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An independent (financial adviser's) view

Thanks to all those that sponsored her and congratulations Donna, who raised over £2,000 for breast cancer research by Moonwalking in Iceland last week.

“Demands for Tories to STAND DOWN and make Jeremy Corbyn PM”

At the risk you might think that I’ve blown myself up my own trumpet, I’ve been looking back at my blogletter-newsosphere archive. One, in September 2015, contained the phrase ‘when Jeremy Corbyn is PM’. If only I’d also said that Leicester City would win the Premier League, my status as a prophet would be confirmed. OK, at the moment, it’s only the New Statesman and Guardian which don’t think a JC premiership would be the end of the world as we know it. But…watch this space.

“Fruit and veg farmers facing migrant labour shortages”

If you want to know what's wrong with our great country, listen to any radio phone in any day of the week. The question one day last week was whether students and the unemployed should be made to take over fruit-picking if Brexit sends the population of Eastern Europe packing. An unemployed student retorted that Brexit-voting pensioners should be made to do the jobs no one else wants to do as a) it's their fault and b) their pensions and care cost more than student grants, unemployment benefits and asylum-seekers housing combined. Fair point, I thought.

“Sterling falls, FTSE slips as UK faces ‘moment of truth’”

The other Phil H says that our Brexit should ‘prioritise jobs and living standards’. Which actually means not Brexiting, I’d say. I have an unlikely ally in George Soros, who made a fortune-he-can-never-spend by betting that the Euro’s predecessor would go down the pan. Here’s his key quote: ‘Brexit is a lose-lose proposition, harmful both to Britain and the European Union. It cannot be undone, but people can change their minds.’ Hear, hear. But then, as regular readers might know, I would say that, wouldn’t I…

“Weak UK retail sales flag emerging economic squeeze”

Apparently, despite the sunshine, we’re all worried about lots of things, so have stopped spending. Actually, talk to anyone with a shop on any high street, and they will have noticed a difference in the past few weeks.

However, inflation’s up, stuff’s getting more expensive and the conventional wisdom says that the Bank of England should put up interest rates to stop us spending and make the shops bring down prices. But the shops can’t bring down prices because they have to import everything we don’t make any more, which is everything and everything is more expensive because of the £ and Brexit.

Would raising interest rates help? Of course not. Not rocket science, you might think. Nevertheless ‘three Bank of England officials concerned about rising inflation have called for UK interest rates to rise in a surprise move…’ I despair.

“Barclays charged with fraud in Qatar case”

The final scene of 'The Big Short' ironically tells us that dozens of bankers went to jail in the immediate aftermath of the Big Crash; then, ‘hahaha’, says that actually, there was only 'one poor schmuck' who was left to carry the can. Barclays was the only big UK bank to get away without nationalisation or takeover. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Allegedly...

More soon,



Read More and Comment

An independent (financial adviser's) view

Suffering from a post general election headache?’

This should help clear things up:

The Conservatives won but lost. Labour lost, but won. The SNP won and lost in Scotland but still won and the Conservatives won in Scotland but lost.  UKIP lost but because of Brexit they’ve already won. The winner, Mrs May, is being told to resign because she didn’t win and she won’t because she won even though she lost…(thanks, Radio 5Live)

‘No stability for pensions as minister moves’

Both of the Treasury ministers responsible for regulating financial services lost their seats last week; and the pensions minister has been reshuffled. Which means, either, 1. Both things may stay below the radar and avoid their umpteenth review, or, 2. Someone new will come in wanting to make an impression and/or Theresa has plans. I think we can discount the latter, so option 2 is, alas most likely. Especially if P Hammond stays in post for the next budget which, alas again, now seems likely. However, a week is a long time etc.

‘”Why I believe markets will make 'substantial returns’’’

At last, glass-half-full view of what might happen, or one bit of what might happen next to your investments and world stock markets. Most fund managers are hedging their bets (in the old-fashioned sense) and telling us, basically, that everything’s going to hell in a handcart but with a return ticket.

Standard Life’s boss, however says that governments having to spend more and keep interest rates low means that everything will keep going up. Is this like saying that a baby can save a dodgy marriage? Or playing “Mr Blue Sky” on a rainy day? Depends whether you think that rainy day is imminent, I guess.

‘Why Did Markets Not React To ‘Shock’ Election Result?’

So there's not too much to add to my pre-election summary of what might happen next:

  • Our stock market hasn’t crumbled. It and all others will go down, but it won’t be our shenanigans that cause the fall. It’ll be Trump (not able to do what he said he’d do), China, interest rates and other stuff that even the DUP can’t influence. And they’ll go up again. They always do.
  • The £ will stay down, even if interest rates rise. You’ll only find a cheap pint abroad by going somewhere you wouldn’t want to go.
  • Taxes will rise, if Theresa and Phil stagger on long enough to have a budget. And whoever’s in charge will be more left than right and will have to borrow and spend more to appease the great unwashed and students.
  • Better not get me started on Brexit.

Remember, though, that everything will be alright in the end. And if it’s not alright, it’s not the end yet.

Care in the community?

‘Social care’ and the cost thereof was a big election issue. This week’s tragic events and my own recent experience show that it involves more than sorting out old people with Alzheimer’s.

I was asked if I could help a client’s friend, severely disabled with MS. He lives alone in an inner city flat, gets the couple of hours a day of care that’s currently provided and smiles through a life that to most of us would be unimaginably awful.

I was called in to help sort through several years of envelopes from banks, building societies and investment companies, which, as he has no family on the case, had been ignored. It turns out he can afford to be much better looked after; whether he should have to afford to is, of course, another question.

There must be others like him and I hope to do something to help, both personally and politically. I’m not being holier-than-thou; just found the whole thing distressing enough to make me sit up and take notice.

More soon,



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An independent (financial adviser's) view

My PA, Donna, heads of to Iceland this week to walk a marathon for breast cancer. If you haven’t already, please click here if you can spare a few bob to sponsor her.

Theresa May reaches deal with DUP to form government

Well, she can't say I didn't warn her. In fact, the cracks were showing as long ago as the last week of April; if only Theresa had taken the time to read my posts and tweets, it might not have been too late to save the day. Thankfully (some might say) she didn't and my Dad owes me a tenner. Though as an Ulsterman he might take pride in the fact that the Irish will now be in charge!

Election 2017: Britons voted in their highest numbers for 25 years

When I bought some bananas at the Coop on election morning, I asked the lady who served me if she'd voted yet. 'Never voted in my life' she said. She's 49. I lightly reminded her that women had died to give her the right etc. To no avail.

That evening, I had the same conversation with the gentlemen who served me in M&S. 'Probably won't bother, we've had too many elections lately'. I reminded him of the queues of first time voters in South Africa (he was of an age). Not sure that made a difference, either. Guess it proves that apathy is not a sex or a class issue - or am I being supermarket-ist?

Gold sales surge 68% ahead of UK election

Sales of ‘physical gold’ (think that was David Beckham’s nickname at one time; or was it Olivia Newton-John's, kids etc.?) soared in the run up to the election as many who should know better worried that Jeremy Corbyn would take their money and send them to the gulags. Gold, of course, is supposed to be a ‘safe haven’ that will hold its value when all else is tumbling and/or let you negotiate your way past the border guards.

Allowing for inflation, though, gold is worth the same now as it was in 1797. It’s not far off its all time high price now. What goes up and all that. I think a barrel or two of oil might be a better bet.

£11billion tuition fee bribe saw the young vote Labour’

As parents, we want our children to stay out of trouble, get a nice, steady job and settle down with someone suitable. But a great party means a great hangover, you’re more likely to get the sack from an exciting, interesting job and you can’t fall in love without having your heart broken once or twice.

Weren’t the Swinging Sixties and Britpop years fun? Yes, we paid for them later, but everything was alright in the end, wasn’t it? And wouldn’t you rather live somewhere with an NHS, whatever its problems?

Offering sweets to keep kids quiet in the back of the car never works. So  maybe there’s more to the yoof vote than the Daily Mail would have us believe; if not, they really have to work it out for themselves.

More soon,


P.S Apparently ‘44% of women who have a financial adviser say that their adviser does not understand them'. Which I guess means we’re doing better than most husbands…

Read More and Comment

An independent (financial adviser's) view: pre-election special

I lose a tenner to my Dad if the Conservatives have an overall majority. Please consider what follows in that context...

“Can Labour win the election”

A week (or two) is a long time in politics. Who’d have thought we’d now be seeing scholarly articles on the likely effects of a Labour win? Are we, in the words of Captain Mainwaring, entering the realms of fantasy, Corporal Jones? Next you’ll be telling me Donald Trump could be president or we’d vote to leave the EU...

“Election polls: Theresa May’s lead overLabour almost halved to eight points”

Until today, my only election prediction (on the day it was announced, check it out) has been 'it'll be closer than she thinks.' As of today, the annunciation of St Theresa (thanks, Private Eye) is looking less and less likely.

Lessons of history: there's no such thing as a sure thing, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is and why take a chance (David Cameron, I’m looking at you) when you don't have to?

Maybe Theresa May might have done well to heed all. Or maybe she's decided to heed another lesson of (recent) history: opinion polls are a load of twoddle. Glass half full, glass half empty? Daily Mail or Guardian? Hung or well hung? I'm betting (and have bet) on the latter, but we'll soon find out.

 “U.K.election: The nightmare, best-case and most likely scenarios for stocks”

Assuming the cynic’s view that we all vote with our pockets, what difference will it all make? There's been plenty of stuff arriving in my inbox from fund managers, saying it might do this, but, then again, it might do that, or possibly the other. Here’s my view:

  • You’ll pay more tax, no matter who wins. The Conservatives only have ‘no plans to raise taxes’ because they conveniently don’t class National Insurance as a tax.
  • Whoever wins will need to borrow more and keep borrowing, just to keep the show on the road. So no change there.
  • Shares may go up or down a bit when we know the result but our little election isn’t what will make them fall/plummet/rise or soar. It’ll be the frying of other, bigger fish.
  • A beer in Marbs (and most other things) will cost you more, whomsoever, of those who have a chance, wins; because they’ll all still Brexit.
  • In conclusion, unless you’re a pensioner, work in the public sector, claim benefits or might have to go into care sometime, it’s probably not worth voting with your pocket. And what have the Romans ever done for us? 

“Investors condemn Trump's 'troubling'withdrawal from Paris climate deal”

On a (slightly) different note, if you’re a climate change belieber (sic) then Trump’s sticking-to-his-guns decision should make you take to the streets, metaphorically or otherwise. If you want to stick to your olive branch, and we haven’t already persuaded you to so, consider investing in ethical funds.

There are over 75, all of different complexions, many of which will avoid Trump-polluters. There are times when you’re better off in the unethical, but hang on in there, you’ll do OK and feel a warm, green glow. Oh, and did I mention that we’re members of the Ethical Investment and UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Associations? Well, I have now.

More next week, when all will have been revealed,


Read More and Comment

An independent (financial adviser's) view

Much like my children, politicians seem to be ignoring my advice. What do you remember from the last couple of elections? £350m a week, stop them taking our jobs and let's build a wall. The secret of winning these days is to make it up as you go along; when you win, it was ‘the will of the people’ and we all have to get on with it. So for goodness same, Mrs. May, stop telling us what you might actually do; tell us what we want to hear!

“Standard Life reveals plan for EU hub after Brexit”

A trickle of financial companies have so far come clean about their Brexit escape plans. Last week it was Goldman Sachs, this week Standard Life, off to Dublin and obviously not holding out much hope for Scottish independence or they’d be happy to stay put in Edinburgh. I know you’ll say I’m being a negative citizen of Remainia, but I worry that trickle will turn into a flood. How soon will depend on the consistency of Brexit towards which we plummet; but, in the land of punters, Guinness shares will certainly be worth a punt.

FT: “Things you should know about adviser firms”

According to a survey, probably by experts, there are just over 14,000 firms of financial advisers in the UK today. As there are around 48,000 towns and cities, we’re thinly spread. The ‘average’ adviser apparently sees only 3-4 clients a week and is worrying why his profits are decreasing. Not rocket science, guys.

P.S. The answer to your next question is ‘at least twice as many as that”

“Sleepwalking towards a duration nightmare”

I have a theory that male-dominated pursuits are all about the gear. Golf, fishing, and cycling have either lycra and trousers in which nobody should be seen dead, lots of gadgets or both. 90% of investment managers are male but they all wear the same suits have the same gadgets; it’s the jargon that makes it a bloke-thing. Here are a few gems (sic) from the meetings I went to this week:

  • ‘It’s a beneficiary of the disintermediation of banks from mid market lending’
  • ‘The strong dollar has been a headwind for GEMs’ (that’s global emerging markets to you and me)
  • ‘Sustainable investment necessitates a strong focus on corporate intentionality’
  • ‘We maintain a laser-sharp focus on our high conviction thematic drivers’

 You get my drift. Or maybe not.

 “Prepare for a Market Correction”

As our stock market hits another record high, I’ve listened on your behalves to the collective wisdom of around a dozen fund managers and a professor or two in the past week, to try to find out what the heck is and will be going on. Here’s what I’ve garnered:

  •  Inflation will soar, probably to 5% or more. Hardly a proper soar if you were around in the era of punk rock and disco but a lot more than we’re used to now.
  • That means interest rates should go back to their long-term (and we’re talking hundreds of years) average of about 5%. So lots of people won’t be able to pay their mortgages and house prices will plummet (not soar).
  • The next budget will be horrible. Especially if the expected winners win the election.
  •  Stock markets will go down. None of the wise men knows exactly when; however, when they do, they’ll go up again and shares will continue to be the only thing worth investing in.

Otherwise, everything’s fine. Another glass of rosé for me, please. Better make it a large one.


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An independent (financial adviser's) view

I thought it was too good to be true that we'd had no mention of either 'hard working families' or 'those with the broadest shoulders'; then both parties trotted them out this week. Please, guys, use some imagination. Where are the Saatchis when you need them?

inews.co.uk: The FTSE 100 has hit record highs, but don't let this put you off

"Don't you think it would be best to wait, the stock market’s very high at the moment?”

"Our ISAs have done really well, can we top them up now?"

Glass half-empty vs  glass half-full, realism vs hopeless optimism? Whatever they say now, the 'realists' would, were the stock market at an historic low, be hanging on until it 'showed signs of moving in the right direction".

Waiting for the right moment to invest is like picking a time for your summer break in Cornwall. If you're just going for the weekend, take your waterproofs. If you're there for a while, you'll more than likely come home with a tan. If you see what I mean.

Express: Theresa May 'to WIPE OUT deficit by 2025'

 ‘We must continue to tighten our belts’ ‘The question is, how are they going to pay for it all?’ ‘We’re leaving a mountain of debt for our grandchildren to repay…’ …the unending script of the election debate. In the real world, the only time any  of our governments has ever been debt free is when they’ve had either colonies or Catholics (Henry VIII, I’m looking at you) to fleece.

Government IOUs are bought and sold and make the economy go round, are the way pensions are funded and without them we wouldn’t have been able to raise the cash to wage the wars to conquer all those colonies that we no longer have. But, heyho, this is an election; not the real world.

Telegraph: From pilots to policemen: the £80,000 jobs that Labour wants to tax at 45pc

When I hit 40 I found my clothes getting tighter. I decided something had to be done and started running. When I got to 50 I found that this was not quite enough and I had to start eating less to keep my Adonis-like body. Ten years on, mileage has had to increase and consumption drop still further. And now Labour says I’m a "fat cat”. Not the fattest of the fat but certainly plumpish.

Citywire: The 10 highest earning hedge fund managers

Then just as I was worrying that, come the revolution, my fat-catness might mean I'd be straight up against the wall, comes a list of the truly (financially) obese. The number 10 hedge fund manager earned £410m last year; I found it too depressing to go past number 6. What, I hear you say, did they do to earn those big bucks? I could explain it to you, but you probably wouldn't understand and I dare say there was many a day when they got up early stayed in the office well past 7pm.  Must sign off; I need to send the list to Mr Corbyn.

More soon,





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An independent (financial adviser's) view

Most of the hundred or so advisers at the conference I was at last week were old enough to have teenage children. I bet most of them have, at some time, told their kids to ‘get off that ‘phone/computer/ipad and be part of the family’. They’ve probably also, like me, wondered at the many adults wandering around shopping centres glued to their ‘phones, none of whom  look as if they have jobs…or friends.

Why is it, then, that within seconds of becoming stationary, and often while still moving, they’re staring at their ‘phones? Are they much busier or more important than me? Are they trying to avoid having to talk to anyone? Or just to me?

Answers on a postcard (or text message) please. Or ask your kids.

Citywire: “Theresa May: I have no plans to raise tax”

I can remember a time when I had no plans to get a mortgage, marry, have children, work in financial services, own more than one dog, drink more than one glass of wine, stay at that party past midnight, move to the Cotswolds or watch Strictly. But my how things can change. I have a sneaking suspicion that the politician’s equivalent of fate will mean that, despite Theresa’s best intentions, her plans change too. Assuming she wins.

D.Star: “How will Theresa May’s snap election affect the price of YOUR summer holiday?”

So M. Macron won the French election, which means no Frexit, so the Euro went up, which meant the pound went down, which was good for our stockmarket. Then sterling 'soared' because Europe's still got problems...we think. An actuary friend asked me whether Japanese equities might be a good bet at the moment. Probably not, I said, but you never know.

All proof that you, and most of the people that should, never know what might happen by the end of the week. Everything, however, will probably be alright in the end. And if it’s not alright, it’s not the end yet.

The Daily Star, at least, has it's priorities right.

FT: “Property is not a safe pension”

I’m sitting in my pension’, I’ve heard many people say over the years. They’re talking about their home, not their Ford Focus. Things haven’t changed that much as nearly half of under-55s say a property is better than a pension. In fact, a lot of money ‘freedomed’ out of pensions has apparently been used to buy houses.

Now when the price of something goes up, demand for it is supposed to fall.  This hasn’t happened with London, and most other property as everyone is desperate not to ‘miss out’ by failing to get on the ladder.

I won’t rehash all the arguments; suffice to say, what goes up…and always does.

BBC: “Barclays boss set for shareholder grilling at AGM”

Giving shareholders more say in what happens in big companies has been a hot topic for some time. Should they be able to control bosses’ pay, policy and management decisions? Surely that's democracy and if you own a bit of Barclays or BP, you're also a bit of a boss.

So...should we have more referenda? If you live in Britain, you're also a bit of an MP, aren't you? Should we, the masses, be able make decisions about MPs’ pay as well as the abandonment of major treaties which will have lasting effects on generations of our descendants? Or should we leave such things to the 'managers' we've theoretically appointed? Or move to America?

More soon,


PS: Worth an each-way bet on Boris for Chancellor?



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An independent (financial adviser's) view

Anyone know a 'bloody difficult woman'? I don't think I've ever come across one before...

“Brexit: No 10 'doesn't recognise' account of Juncker dinner”

Haven't we all, in our youth (or, in the age of internet dating, not-so-youth), been on a date, thought it went well and we were in with a chance.  Then heard through the grapevine that the datee thought you were, in the words of the immortal Del Boy, a right plonker. Think that was the story of Teresa May's dinner date with the dashing Mr Juncker the other day.

“Probate fee hike put on hold”

Other bad news that's been spiked pre-election is the planned hike in probate fees, which could have increased the cost of dying from £250 to £20,000; and that would have been before your kids fork out for Inheritance Tax.  I somehow doubt that it's completely dead in the water (if you can think of a better idiom, answers on a postcard, please) but it does give a window of a few weeks or months, of which no one should really want to take advantage.

“Pound slips back”

In days of yore, devaluing your currency was a big deal; kids, ask your parents if they remember Harold Wilson telling them that ‘the pound in your pocket will still be worth a pound’. Over the years it became less of a big deal, and the quick-fix norm , for the likes of the peseta, lira and drachma (kids etc) until the invention of the Euro.

Exports go up because they’re cheaper and there’s no need to put up interest rates if you don’t care what your £/$ etc is worth. Along with a £60bn cash injection, it’s quick-fixed our economy since 24th June 2016. But like the elasoplast on the end of my finger this morning, it won’t survive too many metaphorical hand-washes without further fixes.

“The lightning rise of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google”

Apparently, the share prices of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google,  have collectively risen since January by  $250bn, double the value of all the gold mined in a year. A sign, if ever there was one, that either:

1.The world's gone mad and we're heading for the edge of the waterfall in a small barrel, or;

2. Times have changed, you're living in the past, move on, Granddad, this is the future.

If you're not sure, try Googling it and post the answer on Facebook. If you find it all too depressing, watch a film and order something nice online.

“8 things Apple could do with its $250bn”

In more ‘it’s a crazy world’ news, we hear that Apple now has more cash in the bank than the combined reserves of the British government and Bank of England. $250bn. That’s not what the company is worth, that’s its loose change, probably earning 0.1% in a Lloyds Easy Saver account (if you have one, that really is what it’s paying!). The list of things they could do with it (sort out the NHS for a few months, pay our EU divorce bill etc) is endless. However, I dare say we’ll hear, in a year or two, that they’re struggling…

More soon,


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Philip always gets back to me in a timely fashion. He is always happy to listen to what I want and is creative in his suggestions. Philip is an excellent and professional Independent Financial Advisor, I'd even say friend.
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"Since meeting Philip a number of years ago, I had no hesitation in asking him to provide his services as my IFA. This decision was easy, as it was clear that he is a man of honesty and integrity - his outwardly professional attitude is clear for all to see. Having hired Philip I have continually been impressed with the level of service he provides me and my family. He has always gone beyond the reasonably expected line of duty and takes the time to understand his clients' needs thoroughly. He will listen to any concerns about what recommendations he is making and will take on-board a client's needs, rather than giving the impression of trying to steam-roller a solution into one's portfolio. His work is delivered to his clients with a recommendation which is clearly explained and illustrated, on a timely basis. Philip is always approachable and I would thus recommend his services to anyone without hesitation."
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"I have being using Philip for over 15 years to handle and manage my pension requirements. He has always been very knowledgeable and persistent in finding the right products for myself and my wife. Philip is someone I strongly trust and I would not hesitate in recommending his services."
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Philip has been my financial advisor for over 20 years. He looked after my investments and retirement planning giving me sound advice throughout my working life, and is continuing to do so in my retirement. He's a good listener and communicator, paying attention to my views and offering advice based on what he knows about me. He doesn't push me to buy products I'm uncomfortable with.
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I've known Philip for 22 years and throughout, he has advised and arranged my finances to my best advantage. He advised me after my redundancy and up to and after my retirement, to the end that I am able to enjoy a steady income and still have my capital to fall back on if needed. I feel that I can trust his advice and his knowledge, and am able to recommend his service without hesitation.
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Phillip gives easy to understand, clear advice; he also allows time to consider and ask further questions. He is easy to talk to, listens to you and tailors plans to meet individual needs. I also like his witty blog on financial antics!
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Phil takes a very realistic and pragmatic view of my current situation and advises me on what options are available to me. I have a high level of confidence I am receiving the information that I need to make an informed decision.
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"Philip is very easy to work with. He gives sound advice and explains things very patiently. The products and services he has provided have been excellent in terms of cost and quality. I find him an excellent advisor."
Caroline Witts

"Philip is a great communicator - he listens carefully and is very sensible of the need to explain, clearly and simply, ideas and propositions that might prove complicated to the uninitiated! He has very good product knowledge and is able to tailor the advice he offers to the client according to need and after detailed explanation of risk versus benefit - would not hesitate to recommend Philip, accordingly."
Karen Harrison

"Philip has provided really sound advice over the years. He researches well and listens to your needs, matching products that deliver the results you would expect."
Clare Davidson

"During times of financial fears and austerity angst, Philip is a voice of calm. He never pushes products or services, but instead listens, remembers and acts appropriately. He is a joy to deal with and I would heartily recommend him."
Jane Bainbridge

"Philip is an excellent independent financial adviser. He has reorganised my finances most effectively to give me clarity and peace of mind."
Rupert Hanbury

"When I retired from being a Financial Adviser at Allied Dunbar, I was happy to pass my client list on to Philip in the knowledge that they would continue to get a trustworthy service from him. He is now my Financial Adviser and has been for the last 16 years. I am still recommending him."
Harry Catton

"When I lived and worked near, and then in, Fulbrook, I always found Philip very friendly, efficient and readily accessible when his services were required. Now that I have moved to Scotland, which has meant many fewer actual contacts, these attributes have continued, indeed I am about to make use of his skills again on more frequent occasions, now that I am getting older and work opportunities are lessening in this time of austerity!"
Ken Jackson

"Philip has provided valuable advice over several years to meet my needs as work and personal life styles changed. Particularly valuable was advice during stock market volatility when I was seeking an annuity - It saved me a lot of money!"
Monty Charles

VouchedFor rating and reviews for Philip Hanley, IFA BURFORD