28 Mar 2019

Investment Matters - A tribute to Allan Harragan

I’m going to ask you to forgive my self-indulgence with this

quarters Investment Matters, and make this issue a tribute to Allan.

Now, there are some clients who never worked with Allan, but I hope that

there may be some insights and lessons that will still be of benefit to

you too.

Make each second count

One thing Allan was always adamant about, for both his clients and his family, was that we only get one chance at life so let’s live it.

I’m sure many of you will be familiar with us at Grangewood saying you really need to spend more money, you can’t take it to the grave with you, so make the most of it.

I was fortunate to have benefitted from this a few times, when Allan took the entire family (All 11 of us!), on holiday, so we could spend quality relaxed time together.

Achieve your aims and objectives

Allan really did live as he advised you to, he invested in the same way, he used the same providers and products, he was wise, tax efficient and disciplined, once a year he would do his own ‘valuation and review’ and rebalance his own investment portfolio (I know because it was in his diary…regular as clockwork)

He left us in an untimely and unexpected way, but due to his prudence, and planning, he has left a family financially secure. To all intents, his wife, should also plan to spend and enjoy as much as she can during her lifetime, but he has structured it so anything left over will benefit future generations.

This is what Allan wanted to achieve – To continue working for as long as he enjoyed it, to spend time on his hobbies, to holiday with his wife, and ensure lifetime financial security for her if he pre-deceased her. And, if anything is left over, for his children and grandchildren to benefit too.

Each of you will have your own aims and ambitions. You may like saving rather than spending because it makes you feel safe, you may want to spend every last penny as you tick every item off your bucket list, you may want to do all that makes you happy in your lifetimes but still support children or grandchildren. It doesn’t matter what your goals are, but it does matter that you have thought about them, and we are working together to make sure they are or will be a reality.

How things change

Allan wrote Investment Matters for Grangewood since the company was established in 2005. I thought I would have a read through some of them. Each newsletter had topical information, how the markets were going and what new regulations and changes you should be aware of.

Here, I name just a few of the more significant changes that many of you may recall and Allan helped navigate you through;


In April 2009, Allan wrote: 90% DECLINE IN 12 MONTHS...No not the stockmarket, the return on cash!

You could still get a variable cash rate on bank savings of 3.46% though. Those were the days!


He’s taken you through Bull and Bear Markets but with Allan’s guidance you remained invested in well-diversified, all weather portfolios, so you didn’t fear these falls and benefitted from subsequent rises in values.


13 years in the life of a pension fund…where do we start!!??

  • In 2006 the need to buy an annuity at age 75 ceased, BUT it could still suffer up to 82% in tax charges on death.
  • The amount you could save each year in pensions has dramatically reduced, from £245,000 to £4,000 in some instances.
  • The total lifetime amount a fund can be worth has also reduced from its 1.75million high, and we’ve seen a myriad of different ‘protections’ come and go
  • At one point it was thought you could buy your home and put it into your pension…fortunately Allan advised caution and patience here so none of our clients were subsequently stung by tax charges
  • There have been fears on whether tax free cash would be taken away, and whether tax relief would remain, and Allan has always been wise in his advice.
  • And now, we have flexible pensions, giving you what you want, when you want it, but facing investment risks, and the ability to pass the fund on to your heirs entirely free of Inheritance tax and possibly income tax too.

The pensions landscape has been a rollercoaster of a ride!

Estate Planning

13 years ago, you could pass on £300,000 of your wealth to non-exempt beneficiaries. That then doubled in 2006 when you could also use your spouses £300,000 if they didn’t use it. This has gone up to £650,000 for a couple now, but potentially up to £1,000,000 with the correct circumstances.

The rules on giving money away during your lifetime has also changed, and the ever complex tax implications.


And of course, of the products that did exist 13 years ago, some don’t exist anymore, others just keep on coming…the ISA, NISA, JISA, LISA, IFISA…to name a few! (Please forgive the abbreviations!)

And Finally

Life is short, so smile while you still have teeth - Anon

Wishing You and Your Family

A Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2019

Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise. The content of this document should not be treated as personal advice and is based upon our understanding of current legislation. No liability is accepted for actions taken or not taken as a result of the information contained herein