Going beyond face value

Posted on: 21 March 2016 by Steve Wanless

The early months of 2016 are going to be a busy time for those seeking financial advice.

financial planning

So many changes, potential and speculative, are in the chancellor’s thoughts and Treasury’s pipeline – regarding pensions (annuity sales, tax relief, pension ISA) buy-to-let (landlords are clearly in the firing line) and your tax affairs (individual on-line accounts and quarterly up-dating).

Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) are bracing themselves for this onslaught, as well as evaluating what the changes will actually mean for the investor in the coming months and years.

It’s the impact of these changes way down the line that is most important. Financial mistakes, as well as neglect, can have a devastating effect on your financial situation at age 50, 60, 70 and beyond!

Small wonder that for many the Christmas and New Year holiday is a time to take a break from thinking (and worrying) about finances; spending often goes way above budget and January is a month when reality returns with the sight of the latest bank and credit card statements.

Yet it does seem that it’s a case of “no expense spared” when it comes to treating ourselves, our family and friends to attend sporting events or pop concerts, where secondary ticket sites, especially, are booming.

Sir Elton John set a top price of £89 for tickets for his 2016 tour; visit one of the ticket sites, like Ticketmaster, Seat wave or Ticket line, and you will discover that you will be charged several times that figure, plus the various fees for handling, insurance and delivery.   

What makes this “profiteering” even more annoying for the artist, as well as his fans, is that many of the shows have yet to sell out.

There is a growing campaign against mass ticket resale, but it appears out of control. Sir Elton described these sites are “disgraceful” adding, “I would rather have empty seats. I think it is extortionate.

“The fact fans are willing to pay such amounts is fantastic – but I’d rather they’d save their money and not come.”

The band Coldplay recently signed an open letter to the government calling for action over this matter. It said that fans were being “ripped off by touts” and warned of “industrial-scale abuse and insider exploitation”.

It is common practice for artists to announce dates for a tour, leaving gaps for extra shows when there is mass demand. Adele’s long-awaited return to performing meant her show at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro – capacity 13,000 - sold out in two minutes.

That was about the same time it took for tickets to re-appear on these secondary sites at vastly inflated prices!

Adele’s management actually vetted people who had pre-registered for the tour to try and wheedle out the touts; they believed 18,000 suspect accounts were identified, meaning 36,000 tickets were kept away from the touts.

There will be a further check going into Adele’s shows; ticketholders will need photo ID to match the name on the ticket, the original purchaser.

But fans’ desire to see their heroes – whether sporting or musical – appears to have no boundaries in terms of costs.

Rugby fans were aghast at the cost of tickets for the recent World Cup – but most games sold out and the event contributed to over 70 million attending professional sporting events in the UK in 2015 – a rise of 5% on the previous year.

That was still short of the record 75 million set in 2012, the year of the London Olympics, when over 11 million visited the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Outside the Rugby World Cup, the year’s most popular event in terms of attendance was again the Wimbledon tennis championships, with half a million. The biggest daily event, averaging 100,000 per day, was the FI British Grand Prix.

Horseracing is on course for record attendances of 6.2 million this year. Alan Switzer, a member of the Deloitte’s sports business group, explained.

“Flagship events such as Royal Ascot, the Cheltenham Festival and the Epsom Derby are firmly established in the top tier of best-attended annual UK sporting events, while the breadth and depth of other meetings throughout the year ensure that horseracing remains one of the UK’s most popular sports.”

The two new events to make the top ten in 2015 were the Moto’s British Grand Prix and the Badminton Horse Trials – replacing the Ryder Cup and Aintree Grand National.

Football, as ever, remains the nation’s largest attraction in terms of attendance – 43.4 million fans through the “turnstiles” that no longer exist.

Even those who stay at home to watch their favourite sporting events and teams have to pay the increasing subscription prices of Sky and BT Sport - in HD, of course.

For a free, no obligation initial chat about your individual finances, call us on 0800 0112825, e-mail info@wwfp.net or take a look at our website www.wwfp.net.


Last edited March 2016

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