Mel Kenny: Corbyn govt would rattle finance and prove continued need for advice

As the UK looks once again at the prospect of a general election, advisers would do well to prepare for policy changes that could be seen under opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn

Jul 25, 2019
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For some time now, it has been said we are sleepwalking into a Corbyn government and we are heading for the destruction of capital with swingeing taxes, a firm lid on aspirations and a change to international relations the likes of which we have never seen.

The usual deafening silence of quiet phones and bewilderment in advisers’ offices that follows any national shock may continue longer than usual in such a scenario – people may prefer to see the colour of their money in anticipation of the first budget, and then the next. The landscape will completely change, some say.

But an adviser does not have to be that long in the tooth to have witnessed and withstood a lot already. Many end-of-the-world moments have come and gone. Of course, some advisers take the opportunity to pack it in. However, when the dust settles after this next storm, most advisers will once again brush themselves down and find the opportunities to show clients that highly sought-after light.

WIRED ON DEMAND: The impact of a Corbyn government on investments

Although rarely welcome, change and confusion can in fact be good for those planners and advisers that give constructive financial planning and advice. Not so much for those looking to sell the Next Best Thing, which might not be as shiny and gleaming as it once was now it is laced in tax. The need for reassurance, to re-build or nurture a vision and to create a pathway to the future will never disappear. The world is not going to be suddenly devoid of busy people, complex family structures and people withering away more slowly than before.

Of course, it is the tactical advice stuff that is under threat. The big worry is that Corbyn might undo a lot of our hard work with retrospective legislation.

But to get his hard stuff through, he would still need to engineer a great deal of support from disparate groups by giving promises left, right and centre. Well, right and centre.

High net worth advised fear a Corbyn-led government

The UK stockmarket might get a beating, but it represents just 6 per cent or so of world markets – not such a big deal if you are not reliant on it. Nationalising companies and wiping wealth is not mentioned without causing a sharp intake of breath, but delisting companies for not meeting ethical or climate change criteria is already behind the curve. It is something that social movements have led the way on, not governments. Fund managers that leave too big a carbon footprint are already suffering.

Yet for all the talk, planning and, for some, worry over what a Corbyn world will mean, perhaps Mr Corbyn is already old hat. He is no longer welcome at Glastonbury; the world led by social movement has moved on and it may be a Liberal Democrat-Green pact that we wake up to after a general election.

And guess what? Nothing changes no matter what happens. The principles will remain – clients will seek reassurance, a vision of the future and a pathway for getting there.

Mel Kenny is a chartered financial planner at Radcliffe & Newlands

Follow him on Twitter @mel_kenny

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