Advisers would rather whine about change than implement it

I am trying to stay positive, I really am, but I am confronted by rampant energy vampires masquerading as disillusioned IFAs. Regrettably, I am also going to moan…about the moaners.

It seems that some advisers would rather whine about change rather than implementing it. The retail distribution review is clearly upon us and yet many are either bemoaning its imminent arrival or gambling upon its imminent demise.

Although I have been RDRcompliant for over a decade, I am no supporter of its implementation either. It is going to irrevocably damage our great profession and deny accessibility to quality advice for the public. Despite not liking it, we have to contend with it, yet I still meet advisers who are tortured by the need to modify their business model.

The sole topic of discussion during breaks at seminars is exams. Asking an IFA how he charged fees, hoping we may gain some tips from each other, he responded that he had never charged a fee or even offered the option to his clients.

In a speech about the transition to fee-charging, I explained that clients were willing to pay fees but only if they could perceive value, if they genuinely felt that their IFA was offering something unique in the relationship.

Later, instead of considering how to adapt the ideas for himself, a delegate was overheard moaning “that doesn’t happen in the real world”. I am concerned he is typical of many who have lost the enthusiasm.

If you believe that all is fine because we have still got two years left, think again. With only 26 months remaining, it is not a question of waking up in January 2013 and looking up the meaning of the word fee.

Change has to happen over the next six months in order to have 18 months of practice, failure and improvement while the cushion of commission still exists.

It is unfortunate that very few forums are addressing the need for fresh inspiration and motivation. Of course, we must absorb new rules, legislation and their effects. But what is the point in being the best qualified, most knowledgeable adviser around if you have no clients to exercise your skills with? Where are the training courses on sales ideas, marketing, prospecting, opening and closing clients?

Where can we gain inspir-ation to motivate our clients? It is certainly not from the RDR.

I can think of four Million Dollar Round Table events taking place in 2011 to lift the spirits and remind us of the value of what we do for our clients and the massive differ-ence we make to people’s lives.

Bhupinder Anand is managing director of Anand Associates