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MEET THE TEAM: DANIEL PATON

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With Abacus Wealth Services going from strength to strength, we speak to financial adviser Daniel Paton to find out about his career with the company, the pleasure he gets from helping clients in often challenging situations and his enthusiasm for networking to promote his colleagues’ work.
When did you join Abacus Wealth Services?
I have been with the company since 2004, working as a financial adviser across the Practice to deliver the full range of financial advice services.
What are the main responsibilities in your role?
As well as being a director of the company, I am the lead for long term care, where I work with clients and their families as they consider options for how assets can be used to fund care provision. If you have a relative who needs to go into care, I have the qualifications in later life planning and experience to provide advice about the financial options at such a difficult time [i] . Inevitably, it is a very emotional decision to make but I take pride in being able to help families in this specialist area and can work closely with people in their time of need.
What jobs did you have before you joined Abacus?
Prior to joining the company, I started out in work directly after school, having always had several jobs on the go. I met my wife while we were both working as reps for Eurocamp in France. I worked for a large insurance company, followed by a high street bank, before embarking on my financial planning training which led me to Abacus.
What do you enjoy about working for Abacus?
The most enjoyable part of the role is working with business owners, as I appreciate they can be busy people who often value the chance to receive direct advice to understand the options for big decisions about their personal wealth and the direction they want to take in life. I like being able to establish trust with each client, so they can consider the full range of options. I enjoy meeting people and am a sociable person, so it means a lot that I receive many new business enquiries from recommendations by existing clients.
What has been the most memorable occasion where you have helped a client?
One of the most pleasing client cases I have worked on was where we supported a client in moving from a poor pension arrangement to a more successful provision. It was a complicated and unusual situation, but it meant a lot to the customer, who has subsequently made so many recommendations for our work that he has become a confident introducer for Abacus.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your work?
As a business we have had not only changed the way we operate, with social distancing and home working, but we have embraced the opportunity to promote our work digitally. With more people doing research on their finances online, we recognise the ways that financial advisers can promote our work. A lot of people want as much information as possible and receiving advice from companies like Abacus Wealth Services is among the options available to them.
What are your interests outside of work?
I am a keen networker and am a member of the Wulfrun branch of the BNI business networking group. I do not see meeting people and socialising as being work as it extends to my life outside work. I enjoy connecting with people. Outsides of that, I love playing golf and socialise with work contacts on the golf course. My wife and I love to go on short breaks and I am out every day walking our dog.
What is the best bit of advice you would give somebody starting work at Abacus?

If you are hungry to progress and open to learning every day, becoming a financial adviser means the world is your oyster. There are huge opportunities for anyone coming into this industry if they have the right attitude to want to help people.

The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested.

Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

[i] For more information on long term care planning, including legal disclaimers, visit the SJP website: https://www.sjp.co.uk/products-and-services/protection/long-term-care
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Budget 2021 – what the changes mean for you

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Given the size of government borrowing and the chancellor’s strong indication that “repairing public finances” and returning to “fiscal conservatism” would be necessary at some time, this Budget certainly came with ‘great expectations’.

Despite these warnings, though, there was strong official commitment to prioritise restoring the economy; and to support jobs, individuals and businesses. We were also told that only changes that would be incorporated into the next Finance Bill would be announced at the Budget, with any consultations on future tax change not being published until 23 March.

So what changes were announced in the Budget and what could they mean for your financial plans?

The chancellor announced a “three-part plan” incorporating:

  1. A commitment to continue to do “whatever it takes” to support the economy, jobs, people and businesses
  2. Fixing public finances in an honest and open way
  3. Beginning the building of our future, post-pandemic, economy

So, what changes will be of most interest to investors, employees, business owners, the self-employed, homeowners or buyers, retirees and those saving for retirement? Of interest to all individuals is the expected freezing until April 2026 of the main allowances, thresholds and exemptions for Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax.

Many employed and self-employed individuals will be relieved that the furlough and self-employment income support schemes are being extended through until the end of September, with the latter being expanded to allow more people to claim.

Investors and those saving for retirement will be relieved that the limits on how much you can invest in tax-efficient pensions and ISAs remain unaffected, as does the taxation of income and gains from investment.

The extension of the Stamp Duty Land Tax cut until the end of June, and the new mortgage guarantee scheme delivering mortgages with the need for only 5% deposits, will both be of interest to those looking to move or buy their first home.

For those saving for retirement or about to start drawing down on their retirement funds, we have seen a freeze in the lifetime allowance of £1,073,100 until April 2026. This year’s inflation-linked increase was going to be less than £6,000, so that isn’t really too much of a worry. However, over the next five years we would have hoped to see an increase up to around £1,200,000, which is significant.

For those who are not at the lifetime allowance, there is no impact; but for those with pension savings at or over this value, careful planning will be needed to minimise any impact, at least in the short term. We do hope that after five years, we will see further increases in line with inflation.

For company owners, the proposed increase in the Corporation Tax rate to 25% from 1 April 2023 may be of concern. However, this rate will only apply once profits hit £250,000; and if profits are below £50,000, the current 19% rate will continue to apply. There will be a sliding scale for profits in-between.

There are, however, some new provisions for all businesses to allow losses to be carried back for three years and a new “super deduction” capital allowance of 130% for companies on qualifying capital expenditure. This super deduction will, in effect, allow companies to cut their tax bill by up to 25p for every qualifying £1 they spend.

Even these relatively light changes to the tax landscape remind us of the importance of factoring tax into our financial plans and the importance of informed advice in making smart choices to achieve optimum outcomes.

This may be only the start of the journey towards a changed tax landscape, although we may get a better idea of what that landscape might look like with the promised consultations on 23 March.

In the meantime, don’t forget that we are not far away from the end of the tax year, so do feel free to discuss with us how to achieve a tax-efficient end to this year and a great start to the next one.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested.

The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. Tax relief is dependent on individual circumstances.