2018 has been a year dominated by trying to agree the path to Brexit, with Prime Minister Theresa May wrangling with politicians both at home and abroad. 

    In the financial planning space it has been less about the road ahead, and more about coming to terms with what has gone before - the fallout from the British Steel pension saga for example, or the fight to maintain client service levels amid widespread replatforming. 

    Yet the list of Illuminate's most read articles this year strikes a different tone. 

    Regulation is (sometimes sadly) a fact of planners' lives, and this is reflected with articles on Mifid II and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) both making the cut. 

    But our most popular articles speak to firms who are out to improve their businesses and deliver better client outcomes despite all the noise around them. 

    Our interviews with the leading lights of the advice profession show there are people who are finding new ways of doing things, and who are also more than happy to share their experience in the spirit of sharing best practice and learning from each other.

    Here's our list of the top 10 Illuminate articles that got advisers thinking this year:

    Sliding scale
    10) The age 75 test and the lifetime allowance

    In this video, Technical Connection head of pensions consultancy Samantha Kaye looks at what you need to bear in mind when considering the age 75 test and the lifetime allowance. 

    She explains the implications for both crystallised and uncrystallised funds, and the roles of advisers, clients and scheme administrators when checks against the lifetime allowance are triggered. 

    Iona Bain
    9) How advisers can reach out to younger people 

    Earlier this year Nucleus was proud to host its first ever conference dedicated to the business benefits of diversity and inclusion.

    Iona Bain was among a stellar line-up of speakers, and spoke about how advisers can both cater to younger clients and attract and keep more young talent in the profession.

    Jaskarn Pawar
    8) How one financial planner is helping to plug the advice gap 

    In our first adviser interview of 2018, we spoke to Investor Profile's Jaskarn Pawar on setting up a low-cost, remote advice business backed by quality financial planning principles.

    He discusses how passionate he is about offering people choice when it comes to advice, and why low-cost doesn't have to mean poor quality.

    Susie Foottit
    7) From school leaver to role model of the year: One adviser's journey 

    Helm Godfrey director and shareholder Susie Foottit talks about leaving school at 15, 40 years in financial services and her work supporting the Teenage Cancer Trust.

    Susie was named role model of the year at the Women in Investment Awards 2017, an achievement that she says marks the highlight of her career. 

    Use of DFMs
    6) How advisers' use of DFMs is changing

    Gillian Hepburn of Discus crunches the numbers from the Nucleus annual census and what it tells us about how advice is changing. 

    She examines trends in discretionary fund management and investment propositions, and outlines the nuanced picture emerging on ongoing advice charges.

    80s pop
    5) What 80s pop has to teach us about Mifid II

    The Lang Cat consulting director Mike Barrett looks at the impact of Mifid II on advice as only he can (by kicking off by quoting Bananarama). 

    He particularly focuses on centralised investment propositions, and the need for a slick process in managing appropriate cost disclosure. 

    Cathi Harrison
    4) The woman driving the rise and rise of paraplanning

    Cathi Harrison shares the story of how she up set up Para-Sols nine years ago and the evolution of The Grad Scheme, an innovative approach to recruitment and training.

    She also talks about her latest business Apricity, and changing the relationship between compliance and advisers.

    Al Rush
    3) From RAF to IFA: The man standing up to poor DB transfer advice

    After five months of trying, we finally sat down with Echelon Wealthcare's Al Rush to talk about his 20-year career in the Royal Air Force Regiment, and his role in bringing to light the poor pension transfer advice given to those at British Steel. 

    He discusses how the Great Pension Debate events came about, Operation CHIVE and leaving the profession as he'd like to find it. 

    Phil Young
    2) Why GDPR is a force for good

    Phil Young is not often to be found espousing the benefits of regulation, but in this article he explains why GDPR is altogether better than its Mifid II predecessor.

    He talks about GDPR's implications not just for client information, but for your team's records and your advice processes.

    Jo Little
    1) Is this the face of future financial planning?

    Our most read article of 2018 goes to Jo Little, the third generation in her family to work as a financial planner, and someone who has achieved a lot at a young age. 

    She discusses working with her dad, the self-consciousness that comes with being a young planner, and catering to young, entrepreneurial clients.

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