Virtual meets Robo Retirement Choices 2015 a virtual event

Pensions Freedom has brought a wealth of new ideas and opportunities for those clients either planning for or at-retirement. Indeed, the full impact of what this means has not yet had the chance to properly sink in – and for many in our industry, there are a lot of conversations on the subject that they still want to have.

With this in mind Panacea Adviser are delighted to bring you the first FREE UK virtual event for financial advisers and paraplanners:

Retirement Choices 2015 – a virtual conference 3rd December 2015

 A virtual trade show is a cross between a webcast meeting and a video game. And it’s the next big trend in trade shows. Although a mere 1% of all trade shows are now held online, industry experts expect that by 2016, more than 25% of trade shows will be conducted in virtual environments. That’s a market you can’t afford to ignore.

Susan A. Friedmann, CSP 

Retirement Choices 2015 will bring together many big names from the pensions and fund management industries. FREE for advisers and paraplanners, the conference will offer a range of seminars, demonstrations, an exhibition and the opportunity to network with a wide range of industry people.

The big difference with this event is that adviser delegates can attend from the comfort of ‘your’ desktop Our event will replicate real-life dynamics and people can walk, talk, chat, exchange business cards, teleport and visit booths as avatars. You can attend learning sessions, watch keynotes in dedicated auditoriums and get CPD hours, all at a time to suit you.

It is both a “personal-to-many”, as well as a “many-to-many” technology, it enhances peer-to-peer interaction providing a pure social business experience.

Benefits of attending

  • Thanks to the 3D immersive technology, it is extremely easy to use.
  • It is engaging as a social network.  Everyone has a nametag that is visible to the other, so it is easy to engage in conversations with those you are interested in getting to know.
  • Getting more done in less time is crucial. With no travel and immediate online access, you can maximise your time. No travel means no traffic jams, flights, or weather constraints.
  • It is barrier-free technology, so anyone can attend irrespective of where you live.
  • Many of the learning sessions will be CPD accredited.
  • It accommodates your schedule so you can easily attend other important meetings in person and go back to the event later.
  • All the information you collect such as business cards, and conversations can be collected and downloaded so any follow-up is easy!

Still unsure of how it works? Watch a short demo here.

How to register

For more information and to easily register, just go to and simply click on the Facebook, Linkedin or Google+  icon and ‘Bob’s your uncle’. If not connected with any of these social media channels, simply type in your name, email address and follow the few prompts that follow.

The information these actions initiate will then go to forming your virtual business card on the day, something that you will soon understand is vital to the getting the best out of this fantastical, immersive experience.

FSCS funding, the third way

The Tory party conference can always be relied upon to deliver some interesting sound bites.

One of the better ones for the financial adviser community was the most welcomed observation from Mark Garnier MP who sits on the Treasury Select Committee and has done so for some five years.

I know Mark and have met with him on a number of occasions. He seems a very decent, intelligent, forward thinking guy.

So when hearing and welcoming the news that he felt that banking fines should be used to reduce the burden of regulatory cost, in particular that of the FSCS levy, perhaps a further consideration for Mark is to investigate is why are the fines so very large and not levied on individuals? The reality, I suspect, is that these fines are not a punishment, they are just a tax revenue raising opportunity that nobody could possibly object to…..ever?

Over the last century or two the nations wealth and success was built on our vast below ground natural resources.

Coal, tin, oil, sand, cement, gravel extraction have all played their part but many fear that these resources have a limited life as dwindling stocks make it more expensive to recover.

Of course with all natural resources there is also a tax raising opportunity but if stocks of natural resource reduce or become exhausted this will, in turn, see tax revenues reduce and that spells trouble for HM Treasury.

But we need no longer fear where the nation will turn to get more ‘natural resources’ from because of some very clever HM Treasury ‘fine fracking’ on the part of the last government.

He is 100% correct in saying that a debate was needed about where the money went.

For those that have no idea on the sheer magnitude of banking fines, this may help in understanding where they go and why.

A decision taken by Parliament on 27th February 2013 has seen a very big fiscal ‘gusher’ explode out of the ground in the form of 2014 banking fines being paid away to HM Treasury.

Banking fines levied by the FCA in 2014 were £1.462bn.

To put some contextual scale to this massive amount, the total revenue raised for alcohol and tobacco in 2014 was £1.97bn- that equates to 4% of total UK taxation revenues according to HMRC figures.

The FCA was obliged by statute to pay away £1.370bn of the fines the Treasury, the equivalent of 70% of all alcohol and tobacco levies for 2014.

In the run up to the May 2015 election this is where the money was spent according to a reply to a Panacea FOI request reply:

£35,000,000 to the Armed Forces

£10,000,000 to Armed Forces covenant

£40,000,000 toward veterans’ accommodation

£20,000,000 to Childcare, but exactly what is not known

£10,000,000 to medical training, again, exactly what is not known

£10,000,000 to Blue Light charities, exactly which is not known

£10,000,000 to Youth United

£5,000,000 to the Imperial War Museum/ WW1 gallery refurbishments

£ 1,100,000 an approximate VAT rebate for the Tower of London poppies sale to allow more money raised to go to charity. This is not a government donation. It is a fine redistribution and a very cynical play upon public sentiment and the war dead of WW1.

That gave a grand total of £141,000,000 going toward good causes leaving a pre election pot of £1.322bn left over.

Note, no money to MAS, FSCS or Pensionwise- the most morally obvious homes for such largesse.

I wish Mark and his TSC colleagues well but fear that the Manchester conference sound bite will fall on very deaf ears at HM Treasury.

The only real worry for HM Treasury will be what to do if the banks rehabilitate themselves.

Simplified advice or guidance? It’s not what you say, it’s about who is responsible.

The Oxford dictionary define ‘advice’ as a noun meaning “guidance or recommendations offered with regard to prudent action.”

The Oxford dictionary defines ‘guidance’ as a noun meaning “advice or information aimed at resolving a problem or difficulty, especially as given by someone in authority”

And that is the problem; in reality they both mean the same thing.

Regulation does not do ‘nuance’, again a noun, meaning “a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound”.

Regulation does do ‘conundrum’, meaning creating or posing “a confusing and difficult problem or question” or consensual.

Synonyms for ‘conundrum’ are “a problem, difficult question, vexed question, difficulty, quandary”, and for consensual “binding, contractual, unanimous agreement”.

The Holy Grail for the ‘low end saver’ (as Mark Garnier MP describes the disenfranchised consumer) is to try and create a process for the delivery of ‘simplified’ advice.

Simplify is a verb, meaning to “make (something) easier to do or understand”.

Unfortunately what regulation does not do in the search for simplification is to de-risk, a verb meaning to “take steps to make (something) less risky or less likely to involve a financial loss, the action and effect of making something easier”.

Until regulation assumes some responsibility, a noun, meaning “the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something” progress will never be made”.

Could this be because of industry vested interests? As ‘Keef’ Richards once said “In the business of crime there’s two people involved, and that’s the criminal and the cops. It’s in both their interests to keep crime a business, otherwise they’re both out of a job.”

The same for regulation make it simple and some regulators and some advisers are out of a job………………Just a thought.