Ahead of speaking at Money Marketing Interactive in Harrogate on 13 September, Time4Advice director Roland Rawicz-Szczerbo shares his thoughts on ad valorem charging and why he is optimistic about the advice market
On a scale of one to 10, how optimistic are you about the advice market for 2018?
10. Financial advisers provide an essential service to their clients, helping them to act on the vital issues that can impact their short and long-term security. By building trusted relationships, financial advisers play a vital role in ensuring their clients are protected against short term tragedy and of course can reap the benefits of a well-considered and planned for retirement. They also help individuals preserve their wealth for the benefit of future generations.
What can be done to improve the supply of advice?
The trick is to increase capacity for advisers, paraplanners and administrators. This can be achieved by reviewing processes and documents and automating the routine wherever possible. The majority of back office systems simply cannot support this in any meaningful way, which is why firms need to review technology to reassure themselves that their current software is fit for purpose.
Have advisers reached a point of true professionalism yet?
There is always room for improvement but in my experience, the majority of firms we meet are committed to doing the best job they can for their clients, which is why they continue in business. Any relationship is based on trust and if firms are able to spend their time doing the things that their clients value, then they will continue to be successful and appreciated for the work that they do.
How important is it for the advice community to share best practice?
Essential. Sharing insights with your professional community is a great way of getting feedback and other great input. True professionals like to share, and these golden nuggets of information gleaned could add significant value to the firm and the industry as a whole.
How can advisers best improve their image with the public?
By providing the service their clients value and communicating effectively within their local community.
Will ad valorem charging stand up to recent criticism?
No one objects to paying a fee where they recipient is delivering value. Unless the client understands the fee and what they are getting then it is not possible to have a discussion around value. Transparency is essential in a trusting relationship and so unless the client understands what they are paying in cash terms and are happy with this, then there is an imbalance in the relationship, which could come back and bite the adviser. No one needs surprises in a relationship and especially not around fees.