As one of it’s chosen charities, The Spectrum IFA Group is supporting ‘Village by Village‘ in 2017. We were delighted to receive the following letter and photos from it’s CEO Neil Kerfoot. Their mission is to reduce the needless suffering and deaths of children living in poverty in remote rural African villages.
The Spectrum IFA Group supporting Village by Village
Hope you are happy & healthy.
Thanks again for the donation to the solar homework lights project, we asked one of out staff to pop around to a pupil’s houses at night just to see how the children were getting on with their solar lights. We sometimes find we offer solutions to issues in the community the community then finds interesting added value additional uses for the items we provide.
We asked one of the pupils on the solar homework project to write in his own words how he found the solar lights.(See Below with photo’s, his Mum looks like she is not to be messed with!) In this case the little boy mentions he uses the light at night to go to the loo. This is really important not to see where you are going but to let the snakes know you are coming so no one gets any surprises (including the snakes, giving then time to slither off). Snake bites at night are a problem in Ghana especially in children who because of their smaller bodies can not disperse the poison as well as fully grown adults.
“It helps me to learn. I also use it when I have to visit the toilet in the night. Thank you village by village for this light that helps me to study at night. It helps in some of the domestic things we do too. Richard aged 13 Pupil from Abenta Village School, Nr Adowso, Eastern Region, Ghana. (The photos are all a bit staged but what was nice and you can not tell from the images is the visit was a surprise but before we were allowed to take any photos both Mother and son wanted to put on their best clothes for the photos/you to show they were worthy of your support)
Tips on choosing a Financial Adviser?
This is a very important question and one raised many times in forums and during seminars. I think there are six key factors in choosing a financial adviser who will be right for you:
Can I work with the adviser?
A financial adviser is someone who is not just here for your needs today, but someone who will be around for the long term. As your needs change, your adviser needs to be able to go through these changes and tell you when the French or UK government make changes that can impact your financial position.
Who do they work for?
It is important that you get an understanding of the company your adviser works for. Google them, or look for forum threads, to see how other expatriates have found dealing with them. It is important to know not just that they have a good reputation, but that they are quick to act in the event of any issues which may arise.
Are they regulated within the country you live?
Whilst the UK can still “passport” financial products to the EU, there is no guarantee that this will continue seamlessly after Brexit. One way you can ensure whatever happens that you face the least amount of change is to deal with a company regulated in the country where you live.
What is the advisers experience and history with their company?
Has your financial adviser a history of financial advice and not just a background in financial services? You want to ensure that the knowledge they have is relevant to your financial needs. It can also provide comfort if you know your adviser has been with their current company for some time.
Can they provide testimonials from recent customers?
There are few better ways of putting your mind at rest than asking your adviser if you could speak over the phone to one of two of their existing customers. It provides great peace of mind, when looking at a new financial partner.
Are they open and transparent, regarding any costs and fees involved in using them?
When you first meet your adviser, ask them for any terms of business and how working with them would progress. Be sure to ask whether there are any upfront costs involved and what the ongoing fee structure will be. You should know in advance of any commitment how they will deal with you and your estate.
Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our road shows or speak to me directly, please call or email me on the contacts below & I will be glad to help you. We do not charge for reviews, reports or recommendations we provide.
Le Tour de Finance
Le Tour de Finance has just finished another stage of it’s annual tour with three well attended forums in the 06 and 83 departments of the Cote d’Azur.
Due to the lovely early summer evenings, two of the sessions were held from 6.30pm culminating with a relaxed wine presentation and buffet in the lovely settings of the Mas Shabanou in Roquefort les Pins and the Bastide St.Mathieu in Grasse. The third event was held at the normal time of 10.30 in the equally lovely setting of Le Clos des Roses in Frejus.
As part of the long term commitment from the team organising Le Tour de Finance, senior representatives of large financial institutions were on hand to give brief presentations, but more importantly, were there to answer varied questions from the attendees.
Coaxed out from behind their desks, these senior executives from companies such as Tilney, Prudential, Rathbones, Momentum Pensions, SEB and Currencies Direct give short presentations on a range of subjects and then welcome questions from the floor. This really is the chance to get those all important questions answered by the professionals.
This unprecedented access to a range of international and independent experts is what sets Le Tour de Finance events apart.
After the summer recess, Le Tour will continue in October:
5th October – 13610, Le Puy Sainte Réparade
6th October – 11300, Gayda, Languedoc
17th October – 53470, Martigné sur Mayenne
18th October – 14570, Clecy
19th October – 22100, Lanvallay
If you would like further information or would like to book a place, please contact us or visit the dedicated Le Tour de Finance website for further information on the future events.
The objective of Le Tour de Finance is to provide expatriates with useful information relating to their financial lives. We try and cover frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients, however, it would be helpful for us to know what your particular areas of interest might be. If you’d like to send us your question please click here to complete the form.
Supporting Village by Village
Every year as part of our Corporate Responsibility The Spectrum IFA Group supports three very worthy charities. This year we have decided to support Village by Village.
Supporting Village by Village changes the lives of so many children and families living in poverty in Africa and one project supported is to help those living without lighting. The organisation works in local primary schools and with the help of the teachers identify those children who do not have access to electric lighting in their homes at night and then lend that child (During school term) a solar light so they can do their homework.
In October 2016 they started testing which is the best light to use, they received a selection of solar lights from a friendly UK solar light supplier (At a great discount) and got the kids who are going to be using the lights to write a report on the best one. The one below was the winner. The organisation noticed the kids using it with an old beer bottle so it gave more light and a softer green effect and stood a bit higher, giving more light. It replaced the old, homemade kerosene lights that are expensive, bad for health, bad for the environment and dangerous.. photos of the before and after testing can be seen in the link below.
So the money is being well used to buy solar lights, pay local teachers to allocate and collect the lights to ensure accountability and for the staff to monitor and evaluate the project, find new village schools and ensure the effective running of the projects.
More information on Village by Village can be seen here www.villagebyvillage.org.uk
Should anyone wish to donate you can do so here uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/villagebyvillage
Investing in turbulent times – presentation, Costa del Sol
The Spectrum IFA Group and Tilney Investment Management co-sponsored an excellent presentation and lunch on 13th June at the exclusive Finca Cortesin Hotel & Spa on the Costa del Sol. The Spectrum IFA Group was represented by our local adviser, Charles Hutchinson, assisted by his wife Rhona and Jonathan Goodman who attended along with Richard Brown, Lewis Cohen and Harriette Collings from Tilney.
For this event, around 25 attendees were invited and selected for this exclusive venue. They were given a very interesting interactive talk by Richard and Lewis on investing in these turbulent times, followed by a mingling lunch and refreshments in the Moroccan Room where everyone was able to personally discuss their questions with staff from both companies in a glorious and relaxing setting with gardens and fountains close by. The feedback from the attendees has been most impressive.
Spectrum was very proud to be involved with Tilney in this superb event. It is hoped this will be repeated again in the future.
Pension Presentation in Luxembourg
The Spectrum IFA group held a pension seminar at the NH Hotel in Luxembourg. The guest speaker was David Denton, Head of Technical Division from Old Mutual International who flew in especially for the afternoon to join two of the local Advisers in Luxembourg, Dave Evans and David O’Donoghue.
It was a sunny afternoon, which only happens a couple of times a year in Luxembourg, so it was great that the 39 guests still managed to turn up. It was hard to book David Denton in as he mentioned he had only just that month already been to Singapore and South Africa to give similar presentations.
David discussed the recent changes with the UK Budget and how this has affected non EEA residents when considering QROPS transfers, he mentioned the changes to the death benefits and the fact that unfunded Final Salary schemes can no longer be transferred. The changes to pensions over the last couple of years shows the UK Government are intent on narrowing down the option in the future, especially with regards to International Pension transfers to Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions (QROPS) and transfers from Final Salary schemes. Whilst these schemes do have good benefits, so should not be moved lightly, but with the very high transfer values at the moment and potential ban on transfers in the future, requests for transfer values are at record highs. With the general election coming up there could be another snap Budget and so why not review you pension plans now while you have time to think about the best way forward and before some retirement options are closed by the UK Government.
Le Tour de Finance – spring 2017
The final three Le Tour de Finance events of the spring season finished in La Roche sur Yon, Niort Bssines and Magnac sur Touvre. The venues for these past three events were spectacular bringing even more enjoyment to the days events for the attendees. The weather was sublime and the events were a huge success.
Thus far, Le Tour de Finance in 2017 is proving to be the most popular series of events ever. The seminars offer English speaking expats a chance to meet various experts from fields including; specialist expat independent financial advice, wealth management, currency exchange, QROPS/pensions and expat tax advice. The experts represent a range of international institutions giving attendees unprecedented access to ask those nagging questions about living as an expat in France.
Representatives from a wide range of international companies such as Tilney, SEB Life, Standard Bank, Rathbones, Prudential International, Momentum Pensions and AXA attend the events for a small presentation but more importantly, the events allow attendees to ask direct questions to these experts. This unprecedented access to the experts is what really sets Le Tour de Finance events apart.
The events will re-commence in June visiting the Alpes Maritime and Var regions. The events locations are Roquefort les Pins, Cabris and Frejus. Keep an eye open for events in France, Spain and Italy or contact us here to receive updated information on events in your region.
The objective of Le Tour de Finance is to provide expatriates with useful information relating to their financial lives. We try and cover frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients, however, it would be helpful for us to know what your particular areas of interest might be.
If you have any specific question please contact us here – Le Tour de Finance Questions
Why Financial Planning ?
Financial planning is about establishing your future financial goals
and aspirations and working out the best way to achieve them.
Financial planning is about having a strategy, instilling discipline
and creating a structure to your financial world.
Over the years the “financial world” has changed significantly. This is great news for the consumer as this means there is now a much wider range of solutions and products to select from. Investments platforms have risen out of nowhere, insurance products have become increasingly more competitive and the choices with what to do with your pension are numerous.
As I mentioned, this is great news for the consumer. However, this also comes with a downside. More solutions equates to more complexity, more time required to understand the options and more time to get to grips with the tax, compliance and regulatory side of things. Quite simply, for some it can be a minefield !
Not everyone has the time, expertise or confidence to get the best value from this ever changing world and for those people independent financial advice / financial planning can be extremely valuable and worthwhile.
The Spectrum IFA Group is an independent financial advisory and through our relationships with our business partners we are able to offer access to the right solutions and products for your own personal circumstances.
Once we have a thorough understanding of your circumstances and requirements, we will conduct a full analysis of your situation and provide you with a tailored plan of suitable recommendations. This may result in one solution, it may result in two or three, but the end result is that this will enable you to start making decisions which can only help you towards your financial goals.
Being independent means we can offer products from a wide range of providers, we are not tied to “selling the same box to everybody”.
We will meet with you to discuss all of our recommendations, we will make sure that they are clearly explained, fully understood and jargon-free, so that you can make informed choices about your future, based on impartial advice.
You can ask as many questions as you like and request more information at any time. We do things at our clients own pace, not our own. There is no obligation to proceed with our advice, however once you have a full understanding of why we are recommending a solution for your needs you can then make the right decision….. for you !
Residency rights in Brexit negotiations examined
Yesterday on 18th January The Exiting the European Union Committee met in the ‘Boothroyd Room’, Portcullis House, London. The committee looks at the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in EU member states as part of the negotiations for exiting the EU.
Witnesses in attendance included Gareth Horsfall from The Spectrum IFA Group, representing Expats living in Italy.
The Purpose of the session
The questioning focuses on the terms of reference for the inquiry, in addition to:
The concerns of EU citizens currently living in the UK, and UK nationals currently living in the EU
What approach the UK Government should take in the negotiations to safeguard the rights of both EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals resident in the EU
The process for identifying and clarifying the status of EU nationals in the UK
Witnesses in attendance
- Nicolas Hatton, Founding Co-chair, the3million
- Anne-Laure Donskoy, Co-chair, the 3million
- Barbara Drozdowicz, Chief Executive Officer, East European Resource Centre
- Florina Tudose, Information and Outreach Coordinator, East European Resource Centre
- Debbie Williams, British citizen resident of Belgium
- Gareth Horsfall, British citizen resident of Italy (The Spectrum IFA Group)
- Sue Wilson, British citizen resident of Spain
- Christopher Chantrey, British citizen resident of France
The session was broadcast on Wednesday 18 January 2017, from the Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House.
The recording can be viewed here
A full commentary from the session can be viewed on the Guardian Newspapers website here
The Spectrum IFA Group representing Expats in the ‘Exiting the EU Select Committee’
Gareth Horsfall from The Spectrum IFA Group in Rome, Italy, will be one of four UK citizens living in the EU who will be representing us at the House of Commons, Westminster, in the ‘Exiting the EU Select committee’, which will be broadcast live on the BBC Parliament and also streamed live over the internet on January 18th between 9am and 12pm. GMT
What is this?
The ‘UK Exiting the EU Committee’ (consisting of 20 MP’s) is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Exiting the European Union and matters falling within the responsibilities of associated public bodies.
Why have I been considered as a witness?
I have been involved with a few people in Italy who have been taking a very active part in working behind the scenes to try and safeguard our present rights as UK citizens residing in Europe. A couple of these people thought that because of my particular situation: Italian wife, Italian child, providing financial advice to, mostly, British people living in Italy, being the legal representative of an Italian Ltd company and passporting my UK qualifications into Italy on an equivalence basis, that I might be a good candidate to sit before the select committee and explain the problems that I will face when the UK exits from the EU. I agreed!
It is also an opportunity to explain some of the problems that you will also be facing.
This will be quite an experience and an opportunity for me at the same time. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a little overwhelming. However, there are human and economic rights that I feel we must make an effort to try and retain as part of the UK divorce from the EU. On that basis I was willing to put myself forward.
So with this in mind, I would invite you to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what your worries are about the UK’s exit from the EU. I will read everything before I leave next Tuesday (I may not get chance to reply to everyone, but thank you in advance for any views/opinions you have) and I will use whatever information I can to present a strong case for everyone in Italy and all other British citizens living in Europe.
Time to Unite……
….and Wish me luck!