Ahead of his apprearance at the Money Marketing Interactive conference in Harrogate on September 13, CWC Research senior partner and The Investment Network chair Clive Waller weighs in on why advice is not a true profession yet and how to get the public on side.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how optimistic are you about the advice market for 2018?
What is the best innovation you’ve seen recently?
Cashflow modelling in 7IM’s 7IMagine.
What can be done to improve the supply of advice?
Digitalisation of all aspects than can be digitalised without compromising advice
Have advisers reached a point of true professionalism yet?
No, albeit some are close. True professions select from high level entrants, for example those with good A Levels or good degrees. They all have an increasingly demanding exam programme which is consistent (not pick those you like), and include field work as part of supervised training i.e. trainee accountants do auditing and trainee doctors work in wards.
What major trends are you predicting for the next 12 months?
Continuing digitalisation, continuing aggregation and drift to a restricted, vertically integrated model.
What session are you looking forward to most at MMI?
How important is it for the advice community to share best practice?
There needs to be a high level of consistency so consumers know what to expect. That is absolutely not the case currently. This is about having one set of demanding exams, a proper industry trade body and then sharing good practice.
How can advisers best improve their image with the public?
To start, stop the stupid anonymous blogging. Many will convince folk outside of the advice sector that advisers are stupid, paranoid and incompetent with a dislike of regulation and the products they recommend to their clients. Don’t forget, among other things, that journalists and regulators read this crap. Second, accept that advisers are not universally loved or respected and consider how to change that. Then re-read point one.
If you could scrap one piece of regulation, what would it be?
No so much a piece of regulation, but recognition that platforms are not products or even services but big bits of IT between providers (funds etc.) and consumers, usually via intermediaries.
Who is your advice market hero?
It would be unfair to single one out.
Will ad valorem charging stand up to recent criticism?
Yes it, but for running money, and not, ney, never for one off financial planning, which is an absolute rip-off; an annuity for a single piece of advice.