Pensions were always something that you didn’t need until later and, when bringing up a young family and paying off a mortgage, there was never enough money to just ‘salt it away’.

However, when the children eventually left home and the mortgage was almost paid off at the age of 54, it was a simple question that I asked – was it too late to fund a comfortable retirement?

I was recommended by a work colleague who had already benefited from the one to one independent financial advice offered by Howe Maxted. After an initial interview with John Austin, who assessed my aims, attitude to risk and current financial situation, I decided to hand over the running of my pension strategy to his expertise. John consolidated some pensions from previous employments, leaving those that were better left separately, and then chose an active investment strategy creating a portfolio of different holdings designed to spread the risk and cover the opportunities and then met with me every six months to review and discuss the plan. John always made sure the cost was affordable and each time I was surprised to see how John had maximized the tax efficiencies and produced far greater sums than the contributions actually cost.

Having followed John’s advice to the letter I am now in a fairly comfortable position and could actually retire early. John’s investment strategy balances what you can afford with when you can afford it and then accelerates when the market opportunities presents itself. Based on my experience with John I would thoroughly recommend his advice.




First of all, I would like to thank you most sincerely for the expeditious way in which you have dealt with the recent problem I have had with HMRC.  As you are aware, you were able to resolve the matter’ satisfactorily on my behalf for which I am, of course most grateful.

Whilst writing, we would like to take this opportunity to thank both you and all the members of your staff with whom we have had dealings, for the unfailingly courteous, pleasant, helpful and efficient way we have been treated, whenever we have had occasion to contact you.  Looking back, it must be some 30 years since we were first introduced and we have been in touch ever since, on both a corporate and personal basis.  In addition, my wife has now been the happy recipient of your financial/investment advice for something in the region of 15 years.

Finally, we would both like to, again, express our thanks for the service which you and your staff have provided over the years, and express the hope that our association may long continue.


“The Investment Offshore Bond thingy, best thing you ever put forward.  Having invested £120,000, seven years ago it has never gone down, is now outside my Estate and it’s provided £500 per month since inception.  Where can you get £500 per month for doing nothing?”

The investment that the client described is a Discounted Gift Scheme, which enables assets to fall outside of a clients’ Estate, yet they retain the ability to take tax efficient income £6,000 per annum/£500 per month.  The value of the investment at the time of the Review March 2017, was £143,426.

The client originally invested £120,000 back in November 2009 and has received £6,000 per annum since inception, £43,500.

Without realising it, this client’s Testmonial encapsulates the major features surrounding the HMG advisory service:-

           .    Effective use of assets – tax efficient income for lifestyle purposes;

           .    Tax efficiency – the assets are now outside of the client’s Estate, 
                providing an Inheritance Tax Saving of circa £57,370;

           .    Investment Performance – the client has secured an investment
                return of circa 6% per annum compound, which is in line with our
                expectation of return for a Moderate Investor.  This is in keeping
                with our theme of “making clients’ money work harder than cash”