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Q&A: Caroline Callow (Financial Consultant)

One of our leading Financial Consultants, Caroline Callow, recently sat down with Portfolio Magazine to discuss her personal and professional history along with the latest developments in the financial advice space as part of their ‘Q&A’ feature. Her answers are replicated below:

YOU:

What is your business background?: 

Banking, Insurance & Financial Planning

What was your very first job?:

Working as a cashier at Morrison’s supermarket while at College

If you hadn’t chosen your current career, is there another career path you would have liked to have pursued?:

Primary School Teacher

Who is your business role model?:

Anita Roddick (founder of The Body Shop)

What’s the best business lesson you’ve ever learned, and how did that come about?

Working in a sales environment, a bit of competition drives you forward and makes you successful.

What’s the best thing about your job?:

Meeting clients, every person’s circumstances are unique.

What is the best business advice you could offer to anyone?

Live life to the full and look at the positives in every situation.

 

DIGITAL AGE:

Do you own an iPad?: 

Yes

What are your favourite gadgets?:

My mobile phone and GHDs

Which websites do you visit most?:

Investment websites, BBC News, Shopping websites

Do you shop online and if so what for?:

Almost everything!

 

PERSONAL:

Where in the world would you most like to visit and why?:

New York, visited a few years ago and loved the city life with so much to do.

What is your favourite television series?:

NCIS Los Angeles

What is your favourite film?:

Any girlie flick

What is your favourite album?:

Ed Sheeran, Divide

What is the most memorable event you have attended?:

Birth of my two boys

Name 3 things you would like to do before you die?:

White water rafting, learn to play golf (well!), visit the Taj Mahal

What is the best piece of personal advice you could offer?:

Live for the moment, life is too short

 

CURRENT:

Recent research in the UK has shown that transfer values from UK final salary pension schemes (for those who do not wish to take a pension directly from the scheme, instead moving it to a personal pension) ended 2016 15% higher than where they started. The increase was largely due to changes in long-term interest rates: as rates fall, so transfer values increase (and vice versa). Long-term rates dropped sharply in the wake of the Brexit vote, but then marginally backtracked in the final quarter – hence the slight decline in transfer values recorded by the Index.

This is of particular relevance to Isle of Man residents who work for the likes of Zurich, HSBC, Barclays or many other financial institutions who although work on the Island, and may never have lived in the UK, have a UK-based pension.

Pension schemes review their transfer value calculation basis on a regular cycle rather than reacting to every market move, so some schemes have yet to take account fully of the most recent rate changes.

If you have final salary benefits from a previous employment, you might be lucky and find that your scheme is quoting transfer values still at or close to the peak levels of last October.

Even if the scheme’s calculation basis is more up-to-date, it could still be worth asking for a transfer value quotation. Whether to transfer of course depends on your personal circumstances and it is vital to obtain appropriate advice before proceeding.

Source: Portfolio Magazine (No. 132)