Notwithstanding your best interests and graft, many consumers of financial products are expressing their dissatisfaction with being treated akin to suspects forced to stand in a line-up, turn out their pockets and surrender all their secrets! Guilty before proven innocent!

If you combine this experience with the general mood of discontent, you can quite easily associate with the current feeling of global populism that has been gaining traction of late.

However, don’t be fooled. We ignore change at our peril. Essentially, these matters are influencing investment sentiment and attitudes to risk through a series of well-publicised and, soon to be, historical and political policies designed to control our knee-jerk financial decisions.

Astute sense will take the time to consider and review the medium to longer-term effects to your financial planning. These key moments are where a considered creative plan should be conceived to protect your wealth for growth, successfully preserving for the duration, regardless of how that gradient of change scales in the near-term.

To avoid the unsettling changes to the financial landscape, you need to conscientiously make sound and longer-term financial decision through planning. All plans, along with your aspirations come with a series of timeframes.

Take, for instance, the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) by the G20 countries to automatically share the income and gains individuals make from assets and accounts in their own names. If you plan to sit still and do nothing, you will be motivated by the reality that your “passive” profit-making activities will be discussed. These are clear markers associated with a timeframe associated to reach your immediate financial objectives.

Traditionally, for the longer-term, having your assets distanced by way of a third party generally assisted by reducing the assessment to paying the fullest level of tax using a discretionary trust, private company or foundation. However, no sooner has the CRS became a commonly placed and well-understood acronym, the expense of third-party structures to store your wealth could well become an unnecessary and wasted expense, overtly tax-exposed in the longer term, because of EU Directives such as the Central Register of Beneficial Owners (CRBE) and the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD). Such changes demonstrate the potential to unearth decades of formerly well-planned and costly tax shelters.

Discounting the immediate attraction of low rates of interest, seemingly unstoppable returns and, here in Portugal, comparatively low levels of taxation on income from capital and pensions, incorporating tailored financial planning methodology can prove there is a long-term and cost-effective alternative to planning. This will avoid you being exposed to unnecessary expenditures and ineffective tax-shelters, but instead look at using what is available using compliant, cost-effective and tax-efficient financial planning in plain sight.

This article is intended to provide a general review of certain topics and its purpose is to inform but NOT to recommend or support any specific course of action.

Raoul Ruiz Martinez is a resident and independent consultant for Finesco Financial Services Ltd. and advises clients on private financial matters in both the UK and throughout Europe under the MiFID regulation. Finesco Financial Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Some of the services provided are not regulated by the FCA because they are not included within the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.