This summer’s personal finance news has been dominated by two stories: the changes to the ISA rules, which allow people to invest more money with greater flexibility; and the launch of a new equity income fund managed by one of the UK’s best known asset managers, Neil Woodford.

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The press have enjoyed both of these stories: every investment magazine and personal finance section has published lists of the top funds for your new ISA (or “NISA”); and, because of an admirable level of transparency about what he is doing, almost every move Woodford has made has been publicised. “What we can learn from Neil Woodford’s new portfolio”; “Neil Woodford says Pharma will provide income for 10 years”; “The contrarian stocks Neil Woodford is buying”; are just some of the headlines that have run since the fund was launched.

As you know, our investment strategy is somewhat different to the mainstream approach of attempting to pick investment winners and predict who will perform well in the future. At times like this it is helpful to reflect on the strengths of this strategy and how the broad services we offer go beyond the narrow definition of financial advice.

The increase in the ISA allowance and its greater flexibility to mix cash and securities is welcome, but the ISA is a relatively small part of an individual’s or a family’s overall financial plan. Thinking of it in isolation (as the press often do: “Twenty smart funds for this year’s ISA”) puts emphasis on the wrong thing.

And however successful a fund manager has been in the past, there are significant risks associated with buying a fund based on reputation alone. How likely is the manager to repeat their performance? Is their strategy appropriate for you? How does that strategy specifically increase the chances of you achieving your financial goals?

Our holistic approach to financial planning means we answer all those questions for you. We will make sure that your finances are run efficiently and we won’t risk your assets chasing hot funds.

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