country in which he grew up.

    Many thanks are due to Mike Fleetwood and the King’s Own Royal Regimental Museum, Lancaster on whom I have relied heavily in preparing these articles.

     

     

     

  • 05 September 2014

    It's all change at FMB...

    It’s all change at FMB this month! From Monday (1st September), we have made some structural changes within the company which will, in turn, affect the way that we work.

    Previously, our 10 Financial Planners were supported by two teams of administration support staff. These staff members concentrate on all of the ‘behind the scenes’ work that goes on at FMB that most of our clients don’t know much about. For example, when you make a new investment with us, they deal with sending the application forms off to the investment provider, making sure the money is invested correctly and speedily, and that all the paperwork is correctly produced. They produce valuations of your investments, handle enquiries and produce high quality financial plans for our clients.

    At FMB we fully recognise the importance of providing a personal service. We know that when you call us, you don’t want to be ringing an ‘0845’ telephone number, be placed on hold or have to choose from an endless list of options. What you want to receive is a personal service; dealing with somebody who you are familiar with, who you can get through to straight away, and who is fully qualified to answer your queries.

    Therefore, running alongside our excellent Client Services Team, we have appointed several ‘Relationship Managers’ and ‘Assistant Relationship Managers’. These are some of our most highly qualified administration staff who will work closely with the Financial Planners to provide the very best possible service to our customers. They will understand the relationship between the client and the Financial Planner and will be able to continue providing a top quality administration service, therefore allowing the Financial Planner to spend their time doing what they do best – conducting face to face meetings with our clients and producing high quality financial plans to ensure that their objectives and goals are achieved.

    Why not take a look at the ‘Meet the Team’ section of our website to learn more about the individuals who make up the excellent administration team at FMB…

  • Paddy
    Caption: Paddy Billington
    Me receiving my 10 year long service award
    Caption: Me receiving my 10 year long service award

    Our newest recruit at FMB is a 21 year old local lad called Paddy who is as keen as mustard to learn the ropes within his role as Trainee Client Services Assistant. I can see he will do well here.

    I recall my first day here at FMB when I was 20 years old, back in June 2002 where I started out in an administration role. This is what I had been doing at Scottish Provident since completing my GCSE’s, until the future of one of Kendal’s largest employers was cut short by a takeover.

    Fast forward 12 years and I have taken more examinations than I care to remember, conducted hundreds of client appointments and feel not only confident, but happy in my work. I have pushed myself to progress, learn more and have been fully supported by my Employer along the way - like many of my colleagues.

    FMB encourages individual development at all levels and sources the best training and support available.

    Another theme at FMB is longevity. It is not a rare occurrence to find individuals who have been here longer than a lot of our office furniture! Many of the team have notched up in excess of 10, 15 and even 20+ years’ service. FMB must be doing something right, not only for their staff but also for the thousands of personal and business clients who have a long and established relationship with us – many who have dealt with us since 1987, when the firm was established.

    By staying local, you can go further!

  • My daughter started nursery this week. It was a little sooner than planned but we are confident that some extra help with childcare will be a positive step. After some nail biting and tears (hers, not mine…yet), she got through her first day.

    My mind then turned to paying for the childcare. Grandparents are a lot cheaper! When I had my first child, childcare vouchers didn’t exist. They are a tax efficient way of paying for registered childcare. You sacrifice some of your salary for an amount of childcare vouchers. You save the income tax and the National Insurance on this amount, which effectively means that the part of your salary you exchange for childcare vouchers is tax free. The cost of these vouchers is then paid directly to the childcare provider.

    A basic rate taxpayer can exchange up to £243 each month; which is £124 for a high rate taxpayer and £97 for an additional rate taxpayer.

    There are of course rules with the payments, such as it has to be a registered nursery or child-minder, so although Grandparents are definitely less expensive, you cannot use the scheme to pay family members or friends to look after the children.

    Although it is a very tax efficient system, you would also have to consider any benefits that you may lose or may be affected because you are in affect ‘losing’ some of your income. For example, you might lose some entitlement to tax credits or National Insurance accrual, depending on your circumstances.

    All in all I found it very straightforward to set up (partly because our company is very focussed on helping working parents) and I am glad I did it.

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Financial Management Bureau Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Shenstone House, Helsington, Kendal, Cumbria LA8 8AA. Registered number: 02089786