To say 2022 has been a turbulent year would be an understatement. 

    Red hot inflation, rising interest rates, a global economic downturn and geopolitical turmoil have presented challenges for the steeliest of investors. Never was there a better time to cite the Warren Buffet 'tide-going-out-and-discovering-who's-been-swimming-naked' quote.

    This was also the year when the Consumer Duty got real, when the government added to the chaos through its anything-but-mini budget, and when the collapse of FTX made a convincing dent in crypto’s reputation and aspirations.

    So amid these challenges and opportunities, what have you been reading? 

    Illuminate has covered a wealth of topics this year from the technical to the practical to the philosophical.

    Here’s a rundown of the most popular articles month by month:

    January: An aspiring planner’s vision of the future of financial advice, Tom Redmayne

    We’re on the edge of a new era. A dawn of a new age. So what does the profession look like from the perspective of an aspiring financial planner? Many of you couldn't wait to find out.

    February: What I tell my clients during periods of market volatility, Tom Skinner, Barnaby Cecil

    At times of financial uncertainty and stock market volatility, we know that many clients stop thinking rationally. Tom provided his thoughts on how to combat their evolutionary way of thinking.

    March: The one thing financial planners should do to ensure success, Alan Smith, City Capital

    What's the secret ingredient, the magic formula, the one thing you need to do today? Alan looked to the world of professional sport before defining his approach to business success.

    April: The apps financial planners can’t live without, Faith Liversedge, FL Storyteller

    We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to time-saving apps, but with so many out there, how do you know which ones are the best? This rundown of what financial planners are actually using proved useful for many. 

    May: The lifetime allowance charge – when should you take the hit? Neil MacGillivray, Nucleus

    Is it better to crystallise a client’s benefits and take the LTA charge ‘hit’ now or, crystallise up to their LTA and leave the balance that exceeds this figure until some future date? This was something Neil clarified in this popular post.

    June: Tattoos in finance – are they still an issue? Hayley Rabbets, The Verve Group

    Historically, tattoos have been frowned upon in the workplace, not so much now, but what about in finance? A hugely popular - and highly personal - post on a controversial topic. 

    July: What is financial coaching? Simonne Gnessen, Wise Monkey Financial Coaching

    As pressures on cost and increasing regulatory change continue to dominate the profession, it's no wonder many of you are interested in financial coaching. Simonne explained there's more to it than helping people with their emotional relationship to money.  

    August: A new Consumer Duty: the final rules, Graeme Stewart, Paradigm Consulting 

    The FCA finally published their Policy Statement PS 22/9 and Finalised Guidance FG 22/5 on the early morning on the 27 July. With over 280 pages to read there was a lot to digest. Graeme provided an overview of the key points.

    September: InkedIn – tattoos in the workplace, Hayley Rabbets, The Verve Group

    We revisited this popular topic in September with a cautionary tale from Michael Watts of The Verve Group via Hayley. We tend to think of the tech industry being more enlightened than finance - not judging by this story.

    October: Advisers react to Trussonomics, Faith Liversedge, FL Storyteller

    Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget sent shockwaves through financial markets as he announced what one think tank called ‘the most dramatic, risky, and unfounded mini-budget’ in history. What did advisers and planners make of it? I asked some.

    November: The wealth transfer hype, Andrew Hart, Humans Under Management

    Turn off the wealth transfer hype urged Andy in November. "The advice is being peddled by the usual suspects who’ve never advised a family and who don't really understand what the elite adviser does." Do you agree?

    December: From the crash to recovery: a client's story, Tom Skinner, Barnaby Cecil

    Tom's client Peter was understandably concerned that his £50,000 investment was now only worth £35,000. Ten years later, his portfolio was worth £300,000. Tom recounts the journey.

    And that concludes our run down - what are your thoughts? And are there topics you'd like to see more of? Please let us know and we'll be sure to cover them next year. 

    Illuminate was created to help the advisers and planners to build and share knowledge in areas that are vital to the successful development of their businesses. It endeavours to shed light on the topics that are most pertinent to you. It’s also a place where you can share your own experiences and personal stories.

    If you’d like to share your thoughts with the community, then please email me.

    And finally, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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