Exam Success

Congratulations to our Office Manager Hayley Carson who found out this morning that she has passed the J11 Wrap and Platform written exam.

Well done Hayley!


Vacancies available

Vacancies Available

Due to expansion, we have the following vacancies available at our office based in Preston. If you feel you are suitable for any of the roles listed below then please email your CV to hayley@traffordandhoughton.com or telephone us for further information on 01772 825755.

Vacancy One:

Senior Administrator/Paraplanner

An excellent opportunity for an experienced Administrator has arisen to join our firm. Trafford & Houghton are a small reputable firm made up of 3 IFAs (including 2 directors) and 3 administrators.

Key Skills: You will need to have worked within the Financial Services industry and have a working and competent knowledge of financial services products which include Pensions, Investments, ISA’s and Protection policies. You will have good communication skills, be organised, happy to take responsibility for your own work and be able to work to deadlines. You will need to be a team player and be happy to help other team members when required.

You must have had experience of writing suitability reports.

Award in Financial Administration qualification would be preferred.

If not already qualified to diploma level, should be part qualified or keen to progress further.

Experience using Intelligent Office and O&M would put candidates at an advantage.

Key responsibilities and accountabilities:

  1. Produce professional suitability reports
  2. Tailoring suitability letters to individual clients
  3. Responsible for file preparation for meetings and existing business administration
  4. Provide specific product, provider and fund research
  5. Assisting administrators during busy periods and working in a team environment.
  6. Other administrative duties include:
  • Submit new business applications
  • Produce quotations
  • Deal with providers
  • Deal with clients
  • Chase outstanding pipeline cases
  • Chase outstanding fees

Salary: Up to £25,000 per annum dependant on experience

Contract: Full Time

Hours: Monday – Friday (37.5 hours per week)


Vacancy Two:

Apprenticeship – Trainee Financial Services Administrator

A position has arisen for an enthusiastic individual who would like a career in financial services.  We are looking for a bright, hardworking candidate who is able to adapt to change and is willing to learn and develop in the advertised role.

You will enrol on the Business Administration Level 2 Apprenticeship scheme provided by North Lancashire Training Group.

Initially to provide immediate support to our existing team, providing suitable progress is made their responsibilities will include producing quotations, submitting applications, dealing with providers, dealing with clients and general administration duties.

Key Skills:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • PC literate with experience of using Word, Excel etc.
  • Good time management skills
  • An interest in the financial planning process
  • Willing to learn and develop in the advertised role
  • GCSE or equivalent in English and Maths (A-C)

Salary: £122.50 per week (£3.50 per hour)

Contract: Full Time

Hours: Monday – Friday (35 hours per week)

Guide to Financial Planning: Part Five

The Final Frontier

So, having taken advice, given the investment time , diversified the investment, avoided greed- make sure you avoid fear.

Some of the worst financial decisions I’ve known have been based on unexplained fear. Whether it’s leaving money on deposits for years and years and allowing that money to erode through the effects of inflation or not investing because you’re fearful of a market fall.

Nobody flashes a light to say investment markets are about to fall. The markets are priced by taking in an unbelievable amount of information, so anyone who thinks they know better perhaps should be working with Clinton Baptiste.

Invest for the long term and don’t make long term decisions based on short term movements. There are always going to be ups and downs, that is the nature of investing.

Like in the poem IF

“If you can meet Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two imposters the same”

(You’ll be an Investor).




Guide to Financial Planning: Part Four

Don’t believe the Hype

Rule 4: Avoid Greed

Most people have heard this basic rule of investing, which is to buy low and sell high. Yet, few follow this guideline. It’s  too easy for well-meaning investors to fall victim to their own emotions, thereby succumbing to the fear, hope and greed cycle.

When investments continue to rise, we get excited, and newspapers and television add fuel to the fire. People then start to worry they’re missing out and greed kicks in. Even though we’re buying something for far more than what we should. We become greedy and want some of this marvellous investment opportunity. The chance  has probably passed and our greed is exposing us to more risk than we should have had. We are buying high not low.

Investing is a strange business, Investor, businessman and philanthropist, Sir John Templeton, used to say: “Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.” The irony is that many investors only want to buy when the price is high.

My advice is avoid greed, be what you are.



Guide to Financial Planning: Part Three


When investing the next box to tick is diversity. Most people are familiar with the don’t have all your eggs in one basket theory. Nearly every horror story I hear involves a lack of diversity. Whether its putting all your money into a property development or buying and holding onto shares in one  company.

As with timing the market, it’s often difficult to choose which asset class is going to outperform others. This year’s top performer may be next year’s crisis. This is illustrated in the chart showing each asset performance each year. It’s quite easy with hindsight to see where your money should’ve been invested , but not so much without the hindsight.Asset performance each year

By diversifying your portfolio, you can help manage your risk.

The goal of diversification is not necessarily to boost performance—it won’t ensure gains or guarantee against losses. But once you choose to target a level of risk based on your goals, time horizon, and tolerance for volatility, diversification can provide the potential to improve returns for that level of risk.

To build a diversified portfolio, you should look for assets—stocks, bonds, cash, or others—whose returns haven’t historically moved in the same direction, and to the same degree, and, ideally, assets whose returns typically move in opposite directions. This way, even if a portion of your portfolio is declining, the rest of your portfolio, hopefully, is growing. Thus, you can potentially offset some of the impact of a poorly performing asset class on your overall portfolio.

So, so far you’ve taken advice, given the investment time and diversified.




We interrupt our guide to financial planning to bring you our Spring Budget Special……..much ado about nothing!

Pensions & Savings
Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA)
– The Government believes that an MPAA of £4,000 is fair and reasonable and should allow individuals who need to access their pension savings to rebuild them if they subsequently have opportunity to do so.
– The reduction in allowance from £10,000 to £4,000 will limit the extent to which pension savings can be recycled to take advantage of tax relief, which is not within the spirit of the pension tax system.
This is effective from 6th April 2017 for all individuals who have flexibly accessed income.

Tax –free Dividend Allowance
Reduction in tax-free dividend allowance for shareholders from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018

Personal taxation
The main rate of Class 4 National Insurance contributions to increase from current rate of 9% to 10% in April 2018 and 11% in April 2019, raising £145m a year by 2021-22 at an average cost of 60p a week to those affected

-£435m for firms affected by increases in business rates
-£300m hardship fund for small businesses worst affected
-Pubs with rateable value of less than £100,000 to get a £1,000 discount on rates they pay -Any business losing existing relief will not pay more than £50 a month.

– £300m to support 1,000 new PhD places and fellowships in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects
– Free school transport extended to all children on free school meals who attend a selective school
– Increased investment in schools of £216m
– New T-Levels to be introduced to give parity of esteem for technical education
– Number of hours of training for technical students aged 16 to 19 to be increased by more than 50%, including a high-quality, three-month work placement

Health & Social Care
-£100m to place more GPs in accident and emergency departments for next winter
– Additional £325m to allow the first NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans to proceed
– An extra £2bn for social care over next three years, with £1bn available in the next year
– Long-term funding options to be considered but so-called “death tax” on estates ruled out

– Transport spending of £90m for the north of England and £23m for the Midlands to address pinch points on roads
– £270m for new technologies such as robots and driverless vehicles, £16m for 5G mobile technology and £200m for local broadband networks



Guide to Financial Planning: Part Two


Time in the market, not timing the market.

It is very, very difficult to predict the best time to enter or exit the market. The speed at which markets react to news means prices have already absorbed the impact of any new developments. When markets turn, they often turn quickly.

Investors trying to time the market are suggesting that they know more than the market itself, you could argue that is near impossible. Those who try to time markets will often miss opportunities and growth. There will always be an occasional investor who times the market successfully, that doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

History tells us that markets move in cycles, but nobody rings a bell at the top or sounds a buzzer at the bottom. Over short periods, markets can be more volatile and result in a wide range of returns (positive or negative).

According to Fidelity Investments: “the longer you stay invested, the greater the probability your investment will generate a positive return”

I would concur with that view. My rule is that if you know more than the market itself then by all means try to time the market. If you don’t know more than the market (and trust me, you don’t). Then time in the market is key.