I understand there is a phrase in journalism relating to the summer when there is little or no news – the silly season. This came to mind when I read that the FSA is seeking to redefine advice and make IFAs specialise in meeting the needs of one particular stage of a person's life (Money Marketing, August 7).
In my experience, this already happens naturally. How many times have I been to a seminar with other IFAs and one of the first questions asked is: “What do you specialise in?” Most of my firm's original clients were family doctors and dentists. This was our target market because we knew the NHS pension scheme relating to practitioners inside out. This was our specialism and, like our GP clients, we were general practitioners – the first port of call.
If we need to have specialist advice, then we seek it, just the same as our GP clients.
I would imagine that many smaller IFAs are general practitioners. Is this another way of getting rid of the smaller IFA? Oh dear, is my paranoia showing through? I must see my GP.
Malcolm Lindley Baxter & Lindley Financial Services,Tring, Hertfordshire