It’s the end of advice as we know it?

Maybe it’s the rubbish weather, but we’re getting a lot more traffic to the site than normal for an August.

Most popular this week was Phil Young’s musings over the endless speculation about the demise of financial advisers and disruptive technology. Let’s face it, advisers have weathered every storm so far, and the decline in numbers, suggests Phil, are down to more mundane issues than whizzy new technologies or price pressure. Most significantly, it’s hard for young, inexperienced advisers to get a start nowadays.

Succession was also a theme for Brett Davidson, who discusses how to take a reliance on business owners out of the business, and prep well for sale.

If you’re interested in the key differences between Unbiased and VouchedFor when generating leads, Bridget Greenwood gives us a good appraisal through an interview with an adviser who’s used both. It’s frank and no punches held.

Happy reading.

2 Comments
  1. Phil Melville 2 years ago

    I read your piece with interest Phil but initially refrained from comment as I often find I am swimming against the tide in my opinions. However chance brought a surpise phone call this morning from a widow whose late husband had been a squash chum of my some fourty years ago.
    Peter and Nancy had never been clients and although we had lived in the same town our social lives had taken different paths. I was aware of various events in their lives and knew that they had run a succesful newsagents for the latter years. Nancy was a twin and her sister was married to a local builder with whom I had had some business connection.
    Nancy had been recommended to call me by several clients as she struggled with the financial issues which followed her husbands sudden and unxpected death.
    As often happens their financial affairs had been organised with different firms and of course their bankers.
    Nancy had not had any real involvement in their pension or investment arrangements and quite naturally turned to the adviser firms named on the various policies etc. During our conversation it was obvious that Nancy was not financially savy and would need help to sort things out so I was astonished to listen to her story about her attempts to deal with the various firms involved.
    Without exception the firms which included SJP, Lloyds Bank, Axa and a couple of local IFA,s, behaved in ways which I find astonishing. Each firm spent all of the time involved in her initial contact telling her about themselves and their charges and processes. Axa even told her she would need to contact a financial adviser as they were unable to help her with her situation as the beneficiary on her husbands pension.
    No one seemed remotely interested in her position either as a new widow or as a client ( prospective or existing ) and no one made even the most basic attempt to understand her complete financial position. The common thread was their own importance and the problems they had dealing with people in this day and age.
    I now have only a vague perception of Nancy’s financial circumstances and although we no longer take on new clients I do know she is a widow who needs help and that her understanding of the world is that is what we do for a living.
    We have always been willing to meet and discuss financial arrangements with people as that is how we have built and maintained our very succesful business. Our natural instinct is to help where we can and yes in the modern jargon we would be engaging in some cross subsidy but that is how all business works.
    Our industry has become so self obsessed with its own importance that it has forgotten how markets actually work. We need to find out what people want from financial services and what they feel they are prepared to pay and then we need to work out how to deliver what they want at the price they will pay.
    We need to forget what providers were prepared to pay us to distribute their products and build a business on what financial services the consumer values and will pay for or we will indeed continue our long slide into oblivion.

    • Phil Young 2 years ago

      Cheers for the comment, Phil. Whatever the question and whatever the answer, I’m generally convinced it’s often a lot simpler than is often made out.

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