business in South Africa

Risk vs Reward – the future of doing business in South Africa

By now it is no secret. People have spoken about the fork in the road that we as a country find ourselves at, as well as the knife’s edge on which our young democracy is balancing. There is no doubt that now will go down as a pivotal time in South Africa’s history. Economically, our environment is tough. Slow if not stagnant growth is not creating the jobs, wealth and economic opportunities that our people demand. Intense poverty and inequality is causing crises like Fees Must Fall, strikes and our high levels of crime. Politically, we find ourselves in one of the worst states that we have ever been in. A massive leadership chasm and severe corruption among the political elite leave us with our hands in our hair daily. Unfortunately, the international investment community does not care much for excuses. The probability of a downgrade to junk status is already being partially priced into the market, with political power struggles adding oil to the fire. A presidential budget speech and a finance ministry willing to stand up for our country goes a long way, but might not be enough to avoid losing our investment level status in December. The question must then be asked what the future holds for starting and growing businesses in the current chaos and uncertainty. Are there enough opportunities in this market to warrant the risk of building a company and a future here? Let’s look at some of the unique characteristics of RSA from […]

0 comments

London-based Fintech Circle Innovate announces new Africa focussed partnership with South African based innovation hub CiTi

London based, FinTech Circle Innovate and The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) based in South Africa, have today announced a partnership geared at harnessing the potential of FinTech,  in a move that aims to fast track leading-edge FinTech and entrepreneurial development in South Africa and on the rest of the continent.   “The partnership with The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is a logical and obvious choice for us,” says Nicole Anderson, CEO and Co-founder of FinTech Circle Innovate. “We feel there’s a close strategic fit. We both understand how progressive enterprise businesses or public/private partnerships can stimulate innovation talent. CiTi has a long-standing history as the most experienced incubator in Africa, plus we are both leaders in innovation in our regions. The opportunity and use case for convergence in FinTech in Africa will be a significant focus for us. Africa is showing the world how FinTech is not just about displacing or enabling traditional financial services, but that it has huge potential to stimulate key economic sectors such as agriculture, retail and energy. It is our belief that sustainable innovation comes from collaboration between incumbent players and emerging or new world business models.   CiTi has already established the first specialised FinTech hub on the continent with members such as the Thomson Reuters Innovation Lab, Barclays Rise Africa and also the Blockchain Academy. “The purpose of our Innovation Clusters,” says Ian Merrington, CEO of CiTi, “is to actively identify, support and stimulate innovation and growth in key […]

0 comments
local is lekker digital daily

Local is Lekker: The Advantages of Buying Local vs. International

“Think globally, act locally.” At least, that’s how the saying goes. Long have governments implored their people to favour all things local over the international, and not much has changed. The idea of a “home grown” product continues to drive local political and economic arenas, and, with the current state of the Rand, more and more consumers are opting for locally-sourced products.   But what does our inclination towards local products have to say about us as consumers? The benefits of buying locally are not just price driven. There are a number of factors involved. For one thing, aside from the issue of price, there is a fundamental need for us to cling to the idea of ‘the traditional’ in the spirit of community. With this in mind, here are some disadvantages of buying internationally, and the benefits of buying locally:   The Disadvantages of Buying Internationally There are some risks involved when you purchase products offshore. Those aware of the ever-increasing urge to reduce our carbon footprint will know that buying internationally places some strain on the environment. Furthermore, people are starting to see the importance of knowing where exactly their desired products are manufactured, and under what conditions.   It is essential that buyers always understand the workings of international trade. Even though the prices of South African products have increased several times in recent years, they often still come in less than international prices.   There may be international regulations that your purchases could be subject to, […]

0 comments
business-money-pink-coins-medium

The Volatile Rand: Three Tips to Prepare Your Business for the Inevitable

In today’s financial climate, trying to predict the performance of the Rand against other major currencies is about as easy as trying to predict the Lotto numbers: virtually impossible. Even the most experienced economists and currency experts will tell you that trying to prepare your business for what could (or could not) happen in a month or even a week’s time, is like playing the weather man: more often than not, you’re usually way off. People are starting to feel the pressure to make sure they are always prepared for any financial situation.   Here are some tips to prepare your business for the effects of any fluctuating exchange rates:   1.     Hedging (Forward Exchange Contracts) When it comes to protecting your funds or business, purchasing Forward Exchange Contracts could be a good move. Try and purchase Forward Cover whenever you can. That way, there will be little to no room for any exposure to exchange rate fluctuations. When you purchase Forward Cover, don’t speculate or make assumptions. Do your research and decide based on the facts. By hedging your funds, you are also protected against any sudden shifts in the exchange rate.     2.     Use Available Resources Businesses that rely on imports and exports in their daily operations should consider using available resources wherever they can. If you import on a regular basis, try and build up a reserve of foreign currency. Try and make use of foreign currency accounts when paying your overseas service providers. Doing business […]

0 comments
Digital Daily

Press Release: The Association of Zimbabwe Offshore Financial Advisors

  HARARE: Termstrides Investments t/a Carrick Wealth is excited to announce the establishment of the Association of Zimbabwe Offshore Financial Advisors (AZOFA) as at 9th February 2016. The purposes of the Association will include inter alia engaging with the Securities & Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZIM) and the other relevant organisations. The council is predominantly made up of individuals identified as key players in the industry, based on their experience and expertise to provide guidance to the Association.   The duly elected office bearers are as follows: Chairman             :               Andrew Mhere (Termstrides Investments t/a Carrick Wealth Zimbabwe) Vice-Chairman  :               Joe Levey (OFS Zimbabwe) Treasurer            :               Chipo Chigumadzi (ProFinad Zimbabwe) Secretary             :               Marcus Cambell-Reynolds (Advanced Wealth Solutions t/a VFS International   Why was it important to establish the AZOFA? According to Mhere, Chairman of the newly formed AZOFA, one of the key objectives for AZOFA is to ensure fair and proportionate regulations for Members, and also provide clear, transparent and reliable guidance and support on the implications of changing regulations, as they apply to Members and their businesses. “AZOFA provides a recognised central organisation for all Zimbabwe Offshore Financial Advisers in order to safeguard the interests of the investing community and promote the professional and ethical conduct of Financial Advisers” said Mhere. The Association intends to assure the investing community of the existence of a class of Offshore Financial Advisers who can be relied on as being trustworthy and duly qualified to perform their duties. Furthermore, the Association aims to watch […]

0 comments
Digital daily

Finding Courage

By: Kieron McRae   We all love a good conference. A couple of days out of the office, a chance to spend exorbitant amounts of money on nice venues and a few over-the-top parties, with the only cost to us being having to sit through “death-by-PowerPoint” conference sessions filled with mundane income, expense and profit graphs. At the Carrick Wealth Conference 2016, there wasn’t a PowerPoint presentation to be seen, and for good reason. For us it wasn’t about the “rah-rah” or the numbers. While that stuff is important (and we’re in no way being secretive about it) we have realised that conferences can be significant, value-adding tools that help re-align our focus, and regain and re-establish our vision. It’s important to start the year on the right foot, and acknowledge people who performed. We believe that conferences are an opportunity to be introspective, and also share and receive ideas from our strategic business partners. So, you could say that we wanted to do this intelligently. Absolutely, and this is why it was our intention to have a lasting purpose behind almost every item on our agenda.   Under the Spotlight Held at Kievits Kroon, North of Pretoria, we kicked off the conference with an open Q&A forum facilitated by journalist Astrid Ascar, where the Carrick Directors addressed questions posed by employees and suppliers before and during the session. The interaction was 100% intentional. We can’t think of anything more counterproductive than a one-sided conversation. In fact, that’s hardly a […]

0 comments
Digital Daily

Undisclosed Wealth Offshore? SARS has Your Number

By Mike Fannin (Group Sales Director: Carrick Wealth) When the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is implemented in South Africa, SARS will have full access to all your financial accounts, and investors with undisclosed wealth offshore will face criminal charges. When it comes to the wealthy using offshore investments as a way to dodge local tax, South Africa has ranked higher than several developed countries. A recent assessment of money “hidden” in HSBC Swiss bank accounts shows that: “The money connected to SA was higher than money connected to France, eight times higher than that of the USA, and 3.5 times more than Spain.” At the time of the report the equivalent of 0.57% ($2 billion or approximately R28 billion at the current exchange rate) of SA’s GDP was being held by South African citizens in HSBC Swiss bank accounts. While 0.57% seems insignificant at first glance, it represents only one report from one bank in one tax haven. Domestic Tax Changes for RSA that could lead to a Silent Wealth Exodus The formation of the Davis committee in July 2013 to assess our tax policy framework issued a report of findings in early 2015. It aims at increasing estate duty from 1 billion rand to 15 billion. It suggested inter spouse abatement be withdrawn entirely or subject to certain limits. It proposed that contributions to a retirement fund be included in deceased estates for estate duty purposes. It suggested an attribution/conduit principle for domestic trusts, resulting in trust income being […]

0 comments
Markit Opportunity crowned Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge champion

Markit Opportunity crowned Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge champion

Barclays Africa Group Limited (Barclays Africa) crowned Markit Opportunity the Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge champion at a panel submission judging event held at The Bandwidth Barn Accelerator in Cape Town last night. The pan-African challenge, under the Rise in Africa umbrella, which launched in July, invited teams of innovators to submit ideas to redefine the supply chain process and enable economic growth across Africa. Represented by their CEO and Founder Ashley King-Bischof, Markit Opportunity, from Kenya, triumphed over four other innovative finalists, by demonstrating a scalable solution to improve incomes of smallholder farmers. Markit Opportunity incentivises regional trade by leveraging mobile technology and logistics to create trusted, transparent and efficient supply chains. The company provides a mobile platform that connects traders in urban markets to farmers with real-time supply and demand statistics, as well as market related pricing. The judging panel of industry experts including Erik Hersman, CEO of BRCK, Teju Ajani, regional content partnerships lead for YouTube and Ian Merrington, CEO of the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative vigorously engaged the five finalists as they presented their concepts. “When it came to selection process, the very high calibre of submissions provided some testing conversations for the judging panel. Today’s finalists are a great reflection of the rich vein of innovation emanating from the African continent,” says Ashley Veasey, CIO, Barclays Africa and judging panel member. Markit Opportunity will receive $10 000 in support of their venture. In addition the judges were also so impressed by the Nigerian entrepreneur […]

0 comments
digital-daily-news-lifestyle-financial-tech-innovation-entrepreneur-blogs-posts-feeds

Why Holistic Financial Planning is Best

By Mike Potts Whenever a new client joins Carrick Wealth, we welcome them into a world of financial possibilities. We offer them a buffet of investment options with the security and stability that our experience and knowledge provides. A common misconception is that retirement planning and a pension portfolio are all you need to invest in. Retirement planning is simply not enough. There are several other questions to consider: How much is enough? Did you know that generally your pension should be enough to pay you 75% of the income you had been receiving while employment, during retirement? Global statistics tell us that less than 5% of people who retire can actually afford to do so and consequently are unable to maintain a lifestyle they are accustomed to or had hoped for in retirement Do you fully understand the “risks” associated with only investing into a pension? If you only save for retirement, and don’t cover your income with insurances, you run the risk of having to “eat” into your retirement pot due to unforeseen circumstances. How much are you expecting your investment to work for you when you have stopped working? Getting your retirement to work for you means you need to know what your investment options are. Check out our SIPPS, QROPS, and Retirement Trust pages so that you know what your options are. The Umbrella Effect When your approach to wealth management and investment is more holistic you are creating an umbrella of cover for yourself and your […]

0 comments
digital-daily-news-lifestyle-financial-tech-innovation-entrepreneur-blogs-posts-feeds

The QROPS Fall Out

By Mike Potts I don’t like to say “I told you so” but, I told you so (see blog…) With the most recent changes in the QROPS regulations, we predicted that Australia, New Zealand and Ireland would be most heavily affected. As of this month, all but one of the 3,500 Australian QROPS schemes have fallen off the list. All of Ireland’s QROPS have become disqualified, as well as most of New Zealand’s QROPS. What Happened? The number one transgression that these schemes are guilty of is the age when pensions can be accessed. These three countries allow people to get gain access to their pensions before the age of 55, which is before the approved access age for HMRC QROPS. How Does That Affect Me? If someone has already transferred their pension to a QROPS, they should be able to leave their QROPS in those countries. However, no new transfers can go through, going forward. If you are uncertain about your existing or planned QROPS in Australia, New Zealand or Ireland, please contact us. South Africa and QROPS From a South African perspective, Gibraltar has always been the primary destination of choice. The ability to transfer your funds, if you are a resident in South Africa, is still as strong as it ever was. What to Remember with QROPS: How QROPs Can Benefit You: You can withdraw up to 30% as a lump sum Enjoy greater investment options and flexibility You have the freedom to nominate your beneficiaries Currency […]

0 comments
Digital daily

Why Defined Benefit Pensions Were Doomed to Fail, and What’s Next

By Emma Davidson We all know the story. Your uncle or father, or you, spent a lifetime working hard and believing their pension would be enough to sustain them in their golden years, but the alarming reality that this would not be the case left them in a bit of a bind. To understand what went wrong and why defined benefit pension schemes were doomed to fail, and how we can avoid that going forward, we need to review the past one-hundred years to explain why our approach to wealth management needs to change. Each generation’s outlook on life had an impact on government and financial policies, so let’s go back exactly one hundred years to see how we got from there to here. 1900 – 1920: The Greatest Generation It’s 1915. A large part of the world had been at war for more than a year and the primary occupations in the Western world were farming, steel factories, coal mines or the military. The country with the highest life expectancy was Denmark at a rather low 58 and France was a disheartening 36 years. South African’s life expectancy was only 34. While pensions have been around in some form since medieval times for the relatively wealthy, it was not until 1908 that pensions became a state affair in the UK.  People were eligible for a pension when they reached 70, which was convenient, as life expectancy in the UK was just 48. Children born at this time would become […]

0 comments
Digital daily

Changing the Face of Wealth Management in SA: Carrick Wealth Celebrates Impressive 1st Year

Carrick Wealth Celebrates Impressive 1st Year Cape Town-based Carrick Wealth, a dynamic new company that is rewriting the book on wealth management, celebrated its impressive first year in business on October 8. The company achieved more than double the initial target it had set itself in securing far over a billion rand in invested assets under management. “We have far exceeded our own expectations and targets set when we first started out in business a year ago,” said a buoyant Craig Featherby, Group Managing Director. “We set out to build three offices and have 50 staff managing half a billion rands worth of assets. We have more than doubled that.” The company now operates fully compliant, regulator-licenced offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Harare and Mauritius, with partnering arrangements in London and elsewhere. Craig leads a dynamic and highly experienced team of 127 advisers and support staff. As at 30 September the company had over R1.308-billion invested funds under management on behalf of 429 new clients…and counting. The company is particularly active in the retirement and estate-planning market with a strong focus on UK Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS); investing on behalf of clients in bonds, trusts, structured notes, regular saving and lump sum investments, and in a variety of investment funds. Carrick has teamed up with an impressive array of giant international product providers and listed companies in the financial industry – locally and around the world. “Perhaps for me, as a mark of our success, is that […]

0 comments
Digital Daily

Invitation: Weathering the Storms in a Turbulent World

You’re invited to one of three exclusive investment seminars being hosted in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg at the end of this month. Carrick Wealth is hosting these events in partnership with Vam Funds and Close Brothers Asset Management, and will cover topics like: – Davis Committee – Common Reporting Standards – Multi Asset Risk Rated Investment Solutions Kindly RSVP to natalie.philander@carrickfs.com by no later than 16th October 2015. Cape Town: 26th October 2015   Durban: 28th October 2015   Johannesburg: 30th October 2015

0 comments
Digital daily

What a difference a year makes…

By: Craig Featherby It’s true that “time flies when you’re having fun” and, whilst your definition of fun may differ from the next person (and mine for that matter), our first year has lived up to every definition that. Like any journey of real significance, it has been marked by twists, turns, adventures, the expected and a healthy dose of the unexpected. Throughout the journey, we have grown as individuals, as a team and as an organization. And the realisation of what can be achieved when a group of like-minded people put their minds to it is what lingers most in my mind. Brian Joffe of Bidvest is quoted having said that “companies report growth, people create it” and that is so true. I have learnt many lessons throughout my business career, but I honestly believe that regardless of the nature of your business, three factors remain critical to your success: your people, your brand and your clients. Simple concepts perhaps, but ultimately each of the aspects have levels and degrees of “complexity” woven into them (most of which are far too complex to even consider in this thought piece). Looking back over what we have created during the last year, I can honestly say that we have built an incredible team of people. We often glibly say that “people are our most valuable asset”, but I would like to add an additional thought to that: “the most valuable asset we have is the willingness of our people”. None of what […]

0 comments
Digital Daily

Ubuntu in Business: Giving Back

* This content is brought to you by Carrick Wealth, leaders in wealth and capital management In Africa we have a saying, a philosophy rather, that if you have Ubuntu (human-heartedness), you are a full person. We at Carrick Wealth believe it is a concept that should be taken much further and should not only apply to individuals, but also to business and the corporate environment. Corporate Ubuntu if you will: giving back to society and connecting in ways that provide hope to those who can only dare to hope. It is a philosophy that underpins much of what we do in our business – it defines our corporate outlook on life. While we are not a charity, we are a financial services business with a conscience and a desire to help those less fortunate than ourselves, where and how we can. We live in a world driven by the pursuit of increasingly sophisticated technology and material well-being. Pivotal to this is a dynamic and successful business sector managed by entrepreneurs and so-called captains of industry … people who are driven, talented, successful and financially well-rewarded. At the same time we are still surrounded by so much poverty, misery, hardship and the lack of opportunity to get ahead. Consider some of the facts: – 25% of working-age South Africans, or 5.23 million people, have no work (2QLFS15) while the expanded definition of unemployment puts 34.9 percent out of a job; – 21.7% South Africans, or almost 12 million, live in extreme poverty, having less than R779 per-person-per-month on […]

0 comments
Digital daily

Carrick Wealth Appoints David Morgan as Associate Director

Cape Town, 29 September 2015: Carrick Wealth announced the appointment of new associate director, David Morgan. Carrick Wealth, one of the fastest growing comprehensive independent financial planning companies in Southern Africa, with branches in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Zimbabwe and Mauritius, specialises in retirement planning, fiduciary and estate planning, off-shore and local investments and QROPS. “Bringing David Morgan into the Carrick fold is a win for our clients and the team,” says Mike Potts, Sales Director at Carrick, “as he brings with him a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of investments, as well as strong leadership and vision.” David Morgan – previously MD and VP for International Pensions of Holborn Management Services, as well as CEO of CEMCORP Commodities – will be opening the Mauritius operation in the New Year as Managing Director of Carrick Investment Services. David’s extensive experience in independent financial services gained in the UK will stand him in good stead, offering Carrick’s world class products and services to a global base, thanks to the three global licences that they hold in Mauritius. “I am excited about what lies ahead with the Carrick family,” says David, “and look forward to bringing my best to this new endeavour.” Until Mauritius is launched, David will be focusing on the Garden Route where he has an extensive base of clients who already know and trust his financial expertise, thus ensuring that the future of Carrick’s client’s wealth is in good hands. To contact Carrick: Web: www.carrick-wealth.com Email: wealth@carrick-wealth.com

0 comments
Digital Daily

How UK Politics Could Affect Your Pension

By Mike Potts As an expat, I am always interested in what is happening in the UK. So, when the Labour Party recently elected its new leader, Jeremy Corbyn, I’m not sure the world quite knew how the UK would respond. Corbyn’s shift towards the left for labour has changed the face of the party massively, which now leans more heavily towards a democratic socialist point of view than before. Corbyn has not come with a soft approach. Straight off the successful election he has taken steps towards getting policy changed around renationalising public utilities as well as the railways, while reversing cuts to the public sector and welfare funding. Plus, he’s keen on removing university fees and bringing back student grants. His radical approach has left many feeling unsettled and a little uncertain. According to BBC.com, even some MPs are getting hot and bothered, with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron suggesting that disgruntled Labour MPs can join his party – something Mr Watson (Labour’s deputy leader), dismissed out of hand, saying it “would be like leaving the Beatles to join a Bananarama tribute band.” Expat in RSA So how does this impact on you? How does the new labour leader’s election affect your pension? For now, being early days, it is still hard to say what, if any, effect this will have on policy and legislation. With this obvious deviation from what might be considered ‘normal’ politics over the last 10 years it will be very interesting to see […]

0 comments
Digital Daily

Finding Security in Offshore Discretionary Trusts & International Retirement Plans

In the uncertain and volatile world we live in, protecting one’s wealth, growing it and finding security and peace of mind often seem to pose significant challenges, especially when it comes to retirement and inheritance planning. However, for high-net-worth individuals offshore trusts are excellent option. This is an area in which Carrick provides expert services and advice. Again, sound knowledge and expertise about the different structures that are available are indispensable. Even for some of those who already have an offshore trust, the one they are invested in may be entirely unsuited to their needs. There are many legal and tax implications that have to be taken into consideration. With offshore trusts there are certain similarities to South African trusts, but also some very substantial differences. The basic structures of the trusts, however, are the same. Typically, offshore trusts will have independent corporate trustees who are not people close to the settler or beneficiaries and hence have no vested interests in it. Therefore, conflicts are avoided. Corporate trustees are independent specialists simply providing a service. Also, most offshore trusts are regulated just the way banks and other financial services entities are. This means they are far better controlled and administered than a trust in which a family is trying to control its own affairs. Corporate trustees generally resist having protectors appointed – popular with South African trusts – as they offer a professional service subject to regulation and all it entails. They do not want to be overseen by someone […]

0 comments
Digital Daily

Why Carrick? Our People are our Greatest Investment

Carrick is a respected and service-driven firm in the wealth and asset management industry. Our company prides itself on the high calibre of its professional team and which is matched seamlessly to the equally high expectations of its high-net-worth clients. Were you, therefore, to consider a career in this dynamic industry, why would you want to join Carrick? And why would Carrick want to appoint you? Before we answer these two questions, we need to state, upfront, that we always aspire to deliver the best professional service possible to our clients in order to protect and grow their wealth. Perhaps you are drawn to the high energy of financial markets and the investment environment. Or you are someone who likes to listen, solve and help others achieve their ideals. Maybe you’re a visionary planner who can take the long-term view in negotiating the twists and turns of wealth and asset management. Or a people’s person with a knack for figures. Or someone who knows about the world of collectibles. Or someone who likes the buzz and excitement of finance and can bat away the curved balls and unravel the knots. Or a talented, bright person with a zest for life, looking for the right environment in which to realise your full potential. Whatever it is that floats your boat, if your expectations match ours and those of our clients, there may be a place for you at Carrick. What are we looking for? Ideally, you should be driven and focused, […]

0 comments
Digital daily

We live in interesting times…

The saying “may you live in interesting times” is often quoted as being a Chinese curse. Although no actual historical reference can actually be found to confirm its origin, the events over the last few weeks in the global markets would certainly affirm its origin now. There are, of course, many opinions and points of view as to the cause of the recent volatility in global markets, the impact it will have and how long it will take to recover. As is often the case, there is no simple “one word answer” and the explanations generally tend to be quite technical and complicated (especially if you read the comments from analysts and commentators). The most pressing question on most people’s minds is probably “should I be concerned?”  Let me answer that in a pragmatic way, by sharing a question I put to my team: “are we doing everything we can to look after the interests of our clients in good and bad times?” Here is a selection of the answers we have come up with: Carrick has partnered with leading institutions and specialists who are at the top of their respective fields. Our partners display the same values that we do of integrity, long-term stability and consistent performance. We are in constant communication with our partners to ensure that they are delivering on our promise to you. Our focus is to be 100% client-centric, driven by a strong service ethic. Consistent communication and relevant content are the cornerstones in any successful […]

0 comments

Structured Notes: An Alternative Product that Curbs Risk while Maximising Return

As an investor you may not have a very high risk appetite; yet, equally, you don’t want your money sitting around doing nothing. The question is where and how to invest when confronted with the almost bewildering array of products and markets to choose from, many of which may fail to provide the returns your were hoping for. The answer may lie in an investment type known as a structured investment, or commonly referred to as ‘structured notes’. People who wish to invest their money usually look for two things: firstly, protecting their wealth, and secondly, generating reasonable growth. However, for many people the two don’t always seem to go hand in hand. You could, for instance, invest directly in stocks, where the risk can be extremely high. Or, if you have neither the stomach nor the expertise required, there is the mutual funds and unit trust route – probably the best known and most popular – where investments are pooled, invested in stocks and bonds, and managed by professionals. However, while we are often promised less risk for more return, it usually comes at a hefty cost and does not often provide the returns we had hoped for. The other alternative is simply to leave your money on deposit with a bank where your risk will be minimal, but your money will most likely lose value. What if you wanted to pursue a middle option: an investment vehicle that combines the safety of a bank deposit account with the […]

0 comments

Discretionary Trusts: Protecting your Assets for the Future of Others

Robert Kiyosaki, author of ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ fame, said: ‘It’s not how much money you make, but how much you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.’ Managing our finances and investing our hard-earned cash often involves some of the most difficult choices and decisions, especially when we plan for retirement or for providing for the loved ones we will one day leave behind. Effective tax and estate planning are synonymous with this. The many options, instruments and investment vehicles that are available can be quite bewildering and should ideally be investigated with the help of an expert, reliable, independent financial adviser. Among these options are Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) for those who have a UK pension; fiduciary structures such as discretionary trusts or self-invested personal pensions (SIPPS), and many other different types of trusts. Among the many types of trusts are discretionary trusts, probates trusts, interest in possession trusts, charitable trusts, accumulation-in-maintenance trusts, pension trusts and special purpose trusts. Among discretionary trusts alone the options tailored to your goals are many, all differently focused and structured, each having to comply with specific legal and other requirements. You may have a single trust in which to house all your assets, or you may have multiple trusts which often are unnecessary. Discretionary trusts are ideal for inheritances. Many South Africans are familiar with what is commonly referred to as a ‘family trust’, which has many features of a discretionary trust. […]

0 comments

Improve the World Around You

Good News!  It’s been a great month of Giving. How much truth is there in that old adage: “it’s better to give than to receive”?  My wife would joke and say she would prefer to receive but anyone who knows her would know that these are empty words where she chose to err on the side of humour. Personally, for me, there is no better feeling than that of giving.  Possibly a great realization why my marriage is so strong.  To put the jokes aside, giving is a wonderful, selfless act. Besides feeling good about yourself for doing something for others, giving back is also good for your physical health. In a Canadian study, 85% of Ontario volunteers rated their health as “good,” compared to 79% of non-volunteers. Only 2% of volunteers reported “poor” health, one-third of the amount of non-volunteers who reported the same health status.  We would like to enhance, promote and encourage the fact that giving back is in the Carrick Culture – it is in our DNA. I relish the opportunity to sign off: “out of office – philanthropy work” when it comes to a day of giving back. While we may not be in the league of Bill & Melinda Gates, we can be proud that we do put effort into being kind and giving. As Mother Theresa said, and I quote, “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” To the Carrick staff that attended and gave your […]

0 comments

Six Reasons Why You Should Live in South Africa but Invest Offshore

By Mike Fannin South Africa, the Brave If you have been a resident of South Africa for longer than a minute, you don’t need me to tell you about our beautiful country’s challenges. Power (of the electrical sort), crime, the diminishing rand value and increased inflation, to name a few, are uppermost on people’s minds when it comes to South Africa. As a result, many have opted to leave the country (and return – see the blog on Happy Homecoming), or simply bury their heads in the sand and hope it goes away. The rest of us know better because we read articles like this one. Having travelled and lived in many cities and countries around the world, I can assure you that South Africa has more going for it than you might think. For one, the South African culture, over and above our wonderfully diverse tribes and languages, is one of the biggest resources this country has: resilient as iron, rich with optimism, creative and inventive, quick to laugh, and always ‘bok for sport’. Mix that with great weather and beautiful wide open spaces and we have more than enough reason to stay. The bottom line is there are certain things we have control over, and things we have no control over. I cannot control what our government does, but I have control over whether I vote for the leadership I want or not. I cannot choose when load shedding happens, but I can choose where I live and […]

0 comments

Diversifying as a Hedge Against Political Risk

Author: Craig Featherby Political risk and financial risk are two sides of the same coin, both of which can creep up on all of us at any time. Sometimes we are caught off-guard, and sometimes we simply fail to read the signs timeously or correctly. Often those we entrust with our destiny are unable or unwilling to correct, or even to control, such generally disastrous events, if they are not the cause of the crisis in the first place. The consequences can be both harsh and devastating. A good case in point is the current crisis in Greece where, inter alia, banks have closed to avoid a crash, the populace is desperate to withdraw their cash and pensioners are allowed only limited pension withdrawals determined by a faltering left-wing government. Life-long savings and investments stand to be wiped out. The country has been kept going only through emergency bailouts from the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which may be running dry. Worse still, a full meltdown in Greece after the ‘Oxi’ vote in the 5 July referendum could threaten the future of the euro, and even the European Union (EU), with massive potential knock-on effects for the rest of the world. Stock markets everywhere have reacted strongly, and already the euro has lost significant ground, while European stocks are going down. The Wall Street Journal has warned in an article that a financial crisis in Europe could precipitate a collapse in investor risk appetite, which, in turn, […]

0 comments

Measuring 2015 at the Halfway Mark

Author: Craig Featherby We are into July – which means it is time to do our ‘self checks’ and measure ourselves against our personal goals. People, including soon-to-be retirees, often have big dreams and goals for their retirement for when they have time in their day and are no longer working. How many of us have realistic retirement goals, should be the question.  Do we have misguided thoughts on our future plans? Have we saved enough to be comfortable in order to enjoy them and follow through? Retirement is expensive. Are you on track to maintain your standard of living when you stop working? Ignoring reality or even failing to take a hard look at whether you’ll have the savings to retire is a fair and important question. Are you on track?  People often don’t think hard about their retirement plan until their late 40s or early 50s. These days, it appears, parents are supporting children into adulthood either through lack of employment for them or for personal reasons, yet not all of us can expect to receive an inheritance. It’s important to figure out whether your retirement savings and investments are on the right trajectory – and if not, by how much they fall short. With Carrick specializing in capital wealth and wealth management our association/relationship means that we can ensure you achieve or at least are well on your way to achieving your retirement goals. You may like to click into this retirement calculator in order to measure […]

0 comments

Why Move Your UK Pension to a QROPS in Gibraltar?

Once you have decided to move your UK pension to a QROPS scheme in another country to take advantage of the many benefits – especially the tax benefits – the next question remains: to which country? At Carrick Wealth we believe one of the best options is Gibraltar, and we have advised many of our clients accordingly. Bear in mind that you do not necessarily have to live in Gibraltar if your pension is placed into a QROPS there. QROPS is an acronym for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes, a legal vehicle allowing UK pensioners to take their pension fund out of the United Kingdom. For more information on QROPS, click on this link. Of course, there are many other countries that also allow you to benefit from QROPS, but, for those living in South Africa, the jurisdiction of Gibraltar stands out. “One of the benefits of Gibraltar as a jurisdiction to our clients in South Africa is the low 2.5 per cent tax on pension income there,” says Michael Potts, Group Sales Director at Carrick Wealth. QROPS Offer Many Advantages If you have a UK pension and do not plan on retiring in the UK, QROPS offers you many advantages and a vast range of choices, as there are thousands of retirement pension plans available in more than 40 countries around the world meeting the criteria set down by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the British tax authority. This is still the case, even after HMRC changed the rules […]

0 comments

Protect Your UK Pension with QROPS and Sound Advice

* This content is brought to you by Carrick Wealth, leaders in wealth and capital management The value of the UK pensions of thousands of returning South Africans and British expats moving to, or living in, South Africa could be threatened on numerous fronts, but need not be. Protecting one’s pension, however, will require expert financial navigation in a world fraught with increasing threats to personal wealth. As well-known scenario planner and futurologist Clem Sunter maintains, one of the ten megatrends of the 21st century is that “it [managing money] is more about defending your wealth than growing your wealth”. This applies particularly to those wishing to utilise a QROPS scheme (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes) that allows UK pensions to be transferred to other countries that may offer better benefits. New UK pension regulations that came into effect from April 2015 also have many wondering whether transfer to an off-shore jurisdiction is still a viable option or whether the new, ostensibly improved UK pension rules have closed the so-called ‘advantage gap’. Some of the biggest threats to people’s hard-earned retirement income come from ‘pension raiding’ governments that are forever looking for new sources of income; from misunderstanding applicable tax and pension rules in different jurisdictions; from unscrupulous and unregulated financial advisers, or from having to pay excessive or hidden fees to those managing and investing one’s money. For most people a pension will be their biggest asset ever, built up over a lifetime of hard work, and something they […]

2 comments

Frequently Asked Questions about Pensions

To the reader: Please note these are generic answers to the most frequently asked questions. The answers are by no means exhaustive, nor do they constitute or should be construed as advice. It is imperative that you seek the advice of a qualified wealth advisor and/or an authorised financial service provider who would be able to advise on your specific circumstances. Q: Can I move my pension out of the UK? A:  Yes, the most popular route would be Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) Q: What is a QROPS (Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme)? A: A Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) is any scheme recognized by UK HMRC as meeting standards and conditions equivalent to a UK pension. QROPS allows you to transfer your current ‘frozen’ pension into a different HMRC approved scheme in a jurisdiction outside the UK. This offshore HMRC approved scheme will still be under UK pension rules and reporting requirements. Q: What are the key benefits of a QROPS Pension Transfer? A: Very broadly, these are some of the benefits: Tax efficiency, ability to consolidate multiple pensions into one, options with regards investment choices and simplified estate planning. Q: What happens if I go back to the UK or elsewhere? A: QROPS were specifically designed with expats in mind. That means that it is globally recognized and is therefore portable. You are able to access it from anywhere with most of the same benefits applying. Q: If I leave it in the UK, what […]

0 comments

Carrick’s Joburg Office Launched

Carrick Wealth officially opened the doors of its flagship offices in Johannesburg, recently. The launch event, held in the stylish and beautifully designed Carrick offices in Daisy Street, Sandton, was well supported by well-known personalities Liezel van der Westhuizen, Ian Fraser (Hot FM radio host) and Financial Journalist Astrid Ascar, and saw members of staff and their partners celebrating with company directors. Ian Edwards, Associate Manager of the Johannesburg branch, opened the event. “For us, the Carrick Way has no bearing on our geographical location,” said Ian, “No matter where we go, both locally and abroad, we bring the high standard and values that is the Carrick Way with us. More than that, our personal service and superior financial expertise sets us apart from other financial advisors, and will ensure we continue to grow our happy client base.” Craig Featherby, Carrick’s Group Managing Director, closed the formalities: “This office is the perfect union of convenience and strategy. We all know that Sandton often referred to as the ‘richest square mile in Africa’ and now these new offices afford ease of access to our clients. More than that, Sandton is also prime real estate for international companies’ head offices. These top international companies attract employees from the UK. Bring into the mix our determination to be well-established in the country we offer our services from, plus our financial expertise in UK pensions for ex pats, and you have a perfect symbiotic relationship. We are very excited about what we will see […]

0 comments

The Sandwich Generation: Six Things You Need to Know to Survive Supporting Your Kids and Your Parents

Six Things You Need to Know to Survive Supporting Your Kids and Your Parents The sandwich generation, the term aptly given to adults when they find themselves in the middle of being financially responsible for their children as well as their parents, is becoming more and more prevalent. With more people waiting longer to have children, the knock-on effect is that parents of young children find their ageing parents in need of their care as well. More than that, with medicine and general health advances, we are now more likely to live for 20 to 30 years beyond our selected retirement age, which means pensions need to last longer, and frail care needs to be budgeted for. So, how do we navigate the uncharted territory of preschools and pension, university tuition and inheritance tax, without having a mini-breakdown? Here are SIX Sandwich Survival Tips TO HELP YOU SURVIVE: 1.   Draw Up A Financial Plan: Having a financial plan is like having an umbrella for your rainy day – it’s a buffer for unexpected financial expenses. You don’t have to be an accountant to draw one up either. Calculate how much income and capital you need by factoring in variables like your age, the age and number of your dependants, other income sources and how much of your capital you want to draw in income payments. Map out some financial goals, and start adjusting spending habits, and investing wisely, so that you can reach those goals, and not be caught in […]

0 comments

What history tells us about which currencies to invest in today

* This content is brought to you by Carrick Wealth, leaders in wealth and capital management How do you know whether your rand-based South African investments are performing as well as they would have had you invested in another currency or territory? What measure represents a true picture of investing in the rand against, say, the British pound? While investors might look at growth in one country as attractive, especially over time, they often miss key variables that can skew the true picture. Shortly after winning the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1974, Friedrich Hayek announced “… we have to explain how prices operate as signals, telling people what they ought to do in particular circumstances”. The implications of his comment provide a valuable lesson when we consider how prices and values have changed since that time. In fact, it’s a lesson that needs to be taken into account when attempting to measure investment performance. This is especially so in a globalised investment landscape, where, when assessing or forecasting performance, economic signals need to be benchmarked beyond countries in isolation. What seems like impressive growth in one part of the world may pale when compared to another, or when compared to the value of another currency. Over time, outcomes can look very different when you compare key factors such as inflation and exchange rates on currency volatility. A Forty-year Story Let’s explore an example from a South African perspective with 1974 as the starting date.. We will use the value […]

0 comments

The Last 365 Days at a Glance: Introduction to Carrick Newsletter

It feels as though Carrick has been in existence for way longer than 365 days as I look back and am astounded at the sheer capacity and enormity of what we have achieved.  I often ask myself why I never took this bold step years ago but one has to be ready to face adversity and challenges and I believe my timing was spot on. As the famous Anne Frank said “The final forming of one’s own character lies in their own hands.”  I had been dreaming, imagining and moulding my own company since I was a young boy and finally it was time for me to write my own history in order to leave my own desired legacy. Marked in my mind forever is that day in April 2014 when I walked out of my ex employers doors and registered Carrick as an official company…..we now became a (Pty) Ltd. Five months later, (which felt like an eternity) on the 8th of October 2014, Carrick was licenced and ready to show the world that years of thought and planning had come to fruition.  It was the best birthday gift I could ever give to my wife Di. I can now boast that we have two full financial and advisory licenses in SOUTH AFRICA issued by the FSB.  We have prestige, welcoming, professional offices in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, not to mention our recent fully licensed office in Harare, licensed by the Security Exchange Commission in Zimbabwe. Carrick feel […]

0 comments

Happy Homecoming

By Mike Potts It’s estimated that over 500,000 South African-born people are living and working in the UK. London has the second largest number of South African expatriates in the western world, with expats gravitating towards university towns like Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and Edinburgh. This makes sense, as many young South Africans left South Africa’s sunny shores to earn their university degrees in the UK. Plus, thanks to the open invitation provided by the British ancestry visa, many young, skilled South Africans hopped on a plane to start a new adventure overseas. What was usually planned as a short-term visit over the waters would often end up as a prolonged stay. Falling in love, getting married to a British-born or fellow South African in London, building a career and starting a family was not part of the plan, but more often than not, ended up being the outcome. Usually, when families started growing, the very real pull to come back home for much-needed support from friends and family resulted in South Africans coming home. Plus, with organisations like the Brain Gain’s Homecoming Revolution promoting South Africa since 2003, the call of Africa is seeing more and more expats coming home. My story is a bit different – I am UK-born, but in 2009/10 the UK was not a great place to be and I took the opportunity to fulfil my desire to travel, as well as to be part of the entrepreneurial boom South Africa is currently experiencing. So, we […]

2 comments

Mike’s Comments on ROPS Vs QROPS

Recently, British press announced that the HMRC cannot confirm that all ROPS are qualified (QROPS). Here’s what that means to the man on the street: In very simple terms, HMRC has said if a Trustee cannot confirm that their scheme cannot be accessed before 55, then it will not qualify as a QROPS. HMRC is putting the responsibility on the providers to do this as, if they fail to do so, clients will be charged a 55 per cent unauthorised tax transfer fee. This has no effect on Gibraltar, and Malta has changed their laws to comply with this, increasing the access age from 50 to 55 to match the UK’s pension legislation. It may, however, prove to be a fatal blow to Australia and New Zealand QROPS: Australian and New Zealand law allows that – if someone can show that they are in financial hardship – they can access their pension at any age. This means Australian and New Zealand QROPS will be classed as ROPS. The likelihood of these countries changing this law to aid expats is unlikely, therefore it will be interesting to see how these two countries, and the industry, respond, as they may not be advantageous jurisdictions for QROPS. With a third of QROPS being Australian, the resulting drop off from the QROP list if they cannot satisfy HMRC’s request will be significant. We can advise you on QROPS and wealth management. Click here to talk to a financial advisor. HMRC can’t confirm all ROPS are […]

0 comments

How the Pension Changes in the UK Affect Me

Not many pensioners in the UK are aware how the biggest pension changes in 100 years will affect them. In fact, only 17% of British pension holders are aware of these changes, and how it affects their retirement and their wealth. Before we explain what to do about the changes, let’s recap what the pension changes are and how it will affect the British pension holder. A Summary of UK Pension Changes: Your Life Time Allowance (LTA) has been reduced from £1.25m to £1m. You get less tax free contributions. If you have a defined contribution scheme in the UK, the previous access age was 65, now it is 55. You can now access 100% of your UK pension, where previously it was only 25% which forced you to leave the balance as a source of income for your retirement. However, if you choose to access 100% of your pension you could be heavily taxed in the region of 40-45% tax. The UK gave access to free financial advice in an attempt to ease the pain of adjusting to these pension changes by creating www.pensionwise.org and offering free financial advice. The demand for financial advice was higher than their allotted resources (ratio of 7000:1) resulting in delays and frustration. Finding an independent, unbiased financial advisor eliminates this. So, What Do I Do if I am a UK Pension Holder and Want My Wealth Managed? Here are several things to consider now that you have greater access to your pension – […]

0 comments

Seven Things Your Financial Advisor Should Be

Author: Mike Potts If They’re Not, It Could Spell Trouble Entrusting your wealth to a company or an individual to grow takes a lot of trust with a healthy sprinkling of faith. Here are seven things your financial advisor needs to be in order for your investment to be safe. 1.     Be Regulated in RSA Your financial advisor needs to be regulated in the country that you reside in. Why is this important? It makes them accountable and ensures that they are giving sound advice. Plus, if you wish to complain, you have the protection of that regulatory body – in South Africa, the FSB – to  go to. 2.     Be Independent Why is this important? Being with an independent financial advisor means that there is little possibility of biased advice being offered and a stronger likelihood of only sound, impartial advice being considered for your investments. Some companies have conflict of interest due to key members of their staff being affiliated with other companies. Can they truly give impartial advice? If there is a conflict of interest, has it been disclosed? 3.     Be Committed A good way to assess if your financial advisor or company is committed to the country they are established in is the evidence of a bricks-and-mortar office. Can they meet you face to face? If not, that should be enough to set your alarm bells ringing. Why is this important? No commitment to the country means that, should they suddenly change strategy and decide that […]

0 comments

Four week limit to unpaid internships

With the UK elections quickly approaching we have kept a close eye on what is happening in the financial sector during this time. From budget proposals to employment and internship, Carrick Wealth offers insight into these developments. Four Week Limit to Unpaid Internships  “In this country, if you want a good job in a highly prized sector, you’re often asked to work for free, often for months on end, sometimes even a year. It’s a system that’s rigged in favour of those who can afford it.” (Ed Miliband) Labour has pledged a 4 week limit to unpaid internships. They are to ban unpaid internships that last longer than four weeks. This forms part of a youth manifesto that is to be unveiled by Ed Miliband. This proposal comes as David Cameron counters with a commitment to jobs, confirming that he is to extend the employment allowance to 2020. This means that a third of jobs is to continue with paying no national insurance for 5 more years. The Employment Allowance lets smaller businesses hire new staff. Miliband is to say that people who are offered an internship that is to last more than a month have to be paid minimum wage. He will argue that some of the most wanted jobs are actually out of reach for the youth you cannot afford to work for free over an extended period of time. This announcement will coincide with the new YouGov data that is to be released by Intern Aware. The […]

0 comments

The 2015 UK Budget Changes Explained: Lifetime Allowance and Annuities

The 2015 pension changes have been put in place and are deemed to revolutionise the way we take an income in our retirement. This change ultimately scraps the need for most people to buy annuity. Now, savers are free to take their entire pot – in a single lump sum. They are also able to withdraw money straight from their account when need be. The Lifetime Allowance Chancellor George Osborne announced that he will be cutting what he referred to as the ‘unsustainable’ lifetime allowance. This is the maximum amount of money that is able to be saved on a pension (from £1.25m – £1m). The cut to the Lifetime Allowance has worked out to be quite a blow to higher earners. Osborne has stated that it will affect less than 4% of the country. The pension holder pays 55% tax charge on any given amount over the lifetime allowance when they take a pension commencement lump sum. It was also announced that from 2018 the Lifetime Allowance will increase in line with inflation. It has been argued that the limit placed on pension saving will directly punish those who save early and have the most success in investment. To quote Greg Kingston of Suffolk Life pension firm: “Talk of a pension lifetime allowance of £1m will seem meaningless to a 21 year old on the increased minimum wage of £6.70 an hour. Yet if that 21 year old works a 35 hour week and manages to put 20pc of […]

0 comments

Press Release

Carrick Wealth Zimbabwe Granted a Securities Investment Advisory license by the SECZ. Carrick Wealth Zimbabwe has been granted a Securities Investment Advisory license by the Securities and Exchange Commission in Zimbabwe (SECZ). Some of the key objectives of the SECZ include: • Providing high levels of investor confidence • Reducing systemic risk in the capital markets • Promoting market integrity and investor confidence “Regulation is a critical factor today in financial services,” says Craig Featherby (Group Managing Director – Carrick Wealth) and the granting of this licence in Zimbabwe is in line with the Carrick philosophy of treating clients fairly and ensuring the highest levels of compliance and regulation across our business. Carrick Wealth Zimbabwe is headed up by Andrew Mhere, a well known and respected figure in Zimbabwean Financial Services and operates from their newly opened offices in Sam Levy Village. www.carrick-wealth.com

0 comments

Is Britain the ‘Comeback Country’ thanks to the 2015 Budget Plan?

“This is the budget for Britain. The comeback country” – George Osbourne 2015 On March 18 George Osbourne revealed his 2015 budget plan in its entirety. Here we take a look at some of the key points of the 2015 UK Budget. • Growth The UK economy has been forecast to grow by 2.3% in 2016 before reaching 2.4% by 2019. These stats are great news for the chancellor, however he is being careful about talking too much about the growth. This is to ensure that the voters don’t believe all his economic work has already been completed. • Inflation Inflation forecast is at 0.2% for the next 3 years. This is another factor that aides the Chancellor. This means that he will lower the interest of public debt. However, he is still well-below the target of 2% inflation. • Banks Over the next 5 years, £5.3bn extra taxes are to come from the banking sector. This is because the banks have stopped claiming relief on compensation claims as well as the bank levy. This is expected to bring £2.9bn in revenue per year and will increase to 0.21% – bringing in an extra £900m. Money that is raised from bank sales will be utilised to pay off national debt. • Debt The Chancellor is able to say that his target has been met effectively: getting the national debt share to fall by the end of parliament. However it is a year later than previously expected. • Borrowing Borrowing is […]

0 comments

Why are there so many QROPS in New Zealand and Australia?

It’s no secret that many UK expats move to Australia and New Zealand to retire. Indeed, there roughly 1.2 million British expats that now call Australia home. The popularity of these countries as retirement destinations is also evidenced by the number of QROPS registered in them, so the question must be asked: Why are New Zealand and Australia such popular retirement destinations for UK expats? Firstly, there is 0% tax on fund growth in foreign assets for foreign investors in New Zealand. New Zealand foreign trusts require that the trustee be a resident, while the settlor must be a non-resident. These foreign-based trusts are extremely attractive in terms of tax-efficiency for foreign investors. Secondly, members are not obliged to purchase an annuity in New Zealand schemes. This is because these schemes don’t make income payments. Rather, they make capital distributions. What this means for the investor is that they can leave the scheme once they begin to withdraw their “income for life” funds. If the investor chooses to withdraw from the scheme, they will receive the remaining funds upon transfer. Of course, the fund will likely have exit charges, but barring this, the remaining funds are received in full. Thirdly, New Zealand’s regulatory environment is incredibly stable and transparent. The Inland Revenue keeps a close eye on tax compliance of superannuation funds, and each scheme is reviewed by the FMA and the Inland Revenue. Likewise, investor interests are at the heart of New Zealand and Australia’s laws on fee disclosure. […]

0 comments

The Impact of the 2015 UK Elections and the Upcoming Pension Freedoms on Citizens and Expats

The 2015 UK general elections are drawing nearer, and speculations abound over which party is going to come out on top, and more importantly, how new legislation implemented by the winning party will affect UK residents and expats, especially with the new pension legislation coming into effect on 6 April 2015. Indeed, there is much conjecture over whether or not a grand coalition between the Conservative and Labour parties will be necessary after the 7 May 2015 elections. Of course, many believe this conjecture is just that – guesswork, and that a deal between David Cameron and Ed Miliband is simply absurd. Yet many have pointed out that this type of arrangement worked with great success in Germany, where Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats governed with the Social Democrats. Of course, all of this speculation comes from fears of a minority Labour party-Scottish National Party deal and the consequences of this. Regardless of whether there will be a grand coalition or not, the new elections, along with the upcoming pension legislation changes, are going to see some noteworthy tax implications for UK residents and expats. For example, Miliband recently announced that, should the Labour party win, he would cut student university fees from £9,000 per year to £6, 000. This is great news for students, but of course, where there is give there is take, and middle-class pensioners are the ones that will see a loss. £2.9 billion would be taken from those with an income over £150, 000, and this […]

0 comments

Kieron McRae Interview – Cape Town Fires

Radio interview with Kieron McRae from Carrick Wealth about the Fires happening in Cape Town.

0 comments

How to Prepare For Your Financial Future

When it comes to building a longlasting financial legacy, careful planning is the only way to ensure success. In the interests of helping you to plan for a comfortable retirement, we have put together some basic pointers for boosting your pension. An HSBC study has revealed that 23% of workers in the UK expect their standard of living to fall when they retire. Don’t be one of those people. Read on to find out how you can start preparing for the future today. Save It might seem simple, but saving is the most important thing you can do today to ensure your pension is enough to sustain your lifestyle when you retire. The earlier you start saving, the better. Get Advice Getting advice from a trustworthy and reputable financial services provider like Carrick Wealth is important for ensuring that your investments are made wisely, as well as for diversifying your portfolio. Further, you can get advice on UK pension transfers. Moving your pension to a QROPS, for instance, can offer significant tax benefits. This would help you to save even more money. Don’t Count on an Inheritance The most important thing you can do to ensure financial security in the future is to plan accordingly. Counting on an inheritance is not enough. This is especially true because people tend to live longer nowadays, and, due to rising inflation and low interest rates, assets are declining in value. Take What You Can Get From 2018 onwards in the UK, workplace pensions […]

0 comments

How to Prepare For Your Financial Future

When it comes to building a longlasting financial legacy, careful planning is the only way to ensure success. In the interests of helping you to plan for a comfortable retirement, we have put together some basic pointers for boosting your pension. An HSBC study has revealed that 23% of workers in the UK expect their standard of living to fall when they retire. Don’t be one of those people. Read on to find out how you can start preparing for the future today. 1. Save It might seem simple, but saving is the most important thing you can do today to ensure your pension is enough to sustain your lifestyle when you retire. The earlier you start saving, the better. 2. Get Advice Getting advice from a trustworthy and reputable financial services provider like Carrick Wealth is important for ensuring that your investments are made wisely, as well as for diversifying your portfolio. Further, you can get advice on UK pension transfers. Moving your pension to a QROPS, for instance, can offer significant tax benefits. This would help you to save even more money. 3. Don’t Count on an Inheritance The most important thing you can do to ensure financial security in the future is to plan accordingly. Counting on an inheritance is not enough. This is especially true because people tend to live longer nowadays, and, due to rising inflation and low interest rates, assets are declining in value. 4. Take What You Can Get From 2018 onwards in […]

0 comments

Widening the Advantage Gap: How Pension Changes Will Affect QROPS

There are many benefits that come with transferring your UK pension to QROPS, especially for UK expats. These benefits are known collectively in the industry as the “advantage gap.” However, since the changes to UK pension schemes have been announced, QROPS practitioners have been concerned that this gap will close. The changes seem subtle, but their repercussions could be significant. One of the changes, for instance, allows free access to pension schemes, while another removes the scheme death charge. A further amendment allows for small pension funds to be drawn in lump sum form. At first glance, these changes significantly reduce the advantage gap, meaning that a pension transfer to QROPS is no longer the obvious first choice for UK expats. Upon further scrutiny, however, it becomes apparent that they are not as beneficial as they appear. Further, on the 19th of December 2014, a regulation was passed that extended these new, more flexible guidelines to apply to QROPS. As a result, the advantage gap has actually widened. With the tax benefits of QROPS, UK expats can expect, as usual, to save up to 45% on tax. This becomes even more relevant in relation to being able to draw a pension fund as a lump sum. Being able to do so with lowered taxes means UK expats can save an immense amount. While the scheme death charge appears to have been removed, the fine print says otherwise. Far from being expunged, it has simply been amended, still being in application […]

0 comments

Stats on QROPS across the Globe

UK QROPS pension transfers are growing in popularity each day, it seems. 2015 is looking to be a booming year for QROPS around the world, as the previous year was. In 2014, there were three new financial centres that announced new QROPS, namely The Falkland Islands, Kosovo, and Kenya. This has added to the total QROPS around the world, of which there are 3 634 that one can choose from. In addition, as of 1 January 2015, Australia is the country that has the most number of QROPS – a total of 1581 with a 43.5% market share. This is in contrast to 2014’s figures, which saw Australia with 1295 QROPS. This leap of 286 new QROPS in the jurisdiction is a testament to just how big these pension schemes have become. After Australia’s considerable figures, most other countries tend to drop off. The closest is Ireland with 779, and the next greatest number is Isle of Man, with 227. However, it is important to note that the number of QROPS within a specific jurisdiction is, in no way, an indication of “quality”. Simply because Australia has so many does not mean it’s a wise choice for everyone to move their pensions there. Likewise, a smaller jurisdiction like Malta may offer better benefits for expats retiring outside of the UK. Furthermore, there are jurisdictions that have lost QROPS, the most notable being India, which has had 16 QROPS close. Following this is Canada, which has closed five. In total, 30 […]

0 comments

Points to Consider when Retiring Abroad

Many of our clients are expats who have lived and worked in the United Kingdom for a number of years and contributed to a pension fund during their time there. In addition, many of these people, while they have loved their lives in the UK, want to spend their remaining days where the sun shines all year round, and this means leaving what has been their home for many years. However, though the idea of whiling away lazy afternoons with sundowners in a picturesque setting is beautiful, there is a great deal of planning that must go into this dream to make it a reality. If you’re looking to retire abroad out of the UK, no matter where you go, bear some of these in mind: Financial Planning The first thing that you need to think about is how you are going to take your pension funds out of the UK. In recent years, this has been made possible with QROPS, which IFAs like Carrick Wealth facilitate. This is perhaps the most vital part of your retirement planning so make sure you use the services of an IFA that has your best interests at heart. Furthermore, as we all know, the cost of living in the UK can be vastly different to cost of living in other locations around the world. Whether you intend to move to a place where cost of living is higher or lower, ensure that a) you have enough funds to last you through your retirement […]

0 comments

The Importance of Accurate Research for QROPS

For people who have earned a living in the United Kingdom and who want to spend their golden years living abroad, there is almost no question about transferring pensions. If you’d like to see your hard-earned money through your retirement years, there are only a handful of options, and staying in the UK when you don’t want to is hardly the most preferable one. This is why we typically suggest that individuals place their UK pensions into a QROPS. If you want to get your money and avoid hefty tax implications, it really is the best solution. But while we are experts at our trade where we offer sound financial advice to our clients on all investments, we fully advocate that people conduct thorough research on their own, too. We pride ourselves on our ability to offer impartial advice and services but we’re aware that there are a number of rogue financial advisors out there who don’t always have their clients’ best interests at heart like we do, so we suggest obtaining as much information as possible before committing to an IFA or an investment decision. The best way to get to know your way around QROPS is to first understand what it is. It stands for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme and in a nutshell, it’s a way to secure your UK pension without onerous tax implications if you are going to retire outside of the UK. Second, it’s good to understand the different jurisdictions around the world and […]

0 comments

Do you want to move your UK pension fund?

If you’ve retired abroad, it can be a challenge to transfer your pension fund from the UK to your new place of residence. One possible solution is QROPS, a pension scheme that offers low tax deductions and high convenience. Here are some of the most frequent questions we receive about QROPS. What is QROPS? QROPS stands for “qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme.” It is an international pension scheme that allows you to transfer UK pension funds without substantial tax deductions. Do I qualify? You qualify if you: – have a UK pension fund – are a non-UK tax resident and have remained so for at least five complete and consecutive years Can I transfer any type of pension? A personal pension, whether in payment or not, can be transferred. A company pension can only be transferred if it is not in payment. However, state pensions and lifetime annuities cannot be transferred in any form. Can I keep my money offshore? If you have at least £30 000 in UK pension benefits, you can transfer these funds to pension trustees in Malta and Gibraltar. Once your UK pension fund has been transferred to QROPS, you can invest the money. Can I transfer the money to South Africa? Yes. However, you would need to transfer the funds to a South African QROPS approved by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Why should I transfer my pension to QROPS? Besides for the benefit of being able to receive local advice from a trusted […]

0 comments

A Basic Guide to Pensions in the United Kingdom

For many people, the topic of pensions in the United Kingdom can be confusing. There are several different types of UK pensions, and each is unique in terms of the amount that the individual receives upon retirement, how much they pay each month, and a number of other factors. The main types of UK pensions are: State Pensions These are pensions are paid by the state and are based upon contribution figures of people that work in the UK in order to prevent poverty during retirement age. It’s interesting to note that until recently, beggars and those who suffered poverty were seen as criminals in the United Kingdom and were imprisoned if caught begging. Up until the 20th century, the Vagabonds and Beggars Act 1495 allowed for the imprisonment of vagrants. However, the more modern Old Age Pensions Act 1908 brought a more compassionate view to poverty. In 2011, the Pension Act amended various things, including the age of eligibility for receiving state pension. Note that there are additional sub-divisions to the UK state pension, which are additional pensions and pensions credits. Occupational Pensions In the United Kingdom, occupational pension plans are often paid by both the employee and employer, and this arrangement is known as joint funding. However, non-contributory occupational pension schemes also exist. In contrast to the past method of using defined benefit schemes, many employers now rather offer defined contribution or money purchase schemes. What this means is that, rather than a pension amount that largely depended […]

0 comments

Civil Service Pension Scheme Changes

What is happening? On the 1st of April 2015, a new civil service pension scheme will come into being in order to ensure that the provision of pensions remains affordable, and, as a result, sustainable. Who will it affect? The new scheme is likely to affect the majority of current Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme members, including those on the classic, classic plus, premium, and nuvos schemes, as well as most new members. However, precisely how the new system affects you will depend on how close you are to retiring. For instance, if you have fewer than ten years until retirement, you will mostly likely remain on the current scheme. If you are between ten and thirteen-and-a-half years away from retirement, you will be given a choice as to whether you would like to remain on the current scheme or change to the new scheme. Further, if you are more than thirteen-and-a-half years away from retirement, you will mostly likely proceed onto the new scheme. How will this affect benefits received upon retirement? The payment of benefits will be executed in two parts. The first part will constitute the benefits due based on your current civil pension scheme arrangement, and the second will constitute the benefits built up on the new scheme from the 1st of April 2015, or a later date, depending on when you join the new scheme. What kinds of benefits will be paid out? The new scheme will, in some cases, pay out a monthly income […]

0 comments

QROPS and Pensions: Advice for Expats

QROPS or Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme can be a benefit for expats as it can allow for valuable tax benefits. It is a type of pension based outside of the UK and it is recognized as being eligible to receive pension transfers from registered UK pension funds. You can work with an advisor to find out which countries are recommended to transfer to, to protect your investment in the same way, or better than in the UK. Who should consider using QROPS? Anyone planning on retiring overseas. The amount of tax you pay will be determined by the specific country, so it’s important to make the right decision in terms of where to take your retirement funds to. Benefitting from QROPS One of the benefits of QROPS is that you may be able to pay less tax on income from your pension, which will also eliminate the need, in some instances, for you to invest your pension in an annuity which will also die with the purchaser; policy holders can pass their investment on to friends or family, tax free. You may also receive important tax relief while you are saving towards your pension in the UK, without the need to pay higher taxes. If you live outside of the UK you can transfer your pension to a QROPS. You may also qualify for other benefits if you have been living in the UK for a number of years. But in order to understand all the benefits of QROPS […]

0 comments

Champions do Extra!

A new year always brings with it a range of the traditional New Year’s resolutions that are always well intended, but seldom carried through. From the perspective of a business, it is also that time when we sit down and agree on our goals and targets and what our expectations are. Normally the leadership TEAM try to push them up and higher and the TEAM argue for them to come down and be more realistic. But what if there was a more interactive and participative way of doing it? In true Carrick tradition, we believe there is and we chose to do it! • Venue booked to accommodate 120 people? Check! • Travel arrangements and logistics in place? Check! • Speakers and content well thought out? Check! • PowerPoint presentations prepared? DEFINTELY NOT! The theme we settled on for 2015 was “Champions do Extra” (borrowed from a book “Legacy – 15 Lessons we can learn from the All Blacks ” by James Kerr). So how did we go about it? Nothing depresses me more than great content and “vibe” ruined with the traditional “Death by PowerPoint” approach adopted at these types of events! So, to use an old cliché, “we put the thinking where the thinking belongs”. Rather than having a host of presenters sprouting forth their thoughts, we arranged a series of Q&A sessions with internal and external role players – these sessions were professionally facilitated and specifically designed to ask the panels the types of questions so many […]

0 comments

Planning Your Overseas Retirement

If you are looking to spend your retirement abroad, you need to make sure that you plan for this effectively. Your pension is important as this will allow you to be financially secure for the remainder of your life, and adequate retirement planning will ensure that you have enough money to comfortably retire. Deciding to retire abroad is not always an easy decision to make, but when you do, you need to make sure that you are familiar with all the processes regarding your retirement funds. You can always contact a financial planner with help regarding your retirement planning. There may be exchange controls and certain restrictions that apply to your retirement savings, so it’s always important to have professional financial advice available. Provident vs. Pension Fund The type of retirement package you choose can have an influence on the benefits you receive. If you belong to a provident fund it is relatively straightforward as you may simply be able to take your entire amount as a cash payout. But if you have a pension fund, you might not be able to take an entire lump sum payout, investing the rest. That is why it is always a good idea to work with a financial advisor when it comes to choosing the best option for your specific retirement needs. The cost of living in another country should be your priority as this will have a huge impact on your retirement. You’ll want to make sure that you will be able […]

0 comments

The Benefits of QROPS

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme or QROPS refers to an overseas pension scheme whereby UK residents can still benefit from their pension even though they’ve decided to move out of the country to retire somewhere else. There are various benefits to QROPS and even though they are subject to UK pension law, it can make life much easier for UK retirees in South Africa. With QROPS you have a vast range of choices, as there are thousands of retirement pension plans available in more than 40 countries around the world. You can work with a financial advisor that can handle your specific financial needs, taking into account the specific country you are living in, as well as the tax rules that apply to you. QROPS is a good choice for UK residents who do not plan to retire in their home country, but rather in other countries like South Africa. If you have been a non-UK tax resident for a number of years, you may be able to benefit from the QROPS provisions. Furthermore, with QROPS there are various options in terms of investments, so you will have flexibility with your finances. This is a great benefit to have, as people typically wish to invest their money in various channels. Indeed, investment options are plenty with QROPS, and you will also be able to invest your lump sum in a way that suits you and your financial situation. Here is a summary of QROPS: • QROPS offers you greater flexibility […]

0 comments

Why should you retire to Cape Town?

If you are considering retiring, then Cape Town is your ideal destination! In a world obsessed with change, the value of an unhurried life is precious. Cape Town is renowned for its laid-back attitude, and for your retirement years there is certainly no shortage of things to do. The city is breathtakingly beautiful and retirement in Cape Town means you have the time to enjoy a host of wonderful activities, sights and sounds. It is packed full of history, style, adventure and creativity. Cape Town’s natural splendour is evident at every corner of its streets that wrap and wind themselves around the iconic mountain. Throw in a few white sandy Blue Flag status beaches, some outstanding vineyards, forests, wildlife and one of the finest botanical gardens on the planet, and you’ll start to discover why it deserves its place in the limelight. It is a city that combines it all; you won’t be bored there. Cape Town is THAT much of a good-looking, fun-loving, sporty, sociable, stylish, hard-working, culture-worshipping, hospitable city! South Africa continues to offer potential retirees the high quality lifestyle, value for money, and climate that they’re looking for, and thus it comes as no surprise that there’s been an increase in the number of retirees settling in the rainbow nation. A growing economy Cape Town is South Africa’s second-richest city, in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, after Johannesburg. As the province’s economic hub, it produces 10.58% of South Africa’s GDP & accounts for 71.10% […]

0 comments

The importance of giving back

In life we have times of lack and times of abundance. In the times of lack we tend to look to those with more than us and in times of abundance we seldom remember the ones less fortunate. This does not always stem from greed or malice, but misunderstanding of the true meaning of abundance and giving. You don’t have to live in abundance to make a difference. Sometimes we underestimate the impact a single good deed, or simply sacrificing your time, can have on someone else’s life. Simply being there for another in a time of need goes a long way. Giving of ones time may seem like a better phrase to use but given the nature of our lives today, it feels more like a sacrifice rather than a gift. Maybe that is a good starting point for the New Year; changing the mindset of “sacrificing time” to “gifting time”. Time is a priceless commodity making it the most valuable gift you can give. Giving back to the community can impact on various levels; on a personal level, giving back makes you feel good about yourself. It can stimulate the “feel good” hormones called endorphins which are good for physical as well as mental health. By interacting with others that are less fortunate your own problems become smaller and more manageable. By giving back we can also learn new skills, make social connections, grow as people, as well as gain new perspectives. “Blessed is the heart that gives, […]

0 comments

Challenges in the Establishment of QROPS

Up until 2006, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) spelled bad news for all individuals who worked and contributed to retirement pension schemes in the UK, but wanted to retire abroad. This was until the QROPS structure enabled hard-working people to retire elsewhere and take their pensions with them. For several years after its inception, there was much confusion about QROPS, both for investors and their financial advisers, but over the last eight years, new regulations have been implemented that have helped to make matters clearer. Originally, the structure was set up with the intention of allowing people to move their pension funds with them when they retired across the EU, but it soon became clear to savvy investors that certain jurisdictions offered more attractive benefits than their destination countries, and so people were moving their pensions to these new, third countries for various benefits. As the structure was only newly established, there was much uncertainty as to what was and was not allowed, and for some, this uncertainty ended up with the possibility of harsh tax implications. In 2008, ROSIIP, a QROPS scheme in Singapore, was delisted by HMRC, which ordered those investors within the scheme to pay a hefty 55% tax charge. This, however, has since been resolved (in 2013), with HMRC withdrawing from the case. Fortunately, most of the challenges have been resolved with QROPS and it now offers an extremely attractive means for investors to move and access their UK pension schemes in retirement. There is […]

0 comments

Striking a Balance Between Risk and Return

Finding the perfect balance between risk and return is a bit of a misnomer. There is no perfect balance, really; if there was, it wouldn’t be called risk, and there would be no financial rewards. But this does not mean that a good balance can’t be found and indeed, finding the reward within the risk is what clever investing is all about. So how do shrewd investors strike that balance? Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule, because that equilibrium is largely unique and personal to each individual. Some prefer to take the high risk with the chance of proportionally high returns, while others prefer a steady and more “certain” return, minimising their risk. No matter the type of investor, there are certain considerations to bear in mind when investing that will help to potentially bridge the gap between risk and return without lessening the financial rewards: Diversify As the saying goes, “don’t put all of your eggs into one basket.” It’s a cliché now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not as true as ever. Diversifying investments holds a number of advantages, the most notable of which are to potentially reduce risk and smooth returns. Ask Why It’s important for an individual to regularly review why he/she is investing in specific investments within their portfolio. Not only will this help to determine what level of risk the individual is comfortable with, but it will also help to evaluate stocks to ensure that the risk/return balance remains stable. Consider Circumstances […]

0 comments

The Importance of Choice

MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE in selecting both a financial adviser and investments themselves could mean the difference between being financially secure and being financially dependent. And in making this decision, you can be assured on one thing – size does not matter! In fact, it could be said that by investing with one of the larger advisory firms could place you at more risk of falling into the client services production line – where there are too many clients and too little time to pay enough attention to all the nuances of their portfolios. The result is routine and formulaic investment protocols where, as a client, you are made to fit the investment, instead of having an investment made to fit you and your needs. Let’s get down to the basics – the true definition of “independence” as it pertains to financial advisers. An independent adviser is defined by the ability to offer a full range of products from a mix of providers. The providers, in turn, will all have “terms of business” with the advisers which stipulate the basis of the relationship and the products they are authorised to offer. Your financial adviser is mandated to disclose this upfront and is also compelled to disclose any ownership, shareholding or other interests that may exist between themselves and the provider. This ensures that the advisers are free from any influence that would see them offering products that are more beneficial to themselves than to you. To take it a step further, […]

0 comments

A relationship for life

Financial security in retirement is a goal everybody strives to achieve, therefore, preparing for retirement should be a top priority. With the enormous amount of options for individuals to choose from it can be confusing and a very complicated task, but this need not be the case! Help in the form of a professional, qualified financial advisor is not far from hand. Carrick’s advisors are trained to assist you to make the right decisions regarding your retirement planning. Financially secure individuals understand the importance of planning for their retirement in advance; they also understand that “autopilot” is not an option when it comes to post retirement planning! Life is unpredictable and you may be faced with unforeseeable events or circumstances after retirement. This is something that might differ from one individual to the next, but the goal is the same – to retire comfortably and not need to worry about finances once you have retired (or put another way, to ensure you outlive your money!) A good rule of thumb is to assess your financial situation every year, so that you can make the necessary changes to your investments, spending and savings. At Carrick, our relationship extends beyond the date of retirement and our advisors will continue to work tirelessly with you to ensure you are always in the “driving seat” when it comes to your money. The annual review will entail a complete analysis of your current situation, the performance and returns of your investments, and any changes to […]

0 comments

The basis of “best advice”

Imagine a world without choice. A world where the settings are all the same. Where we all drive the same car: a two-seater convertible. Where restaurants all serve one meal – soup. Where we all live in identical two bedroom apartments. But what happens if I have to transport more than two people, or if I want a steak, or if I have two children? How would you feel if the answer was, “Sorry, that’s all we offer.” Essentially, it’s the same with investing. For years the world of investment advice has been dominated by advisory firms that are either owned by, or closely associated to, major financial institutions. What this leads to is advisers selling the same product to a wide variety of different people, regardless of their personal circumstances, age or risk profile. No one company can have all of the right answers all of the time. In many cases, financial advisers will tie themselves to a specific institution (tied) or group of institutions (multi-tied) due to the enhanced commissions that are then on offer. Although there is draft legislation proposed in the RDR (Retail Distribution Review) discussion document, as yet this is still a fairly unregulated area, and as such is open to abuse. There are also certain ownership structures that perpetuate conflicts of interest for financial advisers, and clients would do well to ask the hard questions. Commissions unfortunately often pay a role in advisers’ decisions, and this too should be carefully monitored. Ideally, financial advice […]

0 comments

Carrick – What’s in a name?

It is often said that people are the most valuable asset an organization has, and I would certainly agree, but to that I would add that increasingly an organisation’s brand is an equally valuable asset. The reality is that one cannot survive without the other – people bring the brand to life, the brand creates purpose for people. We are often asked how the name and brand came about and as with all world class brands, there is a story behind how Carrick got its name. There were lists and lists of names… Each was debated, had to be researched and checked for availability (domains, companies registrar, etc), that it had a “good feel”, was short, concise, easily pronounced and memorable. Most importantly, it needed to align with the brand archetype of Ruler, King, Leader. Ultimately a short list was decided upon and in conjunction with our agency, Rogue Agency, the brand and the identity started taking shape. From the outset (unbeknownst to each of us), Carrick was a favourite and was the first choice put forward for consideration by Rogue and unanimously accepted! So what are the origins and meaning of the name? Carrick MEANING: Derived from Gaelic “Carraig” meaning “Rock” or “Rocky Headland” GENDER: Boy, male name, but also used as a family name MOTTO: “Garde Bien” which means “watch well” ENGLISH: Craig LOGO: Derived from combination of ruler/king symbols – King, Lion, Knight, Trident, Eagle TYPOGRAPHY: Specially designed for Carrick. Use of capital “C” and full stop […]

0 comments

April 2015 is D-Day for Civil Service Pensions

Many British expats in South Africa are happily contemplating their retirement and their pension from the ‘best’ employer in the UK – the government. All civil servants will tell you, over and above other aspects, one of the key reasons they chose to join the civil service was for the benefits package and in particular the pension. They are right. The pension offered by the UK government for their employees is excellent. However, the UK government, like many around the world, is encumbered by huge debt. Current figures shows that the national debt reached £1.45tn in September, representing almost 80% of GDP and more than £100bn higher than at the same point last year (1). Can one even comprehend these figures? A trillion has 12 zeros! The borrowing just in September was a record £11.8 Billion, which is almost 10% higher than September 2013. Can we see this changing? Over the last few years, many Final Salary Schemes have had to make changes to help reduce the strain on their pension obligations which, in some cases, are crippling. Some have pushed back their retirement age from 55 to 60 or even 65. Others have cleverly, if a little subversively, changed the escalation rate from RPI (Retail Price Index) to CPI (Consumer Price Index) to reduce their responsibility to former employees. The civil service pension is calculated based on length of service, salary at time of leaving and a multiplying factor. This multiplying factor has, in some cases, already been reduced […]

0 comments

Carrick has a new “Home” with the Opening of our Durban Offices

Carrick works hard at attaining the best for our clients and potentional clients when it comes to financial planning and investment portfolio management. We recently opened new offices in Durban and the “look and feel” of the offices is rivalled only by the experience, knowledge and skill of our advisors. Settling into our new Durban office was an easy transition. Our Carrick Durban team look forward to being of service to our KZN client base by offering our unique brand of personal and tailor-made advice. Carrick’s professional and holistic approach allows us to create a financial legacy for our clients by way of our service offerings for high-earning individuals. These include: QROPS QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) is the best advice for individuals who are not planning on returning to the UK to retire, and allows you to maximise the pension you built up whilst in the UK. A QROPS allows for a UK pension plan to be transferred to a recognised HMRC jurisdiction and thereby offer more favourable pension benefits. Being stable and flexible, QROPS allow you, the investor, more freedom over where your funds are to be invested. QROPS is one of our areas of expertise. QNUPS QNUPS is available to UK citizens living in the UK or abroad who intend on retiring in the UK. QNUPS is a retirement benefit scheme which has certain tax advantages and allows you to further fund for retirement, over and above the usual forms of pension arrangements. Carrick can assist […]

3 comments

Why Should you Consider a Career in Financial Services?

Financial Services as an industry has, and will continue to evolve from a professional, compliance and regulatory perspective. The South African Financial Services industry has become one of the most compliant and regulated environments in the world. This is a very positive point when considering the industry. With an abundance of opportunities available in the career world and with new titles and industries seemingly popping up daily, a good question to ask yourself is: “why would I consider a career in financial services?” Let me attempt to answer the question from my own perspective… 1. I work with an incredible client base. My clients span every sector of the economy and most have international experience and exposure. I work closely with them to help them achieve their goals – better yet, their dreams. At Carrick Financial Services, I have the opportunity to work with individuals in creating a retirement blueprint – a year-on-year tracker that we continually assess and refine. 2. You never stop learning. The markets never sit still, your client situations are never the same, and you are continually adjusting to the environment. You’re working with people, dealing with retirement and wealth accumulation. As a professional, your knowledge bank is continually growing and includes items like global indices and global taxation, and you form strong economic opinions on current events. 3. It is an ever-evolving industry and through technology, the marketplace has become global. Constant innovation and seeking new ways to share financial information are needed. Mobile and […]

0 comments

QROPS And Retirement Pension Plans – The Basics

For many people who have lived and worked in the UK, their retirement pension plans are extremely important to them. Indeed, aside from property, they are often the most valuable assets people have. If you’ve spent several years working in the UK, you’re likely looking forward to retiring and have been planning your future happiness around the money that you have squared away for years. This is a simple matter for those who wish to retire in the UK, but for many people, their dreams for their retirement are based abroad. This is where UK retirement pension plans get tricky. The rules and laws of HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) certainly have not favoured those retiring outside of the UK. In recent times, they have been subject to several changes, with more looming in April 2015. Next year is the UK’s general elections, and of course, politicians will be looking for votes, so more changes will certainly be implemented. Moreover, for many years, there was no way around potential hefty tax deductions on hard-earned pension plans being moved out of the UK, but thankfully since 2006, many people have been able to enjoy the benefits of their years of hard work, without losing a large portion of their savings. This is thanks to QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme), which allows those who have contributed to a retirement pension plan in the UK to move their savings to a number of jurisdictions recognised by HMRC. At Carrick, we use […]

0 comments

What to look for when choosing an IFA (Independent Financial Advisor)

Last week, we discussed the impact that upfront fees have on your investment and the importance of choosing an advisor that can facilitate this. But, in the “sea” of advisors out there, who all seemingly offer very similar products, what are the points to look out for? Here are a couple of things to consider: • License – Are they an Authorised Financial Services Provider? In South Africa, all service providers are required to be registered with the Financial Services Board (FSB) The FSB issues each provider with a unique license number. Your advisor must also present you with documentation stating their credentials, qualifications and any declaration of potential conflicts of interest (i.e. they do not have any vested interest or ownership in the products/institutions they are recommending). If you are in any doubt, you can confirm all details of the provider and the advisor via this link on the FSB website https://www.fsb.co.za/Departments/fais/searches/Pages/providers.aspx • Track Record and Experience – Big does not necessarily mean better! Big, global brokerages require large administration teams that often come at a higher cost. They may base their administration departments offshore, their staff may not be easily reachable and may not have a great command of the English language. Turnaround times are often slow – be prepared to be one of tens of thousands of clients! Choosing a medium-sized or boutique style brokerage can have the benefit of enjoying the same time zone and may be more able to provide bespoke solutions and offerings. Ensure […]

0 comments

Environmental NGO connects corporates with local communities

Carrick Financial Services partners with Signature of HopeTrust and Green Beings to implement and inspire long-term greening sustainability projects at two Gauteng primary schools. On 28 November the Carrick Johannesburg team will get their hands “dirty” by creating awareness in, and introducing environmentally sustainable projects to two Cosmo City primary schools. The CSI event, which facilitates the creation of a compost structure and a much-needed classroom revamp, is part of a larger initiative by non-profit environmental organisation Green Beings to foster a culture of sustainability among underdeveloped communities and schools. According to Green Beings co-founder Marloes Dijkema, “directly connecting corporate members with their beneficiaries is an integral part of the process which allows for a deeper understanding of its positive effects. It is important for us to start thinking long-term if we want to benefit future generations. We can do this by communicating with the generation of today and equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to implement environmental sustainability,” comments Dijkema. Composting is a great example of how nature recycles organic matter. The rich and fertile soil which it produces is a key starting ingredient to creating a vegetable garden that is high in yield and nutritious in value. “By creating a fixed structure it becomes easier and easier for micro and macro organisms to break down plant materials, kick-starting the decomposing process,” explains Green Beings co-founder Roxy Lourens. “Vegetable scraps and plant materials break down anaerobically when sent to land-fills, which in turn releases large quantities […]

0 comments

The “Real” Cost of Investing

In an ever increasingly competitive market place where “value for money” is a key driver in the mind of a consumer, how do Independent Financial Advisors (IFA’s) offer true value? Basic product offerings tend to be very similar and generic and from a shared pool of providers. Costs to consumers vary only slightly (often driven more by investment premium rather than anything else) and claims of enhanced servicing levels are met with a degree of cynicism. Typically, investors would incur fees at two levels. Firstly, when the “structure” or platform is set up to hold the investments and secondly, upfront fees paid when the investments within the structure are actually made. Fees for the setup are unavoidable, but have you ever considered what the impact of upfront fees are on the investments? Have you ever asked your IFA how these fees affect your savings over the long term? Did you know that you can access the same investments, with the same returns, but pay ZERO up front fees? Our investment philosophy and offering at Carrick* is that we don’t charge our clients any entrance fees into any of our investment options. Your money is fully empowered to work for you and your long-term financial well-being. The graph below illustrates the hugely damaging effect upfront fees have on an investment. They are based on an initial investment of £250,000 growing at an annualised rate of 7%**, with reinvestment into the same product of those returns, every 24 months. For the purpose of the […]

0 comments

The Paradox of Generosity: Being generous in business

The Paradox of Generosity: How Giving it Away for Free can Lead to Success   Being Generous in Business We’ve all heard people say things like ‘I can’t tell you my business idea, in case you steal it’, or ‘I can’t give you access to that information, it’s proprietary’, or ‘You have to pay to use this service.’ It makes logical sense to hold onto something you could charge for, and not give it away for free. Then why is it that individuals and businesses with the opposite mindset survive and thrive in places like Silicon Valley? I think it’s a remnant of our toddler years that makes us want to hold onto things instead of giving them away freely. We want to make as much as we can as quickly as we can and somehow we think that by sharing or giving away without charge, we will miss out on potential revenue and growth. From the time I’ve spent in Silicon Valley I’ve learned the exact opposite to be true. People in the ‘Valley’ subscribe to a very different ethic. They believe that they are all a part of a connected whole, and that by sharing with each other, and helping each other, it will come back to you in some shape or form. I think we should sit up and pay attention when nearly everyone in the most successful technological hub in the world says the same thing over and over again. Here are my top take-aways from […]

0 comments