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Cicutti: Focus on selling must stop

Almost 20 years ago, shortly after I had joined this newspaper, my then editor asked me to attend an LIA convention in London.

I remember the event as if it were yesterday. About 1,000 or more paying delegates were crammed into a massive auditorium, applauding a range of motivational speakers whose main aim was to make them feel good about selling financial products.

One guy told his audience all about a young man to whom he had sold a huge chunk of life insurance and his client had popped his clogs a short while later.

The moral was obvious – the poor man’s widow was devastated by her loss but she had been left well provided for by her husband’s foresight.

And, to ram the point home, the salesman then brought the widow up on to the stage and gave her a bunch of flowers while the delegates cheered wildly.

I thought the whole approach was not only mawkish and manipulative but also its pitch was aimed not so much at customers as financial advisers.

The message for advisers was along the lines: “Yes, you may wonder sometimes what on earth you are doing delivering a sales spiel 20 times a day. But never forget that, despite what even they might think, you are achieving something good for your clients, so feel positive about yourself, go out there and sell some more.”

This kind of message treats people as infants who understand so little about their needs they need to be cajoled and inveigled into doing something good for them.

That is why I am wary of any organisation whose members are only admitted if they can prove they sold a vast amount of insurance, the Million Dollar Round Table being a classic example.

Last week, Atkinson Bolton Consulting director Simon Gibson explained in Money Marketing why he believes the MDRT is an important part of what makes him a good professional.

Simon intoned: “Is talking to a client about their lifetime financial planning not selling an idea, a dream? Is discussing with a prospect why our services for the management of their money are right for their needs not selling ourselves and/or our business? Even more important, do we not need guidance through change, at work, at home and in the wider world?”

The moral here – and there always appears to be a moral – is that all these worthy aims can only be met by an industry professional if they are allied to a sales process, presumably one involving a financial product.

Now, I am happy to accept Simon is a good professional, as is Bhupinder Anand, another MDRT member whom I have long respected for his financial skills. And I do know the MDRT has a philanthropic arm and a code of ethics.

But regardless of whether it is done with the best intentions or with subtlety and finesse or by appealing to a client’s own self-interest, the notion that what financial advisers really need is more motivational talks on how to sell better misses the point.

It is the very act of “selling” financial products that has, over the years, engendered the levels of mistrust felt by so many consumers about the industry. Moreover, it is selling the wrong kind of product to the wrong type of client that has led to so many of the scandals.

I will undoubtedly be told by some readers the essence of true professionalism is the ability to identify the right product to sell and make sure it meets the needs of the client – and then sell him the idea that he needs the product. What is wrong with that?

I will go back to what I said earlier – the notion that we consumers need to be sold to infantilises us. Rather than treat us as grown-ups capable of making rational decisions on the basis of a good financial plan, the assumption is that without a clever way of knocking down our objections we will not realise what is good for our needs.

I would prefer to sit down with someone who explains the pros and cons of taking a certain step as opposed to another one. I do not want to feel I am being sweet-talked or pressured or moralised into doing something I would rather not do.

Yes, but, I can already hear some of you reply, if we did not try to sell, people like that poor widow 20 years ago would not have two brass pennies to rub together. Surely it must be worth it just to make sure is well provided for?

I will come back to my main point – selling, as regularly practised in the financial services industry, has been responsible over the decades for at least as much misery as it has benefited other individuals. Better not to sell than to do so and earn your client’s enduring mistrust ever after.

Nic Cicutti can be contacted at


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There are 42 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Could you please quote some hard statistical data in support of your assertion that “selling, as regularly practised in the financial services industry, has been responsible over the decades for at least as much misery as it has benefited other individuals”.

    This may have been the case as far as large, sales-target-driven institutions are concerned, though the majority of established IFA businesses with loyal client banks, increasingly grown on recommendations, who return again and again as their needs and circumstances change and develop, would probably feel entitled to take issue with such a sweeping and unsubstantiated statement.

  2. Green Eyed Monster 14th July 2011 at 10:28 am

    Don’t you mean ” Selling, as regularly practised in the financial services industry, has been responsible over the decades for lots of benefits to society. MIS-selling, on the other hand has been responsible over the decades for much misery” .

  3. What everyone here knows is that people don’t go out and decide to buy unless its a need or impulse. If there is a need, usually cost comes into it. To date, I’m yet to meet someone who went out and “purchased” a pension for example.

    This is where the moral sales angle comes in…you need life cover, but you ain’t going to spend much are you? Here it starts.

    After many years of mixed results, I’m now happy to say that I give recommendations and expect people to implement them. If there is a protection gap, I will ask their feelings about it (and so far only 2 have said that they could care less) and make a recommendation. If they don’t take it, I will terminate the ongoing relationship. This tough love approach (has done wonders) came about because the recommendation is completely bespoke. A fee was paid for the advice anyway, so everything is impartial. If they decide not to cover the protection gap (and no, I don’t take commission) we part on good grounds. No selling – just telling that this is best based on their needs and affordability.

    Nic – what do you think?

  4. Whilst I will agree wih you for the majority of products, such as in the pension, investment, mortgage World.

    However, life insurance and in particular Income Protection is not readily bought or requested by clients. Mainly because as a species we are not trained to look at the negatives, but more the positives, hence we plan for things that we want to achieve, but rarely plan for the things in like we don’t want to happen.

    We are constantly told by the Government/Press that not enough people have life cover, and very few have Income Protection. Therefore this kind of article is potentially irresponsible.

    I, for one, am guilty of underselling insirance, mainly because of the stigma attached to being a salesman, and concious that I am a ‘bad’ person if I try to sell.

    Insurance very often needs to be sold – the country needs it to be sold to assist in the Beneifts system. And who rarely complains about having an insurance payout. What is criminal is when it is sold incorrectly e.g. PPI

    But lets please not jump on the politiclaly correct bandwagon, or else nothing will get achieved. I’d rather have a slightly imperfect World where the majority have cover, and accept a few missellings, as distinct from a perfect World where harldy anyone is covered.

    We must stop this type of goody goody righteous journalistic nonsense.

    CHRIST you make me mad

    Please excuse the grammar, spelling etc – written off the cuff – haven’t got time to re-read my posts, unlike yourself.

    Publish this if you dare – or is it too aggressive for you?

  5. Peter Maxwell-Lyte 14th July 2011 at 10:34 am

    I am really pleased that I am a good salesman. I say good because I sold myself a very large £500 a month critical illness plan (from Allied Dunbar!) and claimed on it 3 years ago. And they paid out promptly.

    If I hadn’t – I dread to think what my life would be like today – I had to sell it to myself.

    The only excuse I have is my starsign as an aries – I am the most immature sign in the zodiac – maybe that’s what makes me a good salesman and financial life planner trained in the EVOKE process.

  6. My frustration with the current debate of fees versus commission is the lack of objectivity when it comes to the potential abuses of power, fee generating IFA’s have at their disposal.

    We are all aware of the Towry business model, which is a fee based model, but only on the basis that all clients invest in their own funds and no other. Independent financial advice – I don’t think so.

    I know of one very vociferous IFA who is forever going to financial seminars round the country telling other advisors about the success of their fee only business model. What he fails to disclose is that their AUM fee is 1.5% and that the majority of their clients funds are held via in-house funds that also charge 1.5% AMC – with a 7% initial front end charge. Add all those fees together and your looking at serious wealth destruction, all under the guise of fee based advice. Are you really trying to tell me that this business model is any better than a commission based model?

    If we’re going to have a serious debate about fees versus commission, atleast highlight the many ways ‘fee’ only advisors are manipulating their own fee structures.

  7. Mike Smurthwaite 14th July 2011 at 10:41 am

    Selling is one thing but protecting clients from themselvies is another very important point to remember. I’ve been in the industry for 32 years and yes the wild times of the 80’s when showing a young man a picture of a new Porshe and saying if you save £500 per month for 10 years, then this dream could be yours was always a bad idea but some companies liked this but of course the business never stuck so really a waste of paper. But I still come across clients with mortgages and young children with bugger all cover and if I didn’t mention the what if factor then am I selling a product? So basically I totally disagree with you Nick on this one and with the constant exams at the moment, please give our profession a little more credit.

  8. Strange that Nic Cicutti dosn’t ;like the idea of being a salesman

    And yet that is what HE is

    Every week He as a Journaist Sells his skills and articles cos’ he certainly dosn’t do it for nothing

    He might not like that idea but that is what he is and does.

    And I see nothing wroing with that whatsoever!

    Post RDR we are will all have a “business Proposition” to “sell” ooops I mean give to clients so that they can chosse if thbey want to “Buy” our services and if they “buy” them by definition we will have sold them

    And that is what every business in the country does

    I am not in anywat ashamed of that fact and neither should he

  9. Jeremy Newbegin 14th July 2011 at 10:44 am

    I have always had a distaste for the LIA and MDRT because of the very points Nic makes. However Nic, the reality of life at the coalface is that it is very often our conviction for the financial solutions we offer that galvanises clients into action. It is a fine line between advice and selling and perhaps the truth is that both are needed if some clients are to make a financial decision. The problem of course is too many in our industry are motivated too much by money. That wrong focus is what causes misselling, more than anything else. Selling does not need to be evil, if it is motivated by righteousness.

    Advice is also not necessarily the “Angel of Light” if it is used as a wolf in sheeps clothing. The key is what is the motivation that drives us. Putting our clients first, above ourselves, is what we should all be doing.

  10. philip melville 14th July 2011 at 10:44 am

    Hopefully Nick is just trying to irritate and show his own paymasters that he is capable of attracting readers.
    Presumably he has never had any issue with all of our trade media ‘s reliance on being paid by providers to sell us their wares using every known ploy of misrepresenation known to man.
    As far as I and now also most of the world know the media have absolutely no problem stooping lower than any limbo dancer to misrepresent life to anyone bored enough to read them.
    Getting peoples attention for long enough to tell your story has always been a difficult and often lonely way of earning a living and only a fool or journo would deny us the opportunity to have our enthusiasm rekindled now and then by lively presentations. I should not think anyone gives them any more credibility than any of Nick’s ideas bu they can can brighten up a dull day..

  11. As the industry increasingly switches from selling product to selling advise – the inevitable conclusion is that less product (i.e. pension, protection, investment) will be implemented, no matter how good the advise, if the adviser has no financial incentive in the implementation.

  12. “It is the very act of “selling” financial products that has, over the years, engendered the levels of mistrust felt by so many consumers about the industry”

    What a load of cobblers!

    Banks have consumers
    We have Clients

    If selling is showing a client how, if a husband or wife dies, how the other will cope is selling – guilty

    If selling is showing a client what would happen if they suffer a long term illness – guilty

    If selling is showing a client how their retirement could look based on current contributions – Guilty

    Can’t remember the last time I got a phone call asking to buy a financial product.

    Oh yes I do, it was when the client was diagnosed as having hodkins disease and thought it might be a good idea to get some critical illness.

  13. No-one wakes up and thinks must buy life cover today,just last night during client review i mentioned life cover and hey presto they cancelled thiers with the bank – too expensive! I had a quick review and hey presto more cover much much cheaper and i’ve done my job, THATS why clients ask for reviews….we review and advise, they buy, simple, get off your moral high horse Mr Cucitti…

  14. Selling is an art and not something anyone should be embarrassed about. Everyone has to do it to some degree – in both their personal and professional capacities – even Nic Cicutti. I am surprised that Nic doesn’t appreciate that the more subtle approach that he favours (pros and cons) is not part of selling. A good adviser/planner/consultant/salesman (whatever you want to call yourself) will quickly identify the approach that suits their client and behave accordingly.

    I cannot believe that in the current highly regulated world, where documenting your advice is a time consuming art, that there are many advisers who seek to pressure people into applying for products they do not want or need. The investment of time is too significant to warrant wasting it on people who subsequently cancel plans.

    This article appears to be written for no other reason than to enrage our community and stir responses to justify Nic’s own self importance within his organisation. Isn’t it about time that financial journalists reported some positive stories and ones that engaged consumers to seek professional advice? Eureka – there’s an idea!

  15. Nope. Missed the point, as usual.

    ‘Selling’ is universal. Cicutti does it every day. Everyone does it all the time. Some of the best closing lines I have ever heard came from a solicitor who was horrified when I pointed this out to him.

    The FSA sells itself. It brands itself as ‘the protector of the consumer’ (lies, I know, but nevertheless that is what it says) and that is a form of selling.

    ‘Selling’ at its core is simply relating to another human being and motivating them to do something with you rather than someone else.

    What Cicutti is getting at – very badly as usual as he is a product of the fabianistic mindset – is ‘selling’ as in providing what someone does not want. Well, sunshine if they do not want it it will lapse pretty damn’ quickly. If on the other hand the lapse rates are low clearly the product is wanted.

    I agree that the stage performance was mawkish, but so what? Who did it harm?

    Lastly, life insurance is a distress purchase – like tyres for your car. Very few people buy it voluntarily, not least because they have been conned by the ‘cradle to the grave’ lie of the nanny state. People need to be motivated to buy it, oh, and that includes pensions.

    NC. Epic fail.

  16. If £1m insurance was free everyone would buy it. So lets not kid ourselves here. Get a life Nic and produce more constructive material.

  17. Why do the words ‘sales’ or ‘selling’ invoke such bad feeling with some people. There is nothing wrong with selling, whether it be a service or a product.

    Most of us are ‘salesman’ in one form or another. Nic, you have to sell your story to your editor to get it printed, or typed….if you were (maybe you are) freelance, you’d have to sell it to the journal.

    However the service or the product HAS to be suitable, appropriate and fairly priced for the customer/ client. This is where things have gone wrong in the past.

    This is what needs to change, not the fact that services or products shouldn’t be sold. They simply need to be sold fairly to the right people.

  18. As the advise industry increasingly switches from selling product to selling advise (prompted by the RDR), the inevitable result is that less product (i.e. pension, protection, investment) will be implemented, no matter how sound the advise, if the adviser has no financial incentive in the implementation as well. This will turn out to be one of those ‘unintended consequences’ of RDR.

  19. If you are NOT a good salesman and your best advice is not acted on, then you are doing your client a disservice.
    I can see where Nick is coming from, but the fees for the advice compared to the commission for teh product argument are two oppssing arguments which both have their flaws. I feel like when I was
    doing the econmics part of my banking exams and being taught about Keynes v monetary theory, two oppossing theories, neitehr of which are completely right or completely wrong!
    Like Andrew Mallett, I walk a fine line between advising based on an agreed charging structure and “selling”, but as life and illness cover is sold, not bought, there does need to be an element of advising for a fee and completing on a product and being paid more as a result.
    I don’t know that I have got the balance right yet, but it is unfair for Nick to imply that advisers are not trying to do their best for their clients and are commission hungry salesmen.

  20. I always remember this old adage….

    “There are two ways to may money in this world. You either make things or you sell things”

    In the latter example, whether that is a skill or service is irrelevant. The best sales peope, in any job or profession, will be the people at the top. Financial services is no different.

    Let’s be honest, even if you are fee based, you’ve sold the client the idea that your services are better than the firm down the street. Being a life assurance salesperson is not a bad thing, in fact you could argue it is the ONLY thing that is REALLY important in financial services. (Mind you that might get the FSA on another bandwagon over why the industry doesn’t sell more protection!)

  21. I would rather have someone “sell” me protection and get paid commission rather than for a fee because if I stop my premiums or change my mind the Salesman would have their commission reclaimed over 2 to 4 years. That means the salesman needs to get it right….the right product with the right benefits at an affordable budget.

  22. Nic I read your comments with interest. I agree that Mis-Selling has done our industry a great dis-service. I am assuming that as you write with such authority you are an adviser yourself.
    How successful has your approach been commercially for your business? What turnover levels are you able to deliver? Clearly if this is commercially viable I cannot see why nobody else would not want to follow your approach?

  23. Neil F Liversidge 14th July 2011 at 11:14 am

    Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. Or become journalists … or compliance officers …. or reguators …

  24. Thank god I never listened to the kind of drivel we get from people who write articles like this.

    3rd March 2010. I suffered a major seisure lasting more than 10 mins. After several scans and much worry over the next 3-4 days, it was discovered that I had a brain tumour.

    April 2010. Zurich paid out on my critical illness plans. I can’t fail them, they did so within 2 weeks.

    May 2010. I moved into my new home (first time buyer). I did so without financial worry as a consequence of having the right insurance.

    I have always believed in CI and have always believed in having as much as you could afford. Consequently, I had 2 large plans even before I planned to buy my new home. If I listened to the nonsense written by this guy, I would have had 1-2 times salary at most. I took what I could afford, over and above what the FSA told me ‘I needed’.

    Out of all the people I have seen, almost none approached me asking for protection plans. You have to sell them, I feel no shame in doing that. I also know of no widow(er) or person who has suffered CI who has ever called me to complain about the payout from any plan I have put in place.

  25. Yesterday I got a call from a former clent’s solicitor friend, the former client is in hospital with a fractured spine, he needs a scan to assess the damage and the doctors are unwilling to offer any thoughts about when he can get back to work. The solicitor friend asked me if the client had any accident insurance or something that would pay him an income or allow him to pay someone else to look after his business. I remember this chap because he was being hounded by his bank to arrange life cover for his rather large debts and his accountant asked me to see if I could provide a cheaper alternative. I tried to persuade him to purchase PHI and CIC but failed miserably because my selling skills could not overcome his reluctance to spend money. So, there we go again, another case of ‘selling’ having failed to ensure that the consumer is protected from his own stupidity.

    For each wild and ill considered comment about selling being the cause of all our ills there is a true story….

    Yes selling has caused problems, this applies in all consumer sales, cars, kitchens, mobile phones, newspapers…

  26. Nick, you really need to spend a week with an IFA whose principle business is “selling” Life Assurance & Pensions. Both of these products are sold not bought by 80% of consumers and the younger they are the more times you need to re-sell the benefits to them when finances are tight. It is common knowledge that the man in the street will stop his Life Assurance and Pension rather than miss a night out or two in the pub. Or do you just write articles to get the response quotient up in the 100’s.

  27. To Stan Kirk.

    It’s advice, not advise. 5 times can’t be a typo.

    I have no idea why that has wound me up so much. Think I must be losing my marbles.

    I certainly wouldn’t be taking advice from someone who can’t spell it though…

  28. I have regretted many times not selling life and critical illness. I cannot recall ever regretting something I did sell.

    I found the other day Winston’s Churchill’s passage on protection – it is worth reminding people like Nic why protection is important.

    “If I had my way, I would write the word “insure” upon the door of every cottage and upon the blotting book of every public man, because I am convinced, for sacrifices so small, families and estates can be protected against catastrophes which would otherwise smash them up forever. It is the duty to arrest the ghastly waste, not merely of human happiness, but national health and strength, which follows when, through the death of the breadwinner, the frail boat in which the family are embarked, founders and the women and children and the estates are left to struggle in the dark waters of a friendless world.”

  29. Neil F Liversidge 14th July 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Six years ago a client asked me to do a charity job for her sister in law whose husband – my client’s brother – was dying from nasal-pharyngeal cancer. They had no insurance of any kind to cover the mortgage even, let alone provide for their three kids. Why? Because some numpty bank clerk had made only a half-hearted attempt to sell them some and being so useless had failed totally. The ‘recommendation letter’ was a tick box sheet that said they should have life, critical, PHI and MPPI, but no ‘selling’ job had been done so they never bothered. After a lot of chasing around I got them payments from the Mineworkers Pension Fund and the NUM benevolenet fund and a Zurich personal pension he’d paid into after leaving the pits. We saved their house but she has to work full time and the family are poor. I’ve SOLD life cover for years and I’m proud of it. I’m not a member of the Nic Cicutti haters club Nic but sometimes you really do need to get in touch with the reality of life.

  30. Some quite extreme views here.

    I agree with Nic about MDRT and sales conferences having attended a few in direct sales days. As a small IFA I don’t have to do this anymore, so I don’t.

    I would like to know whether there is any properly scientific research on correllation between size of organisation and “mis-selling” Anyone know ?

  31. In common with many of the contributors above, I too have hefty protection cover as I care about the future of my family. I used to encourage clients pretty vigorously to do likewise where affordable, but in fee world, I can’t be arsed. I am paid by the hour, the report is written and if a client ignores my recommendations, I make sure we are covered in writing. We are becoming just like a law firm – we are paid whether the client follows our recommendations or not and I have no wish to keep trying to swim uphill. Another increase in consumer detriment, but hey, at least I’m not a salesman which will come as a great comfort to the dependents of uninsured breadwinners.

  32. Go to the MAS then nic.

  33. Another Pissed Off IFA 14th July 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Clearly, selling the WRONG product to anyone cannot be justified but selling is good, especially in financial services. Politicians sell themselves and what they can do. Journalists sell themselves – and, like any salesman, they are only as good as their last article.

    But unlike desk-jockey journalists, financial advisers/salesmen (call them what you will) each have stories to tell about how they sold the right thing to the right person or the wrong thing to the wrong person.

    For me, that latter possibility actually happened in a very sad way. When I was brand new in my new career I was confronted by orphan clients one evening. The lady was heavily pregnant, her husband was the breadwinner. In my youth and inexperience I arranged a savings plan on the life of the wife which carried just a little life assurance. But what they NEEDED was life assurance. If I had been a better salesman I would have given them the right product.

    About two months later a memo arrived in my pigeon hole in the office. It was a death claim. They guy had been killed in the contra-flow system on the A21 as they were building the M25. (Yes, it’s that long ago…)

    Since that event I had no difficulty in selling what the client actually needed.

    As a counterpoint to the above story, I went back to see a chap that I had sold life cover to, whom I had originally met through a cold call right out of the telephone book.

    At the sign-up meeting he had been resistant to the purchase of life cover. I said to him, ‘With respect, sir, I know what I am talking about and you don’t.’ He signed up.

    Six months later, he telephoned the office. He had fallen off a building and was in hospital. He said, ‘Thank you for arranging that life policy for me. As I was falling to the ground I knew that Angie would be all right.’

    And so it is with selling. I felt VERY GOOD about selling that policy. Very good indeed.

  34. Nic, I didn’t think you would anny me, but you have. That’s odd because you usually have a modicum of common sense about you, but you’re being a bit of a pillock (and I’m referring back to the Norwegian root word in case you’re wondering).

    Apart from a few tub thumping life insurance salespeople (and they’re rightly proud) the rest of us shy away from the ‘sell’ word. Selling belongs to the dark side. If we’re selling we’re being manipulative and underhand – making people buy things against their will.

    When we talk about what we do, even among our peers, we use terms ending with the words advice, planning, or management to describe what we do. Heaven forbid that we should ever sell anything, that’s what our website and client proposition is for isn’t it?

    Somewhere along the line, among all the missives from the Financial Services Authority, the posturing from the Consumer’s Association and the pointy fingers from the press (that’s you Nic), we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that selling is something else. The something else might be akin to hypnotism, a foot in the door or a mugging in an alley near Oxford Street.

    But away from financial services, selling isn’t viewed with quite the same degree of distaste. Then again, selling has moved on. Yet despite the innuendos we’ve never actually resorted to pinning people on the floor in a half nelson forcing them to sign an application form. Selling has always been about helping people recognize the worth or desirability of something, and then invoking them to take action.

    I know from long experience as a fee only financial planner that clients need more than a financial plan if they’re going to follow through on it.

    Because too many of us are somewhat irrational when it comes to money, we need a bit of encouragement when making difficult financial decisions. Ask my wife, she has to sell me on the idea of saving when I want to buy a new car – and no I don’t feel like an infant when she does.

    However, the desire to sell has been replaced by a desire to look into our client’s eyes and say “I’m not trying to sell you anything”. Yet try as I might, I cannot think of another industry or profession where selling hasn’t become the name of the game. Lawyers and accountants, doctors and dentists, even vicars and tarts: everyone is selling.

    But, if we’ve got to stop selling based on your experience of 20 years ago, then we might as well shut up shop and leave everyone to the Money Advice Service. After all the MAS gives advice for free and it doesn’t sell anything. Well done.

  35. philip melville – excellent points eloquently expressed.

  36. Michael Rowley 14th July 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Just more drivel from a Journo who gets paid not on results but just to write a piece.Come back News of the World…all is forgiven..!

    Never forget “Salesmanship is the glue that binds the world together..!!”

  37. What utter tosh. Only a small percentage of people go and buy insurance willingly. Most have to be “sold” the benefits. Most pay more for the benefits they want than they really want to pay. Most do not want to pay a fee. Most people want it for nothing. So most policies have to be “sold” by a “salesman”.

  38. Nic, the naivety of what you are saying in your article is quite astounding. Having been in financial services for 32 years I can tell you for a FACT that the vast majority of the population do not go out and buy protection, investments and pensions. That is why we have such a massive savings and protection gap, funnily enough!

    The majority of IFA’s have built their client banks by selling these products to people who clearly need them, but do not go out and buy them. These clients end up appreciating the need for them and become loyal clients who value the service they receive.

    If people were constantly ringing up or knocking on our door looking for advice, this notion that we are advisers dispensing advice could work.

    In the real world outside of Canary Wharf and journalists ivory towers, where most of the rest of us work and live, we know this to be complete crap. Which is why the RDR will not serve the majority of the population.

    People who have already created or inherited wealth will want, need and look for advice, but this is limited to the top 5%, or at a stretch 10% of the population. Which means 90% of the population will not be served by the RDR.

    Selling in financial services is what has created, what used to be, the most successful financial services marketplace in Europe. Nic you have missed the point, in fact you have missed so many points you really shouldn’t be writing about it!!

  39. Naffed off IFA 15th July 2011 at 3:15 pm

    @ Another Pissed Off IFA

    Didn’t you sell him some PHI?

  40. The vast majority of insurance has to be sold to, or forced upon, the paying public.

    Why on earth would porotection of any kind be an exception to that rule?

  41. Most protection policies are perceived as very risky by the public. The risk being that they almost certainly won’t pay out when claimed on.

    IFAs are not trusted by the public, almost certainly with good reason.

    Herein lies the problem. An industry rotten to the core.

    The FSA is trying to rectify this situation, RDR etc, let’s hope they succeed then we can all insure / provide for ourselves with confidence.

  42. Nick,

    I would really love to see your financial plan as its clearly perfect, good asset allocation and use of wrappers, pensions fully funded, all sorts of coverage to cover you and your family, estate and tax planning regularly reviewed and you’ve done all that by yourself without ever being sold to by an “adviser”. I can imagine you have never been sold to as you clearly are on a different level to the rest of us. as well as being a financial expert, journalist, psychologist, behavioural finance expert etc etc.etc

    Adrian Kidd
    Salesperson Extraordinaire

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