Heading into 2017, a host of commentators were predicting widespread challenges for the advice profession.
Consolidators were snapping up small IFA firms for a reason, the argument went, as the costs of compliance and running a planning business in general continued to escalate.
They saw Mifid II and GDPR on the horizon as straws that could potentially break the camel’s back. The particularly prescient foresaw a continued boom in defined benefit pension transfers becoming a risk rather than a reward under intensifying regulatory oversight and spiralling professional indemnity insurance costs.
Yet amid all the tests of the past 12 months, our exclusive research shows that advisers are still reporting sky-high levels of job satisfaction, and believe that their image with clients and the public has also improved.
More than 220 advisers responded to Money Marketing’s Adviser Satisfaction Survey this year. The results are a counterbalance to many of the negative premonitions about how advisers are coping with the pressures of running planning firms in today’s environment. They paint a picture of a buoyant profession that is starting to take steps to secure a healthy future for itself.
A rosy view
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 was enjoying being an adviser the least and 10 the most, the scores from our respondents averaged out at 8.1. This was up from 7.7 when we ran the survey at the same point last year, suggesting advisers have become even happier with their lot over the past 12 months. Nearly two-thirds of advisers considered they were remunerated “fairly well” for their work, with another 22 per cent saying they believed advisers were paid “very well”. Again, both are slight improvements on last year’s values.
Just 4 per cent rated remuneration as “fairly poor”, and only one respondent said they believed advisers were remunerated “very poorly” for their work.
The vast majority would still recommend a career in the financial advice profession – 80 per cent, compared with 10 per cent who would not and 10 per cent who were unsure.
More than half of the advisers surveyed said that they or their firm had hired a new adviser in the past five years. More optimistically still, half said they or their firm had taken on a new trainee over the time period.
When it came to how advisers think clients would rate their trustworthiness, the scores came in at an average of 8.9. Asked how they thought clients would rate value for money, advisers gave an average response of 7.9 out of 10.