View more on these topics

Alan Dick: The key issue is not the advice gap, but the planning gap

Alan Dick CFPTM

A recent survey found most people aged over 45 want to retire soon but do not know if they can afford to. In fact, a significant proportion do not know if they will ever be able to retire comfortably. Surely one of the most basic roles of financial planning is to be able to answer that sort of question. Of course, clients may not always like the answer but they should at least know what it is.

The FCA is currently undertaking yet another review in order to address the advice gap. However, until we stop thinking about advice gaps and start to appreciate the fact there is a planning gap, it seems unlikely we will see any real improvement.

Most financial advice service propositions still focus on product sales. That is hardly surprising. The financial service regulatory regime is totally product centric. As advisers we obsess over such questions as: who offers the best pension or Isa product? Which company has the lowest charges, best performing funds or most flexible features? The outcome is advice but it is not planning.

In order to be a financial plan it needs to have a clearly defined set of objectives that can be quantified so that we can measure progress towards them. If we were all delivering plans like that no client would need to wonder whether they could afford to retire.

Alan Dick is chair of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment Financial Planning Professional Forum



SJP under fire over system failure that left clients stranded

St James’s Place has come under fire after suffering a back office system failure that means clients are being prevented from transferring away from the wealth manager. The issues are preventing clients from accessing written information on their investments and are causing severe delays when withdrawing cash. The wealth management firm is facing problems with […]

Loney-Phil-Royal London-2013

Royal London: ‘Don’t abandon tax relief system’ as pension business soars

Royal London has posted a 40 per cent growth in new life and pensions sales in 2015, as its chief executive warns the Government not to “abandon” the pension tax relief system. In its latest results for the year to 31 December, the provider reports new life and pensions business of £6.8bn, up 40 per […]

FCA logo new 3 620x430

FCA fines ex-JP Morgan boss £793k over London Whale trades

The FCA has fined the former head of JP Morgan’s CIO international division £792,900 for failing to co-operate with the regulator over his role in the so-called “London Whale trades”. Between March 2012 and April 2012 the FCA says Achilles Macris did not inform the regulator of concerns about the synthetic credit portfolio he was […]

Rock Caspar Architas 2014

Architas’ Caspar Rock: Taking the long view in times of volatility

Architas chief investment officer Caspar Rock explains why he’s backing longer-dated bonds and considers the implications of the UK potentially leaving the EU this year. Long duration assets Despite the strong run in gilts, especially very long-dated ones, duration in fixed income portfolios is still a vital means of diversification. The markets remain fixated on […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. That makes sense.

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm