Independent insurance analyst Ned Cazalet believes the time has never been better for giving independent advice.
In his Life 2003 report, Cazalet says an increasingly older and wealthier population means that, despite difficulties such as increasing regulatory costs and falling commission levels, there are great opportunities for IFAs.
However, he says many IFAs have been product pushers and are lacking the technical skills and resources to deal with an environment focused on wealth preservation and pure investment advice. He says the average small IFA is too overloaded by heavy regulation to re-equip and reinvent himself to take advantage of the “forecast massive demand for private wealth counselling”.
Cazalet says: “The logical solution with regard to investment business would seem to be for many IFAs to focus on acting as financial planning specialists and helping to determine their clients' asset allocation strategies. Creation of investment portfolios, including manager selection, should be delegated to an appropriately qualified competent third party having the resources to select managers and monitor them closely on a day-to-day basis.”