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Cometh the hour, cometh the need for Advice First

With New Labour seemingly cruising on automatic to a majority, it is make

or break time for IFAs. The industry faces a massive challenge on

disclosure, polarisation and the son of Myners review, which will, among

other things, investigate alleged commission bias.

Catmarks, stakeholder price capping and mortgage regulation, or the lack

of it, are causing grief both for the industry and,we contend, consumers.

In the face of this, IFAs who are convinced they have a valid point of view

seem to be ignored. Step forward Aifa and its “new alliance” with IFA

Promotion, Advice First. Aifa plans to submit a paper to the Government on

the value of advice. The public wants advice and providers believe in it.

It is difficult to believe that the FSA could have any problem with the

public getting good independent advice.

Between the regulator, the industry and advisers themselves, the British

public now have access to a valuable resource. Advisers are not perfect.

Some need to increase their investment knowledge, others must consider

whether they rely too much on up-front commission. But on the whole they do

a very good job.

Even senior ministers such as Alistair Darling believe advice is necessary

but other powerful people do not. IFAs must do everything they can to

convince the Gov-ernment of their value and back Aifa&#39s initiative to the

hilt. Money Marketing hopes this is a case of cometh the hour, cometh the

man. Over to you, Mr Smee.


Sick notes

I run a small information technology company with a permanent staff of 30.I have recently set up a stakeholder pension and some death-in-servicebenefits with a provider which contacted me direct. Following feedback frommy employees, I am keen to provide a better benefits package, perhapsincluding medical insurance. I have an annual budget of around £5,000and would […]

R&SA goes live with pensions package

Royal & Sun Alliance UK life and pensions is offering an employee benefitswebsite package which provides access to scheme information for IFAs andemployers. The site, www.royalsun., contains det-ails of R&SA&#39s grouprisk and pension portfolios, including stakeholder, as well as genericinformation, frequently asked questions and a range of product literature. IFAs and employers can download […]

Sipps and mortar

I was very surprised to see the statement that only three full Sipps offerthe facility for a mortgage to be taken out under a Sipp for investment incommercial property in the Financial Product Reference in the May 24edition of Money Marketing. Certainly, our own Sipp – the Wolanski & Co personal pension plan – offersthis […]

Mark dampier

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier is a self-confessed“media tart” who loves seeing his name in the national and trade press. But then again, anyone in his position would need to love the attention.Why else would they put themselves forward as the mouthpiece for one of theUK&#39s leading and often controversial IFAs? As the […]

The Downsizing Delusion: Why relying exclusively on your home to fund your retirement may end in tears

By Steve Webb, director of policy The British obsession with homeownership can have dangerous consequences. A recent survey by Barings¹ found that up to three million people of working age were planning to rely wholly on the value of their home to fund their retirement. We are not talking about people investing in buy-to-let or […]


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