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Paul Lewis: Why the FCA must shake up adviser websites

Businesses generally say they welcome competition. Because competition is a “good thing”. Unlike Government interference, which is a “bad thing”. It distorts the market, and distorting the market is always bad. Very bad. Especially when done by politicians.

All that is nonsense, of course. Firms do not want competition. The ideal state for a business is a monopoly. Henry VIII discovered that when he found he could sell monopolies to support his extravagant lifestyle. The letters patent he issued remains in our vocabulary today. In 1515 the City of London gathered together the trade guilds and formed the 48 Livery Companies, effectively monopolies for the City’s businesses.

They ensured gold was assayed, cloth was of a certain quality and beer was not poisonous. They set pay and conditions and controlled apprenticeships. This early consumer protection prevented competition. Tradesmen could thrive without further interference or the annoyance of other traders undercutting their prices.

Nowadays, competition is supposed to be at the heart of business. Supermarkets, washing machine makers, even newspapers, compete on price and quality. The Competition & Markets Authority is there to control the natural desire of firms to do deals and carve up markets. But some businesses seem immune to competition. Twenty years since consumers were first able to choose their electricity supplier, the Government says the market is broken and has promised price controls on the cost of heating our homes.

Details of the plan will shortly be published in its manifesto but the cap will probably be the same as Labour’s 2015 manifesto promise: “Labour will freeze energy bills until 2017, ensuring that bills can fall but not rise.” When that was first proposed in 2013 the Conservatives condemned it as leading to higher, not lower, prices. Newspapers joined in, calling it “back to the bad old days” of 1970s socialism. But now the cap is seen as a sensible and measured response to the failure of switching to make providers compete on price.

It was never going to work. Switching relies on consumer engagement. In other words, people must have so little fun in their lives that they find switching their energy supplier an interesting activity. Rather than control prices through competition it has simply created a large and profitable new industry of commission-earning websites, paid for by all consumers in higher prices.

Financial services firms are also largely immune to competition. People have more loyalty to their bank than to their spouse. As long as basic banking and money transmission is free for those who stay in credit there is little to compete about.

Advisers also seem immune to normal market forces. You would find a beakful of hen’s teeth before uncovering details of most advisers’ prices on their websites. Indeed, after half an hour clicking through “about us”, “testimonials” and “services”, and almost drowning in client propositions and bespoke solutions, you will generally not find any information about how much they charge.

We know from FCA research – due to be updated this month – that the charges are much the same: around £150 to £200 an hour for the minority who charge that way or about 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent of invested assets for the 52 per cent who tax their clients’ wealth.

Their risk-managed portfolios seldom say what percentage of your money will drip out of the bottom of your pot to pay for the promise – sorry, aspiration – of market-beating returns.

Advisers also seem immune to normal market forces. You would find a beakful of hen’s teeth before uncovering details of most advisers’ prices on their websites

As for competing on service, you will never see the crucial word “restricted” on a website even though the FCA has now reluctantly revealed (it took a Freedom of Information request) that about half of all advisers are as much.

That is to say they are only allowed to sell – sorry, advise on – a restricted range of products or cover a limited part of a client’s financial needs. Even the 84 per cent of (mainly smaller) firms that are independent seldom blazon the word as a selling point on their opening page.

The FCA could change all this. It wants “empowered and informed consumers” so firms “strive to win their business” but it fails to support either aim. So here is my plan. Every website and all marketing material should show prominently:

l: How many of the firm’s advisers are chartered or certified financial planners (the top 5,500 of the 33,000 advisers out there) and how many are not.

2: How many of the firm’s advisers are independent and how many are restricted. Is that restriction to a list of products from named providers or to a list of stated areas, or both?

3: What are the firm’s charges (if none, say none) in three groups:

a) fixed fees: How much and for which services?

b) hourly rates: Showing how many hours basic tasks will take.

c) a percentage of the money managed: Initial fee and ongoing, and how it varies with the size of the assets.

These details would empower and inform consumers who could then make a rational choice and let competition work.

Every financial business should welcome that. Shouldn’t they?

Paul Lewis is a freelance journalist and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Money Box’ programmeYou can follow him on Twitter @paullewismoney

He will be joining us at Money Marketing Interactive as a speaker on May 18th

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Comments

There are 60 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Paul, how on earth is anyone empowered simply by knowing what the “cost” of an intangible is? How many people do you seriously think trawl through a number of adviser’s websites in order to try to find this out? Like most “outsiders” to our business you live in a fantasy world and really seem to have no idea of just how exactly the real world works. (Or maybe MM just ask you write articles to make advisers become frustrated at your posts and then take time to type up some comments).
    I have no idea if you have (or have ever) had a long standing adviser yourself. If you have, then I would think that it is likely that he/she was referred to you by a friend, a family member, a colleague, or associate. This person is also most likely to have used his/her adviser for many years, happy with what has been done for them over the term of that relationship. That is the way that most advisers get new clients. All these statements like “Empower the consumer” are just smoke-filled Coffee House crap for the huge majority of people who use advisers. Most people do not understand our business, hence use the like of us because they know they don’t understand. Those that have a little of an idea, may come to us and say I want a stacks and shares ISA can you sort me one out (or whatever it is). I came into this business on 29th May 1989 and ever since then I have noticed this next bit has not changed one iota. When people ask their friends who their adviser is they generally want to know 1) How long has he/she been your adviser? 2) Does he/she know what they are talking about? 3) I presume you are happy with him/her or you wouldn’t have stayed with them. That’s what actually happens in the real world. To most “consumers”, ours is a totally boring world and they have no interest in trying to wade through websites or brochures etc to become empowered. To them it is a total waste of their time.

  2. Chartered or certified does not make you the “top 5500”. Some of those people will be very good at taking qualifications but lack the skills to be effective advisers. There are plenty of the rest that do the job better within the required qualifications (and I speak as someone who has gone further than the required standard).
    Plenty of firms do not have a website. Outside of cities, the need for a website is low. Rural firms especially.
    Finally, fees vary depending on the workload. If you want one-size-fits-all fees then that will involve greater cross subsidy and mean some are getting more work and paying less than others getting less work and paying more. How is it that other industries can price a job yet Paul fees that there should be fixed pricing for advice?

  3. Charlie Farnsbarns 4th May 2017 at 11:14 am

    Who’d have thought it? A BBC man praising Labour and resenting private enterprise!

    Stunning lack of understanding of what matters to IFA customers.

    As the disaster that was President Hollande found, to his and France’s cost, bitter socialism simply does not work.

    Perhaps the author would do better to concentrate on the lack of transparency on BBC websites for the political connections of Presenters, Editors and Senior Managers, not to mention EU financial support.

  4. richard wright 4th May 2017 at 11:20 am

    “People have more loyalty to their bank than to their spouse”
    That comment really sums this guy up – why is this an issue – click contact us -ring the number – ask question “what are your charges” you will then get an answer!

  5. Money Guidance 4th May 2017 at 11:22 am

    “Intervention” has itself contributed significantly to a reduction in adviser supply from 223,000 to the above-mentioned 33,000 (I have also seen a figure of 23,000). Little wonder therefore that, in a functioning market economy, advantage is being taken of healthy demand by maintaining price “stickiness”. This is not synonymous with distortion or obfuscation, as the greatly reduced consumer market remaining post-RDR (deciles 8-10) enter into transparent client agreements with eyes wide open.

  6. Thank you Paul for reminding me what a low-life I actually am with this well-researched, thorough, professional and fairly balanced article. I can only promise, sorry aspire, to reach your lofty standards. To show us all how we should do it please explain exactly how and what you get paid, for example, if you get a flat fee for this article how much is it, how much do you get per blog you provoke?

    • Well said. Paul Lewis is quite simply a pompous fool who makes out he’s whiter than white when in fact he is just content on writing misinformed articles – see cash out performing shares and here’s the proof. Surely it’s about time MM stop commissioning him to write articles.

  7. Scott Gallacher 4th May 2017 at 11:38 am

    Some good points from Paul if you can get past the somewhat questionable claim that “People have more loyalty to their bank than to their spouse”.

  8. Paul, you never fail to belt out a dose of absolute rubbish. Of course everyone would prefer it if they were a monopoly. Realistically we’re not and so welcome competition as it can help bring in business if you are better/a client believes you are better than a competitor. There is a reason restaurants and bars tend to be near each other geographically,the competition might bring someone to the area but you end up being the establishment they choose. The same is true for financial advice and i would date say most businesses. With respect to your points on what should be on a website, if you’re not a chartered firm, why should it be a necessity to confirm how many chartered adviser’s you have? We’re not Scuba diving tour operators so I don’t have to confirm how many of the staff are PADI qualified. Further to that, the absolute three worst financial advisers who I have worked with were chartered. Either bad in terms of lack of TCF or the knowledge was just completely lacking, it’s one thing being able to pass an exam, perhaps after the 10th time and completely another actually applying knowledge. How many adviser firms have a mixture or restricted and independent advisers? I honestly don’t know but i can’t see that being many either. The charges point i partially agree with, the problem is, once you set out those fee’s online they seem final and might put client’s off, realistically there are too many different scenarios in which you might come to an agreement with a client over a level of charging. If you’re just going to put these are our fees but we will negotiate then whats the point on putting it online anyway? You of all people must be glad there isn’t much competition in financial journalism, otherwise how on earth would you still be getting articles on here in which you just rehash the same arguments and points that you’ve done in every previous article. Lord above.

  9. Paul, this article makes some interesting points but it also confirms why your suggestion won’t work. As you quite rightly state, “Switching relies on consumer engagement.” So, how exactly does providing all this extra information induce that? It’s just a another variation on disclosure that experience shows doesn’t work. Some people will engage but the vast majority will not.

    Having worked as an adviser I can tell you that 90%+ of clients are not price sensitive. That has not changed in the 25 years I have worked in financial services. It won’t change. No amount of disclosure will change it (commission disclosure, RDR, etc. have not made one bit of difference) because it doesn’t address the way humans behave. But regulators and commentators such as yourself persist in the view that providing information will solve the ‘problem’.

    The reason for this delusion is that you and the regulator assume that the majority of people are like you, i.e. intelligent, interested, and have time to look at the details. They are not. Until that is acknowledged and a solution is built that takes this into account the situation will not change.

    Advisers know this because they deal face to face with the people you and regulators purport to represent. You do, and with good intentions, but without understanding the dynamics of real life. I would be prepared to wager a considerable sum that if your idea was implemented it wouldn’t make any difference to competition. That’s down to economics (supply and demand) and human behaviour.

  10. Hi Paul
    I agree with you completely. All firms should make their charges clear and it would show a level of confidence in their services if they stated what they were on their website. Just as we do for instance.
    Incidentally I was looking to find out how much you would charge for delivering a speech to clients or at a business forum and I couldn’t find it anywhere on your website!
    Incidentally (2) what do so you think about the unique way of looking at financial adviser charges where one has to consider how much the charges levied each year would amount to if thy were invested instead? Don’t you think that we could look at other industries instead ?
    How about this – the bag of potatoes I buy every week incorporates a profit of around 20% for the retailer and if I were to invest that over 30 years achieving a return of 4% then I reckon the bag of spuds actually cost me £25 – that’s absolutely outrageous.
    I’m sure we could adapt this bizarre idea for almost anything – why don’t we do that?
    All the best
    Keep up the good work
    Ian Coley

  11. Ha ha ha ha what a waste of ink. The sooner MM get rid of this srevice the better

  12. Steven Pearman 4th May 2017 at 12:16 pm

    What a load of twaddle.

    Has it not occurred to you that the people who listen to your programme and swallow what your selling are not the type of customers that your average regulated individual would want to engage with?

    Regulated individuals are not selling commodities which they can put up at a later date under the pretext that it costs them more because of the wind direction outside their head office.

  13. A trusted Adviser 4th May 2017 at 12:20 pm

    I read this and almost fell asleep a number of times with the irrelevant history lesson then when I got to the relevant bit realised it was a load of journalistic twaddle. Do these people have nothing better to write about i.e. something inspirational and celebratory for the fantastic achievements and objects we assist clients with.

  14. Yes Paul, because this is the biggest issue facing the industry isnt it? Perhaps the FCA could start with their own website which is borderline useless for the public and hard to interpret even for advisers.

  15. Patrick Schan 4th May 2017 at 12:56 pm

    What do you mean Paul, the TOP 5,500 of the 33,000 advisers. You are making them sound superior to all the other advisers just because they may have more exams, which is not necessarily the case. One of the most important things for a client is how ethical an adviser is. An extra exam will not tell you that and after 34 years in the business I don’t give a toss about more qualifications. There are a few chartered/certified advisers out there that I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole matey.
    I like you Paul but you do come out with some nonsense sometimes. Like your complaint about why shouldn’t an advisers fees be reduced when a clients investment loses money because, if you really understand this business, you might realise that a client who’s, adviser recommended, fund decreased by 10% in a year could, alternatively have been in an unadvised fund (in the same sector) that lost them 20%. I recommended a, relatively cautious, investor sell her Abbey National shares back in the late 1990’s and reinvest in a suitable unit trust. in 2002 her fund was marginally lower than the original investment, although the Abbey National shares, she had held, had more than halved in value. Should I have had my fees or commission cut in such a circumstance?
    Give it a rest Paul.

  16. Neil Ledbrook 4th May 2017 at 1:56 pm

    When you need an emergency boiler repair or would like an extension, would you expect the plumber or builder to provide ‘standard’ prices on their website or would you prefer they came to your house, assessed what you actually need/want and then gave you a specific quote for their services? If you were getting divorced or needed to employ a solicitor, would you want a standard price or a fee commensurate with what you needed? Clients are different and they have different needs. We need to see them first, to understand their situation and their requirements before we quote them a fee. Then they have the chance to shop around. What’s wrong with that?

  17. I believe that all barbers should publish their costs online. That way I can trawl the Thousands out there to be able to make an informed choice as to which one to use. It will obviously be the one who is cheapest but also has been awarded the Master Craftsman Diploma from “The Hair Council.”

    Paul doesn’t go to the barbers.

    I don’t have a website!

    Oh Dear!

  18. During lunch, just had a look at ten local accountant and solicitors websites & a couple of nationals – not a single mention of any fees on any of them anywhere….certainly nowhere easy to see and find!…

  19. You’ve touched a nerve by talking urine. I hope you did not get paid for this article!!

  20. This is all about knowing the cost of something and the value of nothing. When my accountant, solicitor and all the other professions we deal with, and that just about includes journalists, show their prices on their website we may think about it, until then, give me a ring, I’ll tell you the price.
    Paul, if you want to be taken seriously then at the end of the article it should disclose something like.
    “Paul Lewis is an independent journalist with no earned professional qualifications that appear to be published anywhere but was paid £1,000 for writing this article”
    Perhaps we could then consider if the next article written is worth consideration. and yes Paul, I know this article was only written to stir up things and get the reaction it did to justify the next article, is that called selling controversy or advising how to get controversy?

  21. Logs in…. logs back out; nothing of note here! All been done to death and defended well, if he bothered to read some of the comments on previous articles rather than listening to himself!

    • Oh, I forgot the congratulations; it’s been quiet on here lately, so you’ve upped MM’s clickbait totals again, make sure they pay you well…How much do you charge per hour, you didn’t say?

  22. He does have a hard-on for IFAs. Maybe he is a frustrated wannabe so spends his time trying to rubbish what he hasn’t got the skill to do himself

  23. “There is hardly anything in the world that some man can’t make a little worse and sell a little cheaper and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey”
    Ruskin

  24. Herewegoagain 4th May 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……….same old b*ll*cks from Paul Lewis. He’s only ever written about 4 articles…….and periodically re-cycles them. Yawn.

  25. Tarquin Hemmeroyd 4th May 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Paul,
    I used to enjoy listening to what you had to say on money, but more recently you really do write some nonsense.
    Financial Advice is unrecognisable to when I joined twenty years ago. Properly constructed risk adjusted portfolios, rebalancing, tax efficiency, ongoing reviews to name just a few. But you want to get paid for this Mr/Mrs Adviser?
    I have an idea, let’s start selling tax inefficient products with expensive and limited fund choices, not to mention exit penalties. It’s okay though Mr/Mrs client, you don’t have to pay us anything, that comes from the provider. I’ll be back in five years to do the same all over again.
    There are far more pressing issues in our profession than decent advisers earning a proper living. It’s a shame that someone with your profile doesn’t direct their time and energy accordingly.

  26. Pauline Forbes 4th May 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I’ve noticed that MM’s ‘Most Commented’ numbers have shown slim pickings in recent weeks and so it falls to this chap to sort that. Do not be drawn.

  27. As a consumer I like to shop around. I would value more uniform “for instance” type examples of how much things cost. A bit of sunlight is a good disinfectant- nothing to hide so what’s the problem? Or should I just go with St James Place – awfully nice people with lovely notepaper. You get what you pay for don’t you?

    • There’s no problem, just for you to decide whether you wish to have your advice served up as a generic commodity or whether you want something specific to you.

      There’s a reason why many professionals (and I get that not all advisers are ‘professional’) don’t quote prices for pieces of work or even hourly rates. It’s because they are misleading and are useless as a guide. For example, sorting out someone’s pensions could be a four hour job or a twelve hour job for me depending on your circumstances, complexity, my skills, how quickly I work, etc. So, what do I show as typical on my website, four hours, six, ten? It also tells you nothing about the quality of work. It’s meaningless to you and creates unrealistic expectations.

      Nothing wrong with SJP either if you like the service. If you’re happy to pay contingent on them selling you a product then it’ll work for you.

  28. Today Lloyds Bank refuse to act on their Fiduciary Duty or with their Statutory Duty of Care – to send money via a Bank Giro Credit – to A N other bank ? demonstrating the cause and effect of discrimination against customers and the Lloyds unhelpfulness ” For Their Journey “. It would appear the Black Horse has become the Black Curse !

  29. Usual rubbish from Paul Lewis, looks as though he needs new glasses

  30. In summary then folks, another left wing liberal who, as usual, as no grasp on reality.

  31. “In other words, people must have so little fun in their lives that they find switching their energy supplier an interesting activity.” Sometimes, Paul, saving money requires a little effort, perhaps rather more than you expended in putting the above piece together. For example if we all quoted hourly rates on our websites it wouldn’t be long before some wiseguys realised that halving the rate and taking (or claiming it takes) twice as long to do the job gets them the same result! Would that help consumers one iota? I think not.

  32. I’m reluctant to put fixed prices online as no two clients are the same. I quote individually on each case based upon the parameters of my client agreement document. This is because I don’t want to give the much more work intensive client the idea that what they want will cost less than it should and at the same time I don’t want the lighter touch client to feel my prices is excessive as I have assumed a greater amount of work is required.

    I would also feel more inclined to publish my prices if other professions did the same.

    My chosen role is that of a professional independent adviser. The advice and services I provide are bespoke to each client’s requirements and so is the price. I just don’t think a fast food style menu works.

  33. As a potential customer of a financial adviser, you guys and your arrogance is really offputting. You all clearly know what I need to know far better than I do.

    I don’t want to waste your time if your rates are out of my league, or you are restricted in what you can tell me.

    DIY appeals once again/ Last time I took advice from a notional whole market adviser, I found a significantly cheaper mortgage myself.

    • I know the feeling, lawyers are the same. Why can’t they just publish how much it will cost to solve the average legal issue? It would be really helpful to know what I might have to spend. Anyway, I finally rang them up and they gave me some psycho-babble about different rates for different level of lawyer, para-legal, admin, how much work was needed, etc. and said they would need to know more about what I wanted before they could give me an indication of cost. What are these people like, just give me the cost for goodness sake…

      DIY is best. I recently wanted to buy a car and visited several dealers, including BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus. They all wanted ridiculous money. Then I stumbled across Dacia and bought a brand new Sandero for under six grand! Those other dealers must think we’re idiots!

      Good luck doing your own financial planning.

      GA

    • DIY appeals once again/ Last time I took advice from a notional whole market adviser, I found a significantly cheaper mortgage myself.

      Thats what happens when you base your opinions on price over quality of product or adviser.

      Oh hang on….

  34. Looks like a few IFA groups have pressed their members into posting comments. It’s all really sad, actually.

    I had always assumed that IFAs were just failed estate agents. Then they brought in the exams and I had to change my mind. I accept that now, they might be just above estate agents but still near the bottom of the professionals league.

    On the human league, IFAs are lower still. The brazen dishonesty and contempt shown for customers is breathtaking. The arrogance and conceit displayed by their massed ranks above speaks louder than Paul’s excellent article ever could.

    • “I had always assumed that IFAs were just failed estate agents.”
      “On the human league, IFAs are lower still.”
      “The arrogance and conceit displayed by their massed ranks above speaks louder than Paul’s excellent article ever could.”

      Hardly setting standards for dealing with people now are we?

      You are, of course, entitled to your view, though it doesn’t appear particularly objective. There are many serious points made above by advisers, just because they don’t agree with Paul doesn’t mean they’re not valid. This is also an advisers forum so you can expect some robust views, banter, dark humour, etc.

      Most advisers will happily talk to a prospective client, on a no obligation basis, about their needs and give them an indication of how much advice will cost. This is the way most advisers (as far as I can tell) prefer to do business, rather than publish largely meaningless naked costs. Bear in mind that most IFAs tend to deal with wealthier clients so needs tend to be more bespoke. Clients that don’t like that approach are free to find advisers that do things the way they want, i.e. cost driven, there are a few around.

      Most advisers these days provide a service rather than sell product. The level, type and quality of service varies enormously. It follows that trying to make a valid comparison based solely on cost is rather futile. It also ignores human behaviour. Did you buy the cheapest house you could find? Cheapest car, cheapest clothes, cheapest bed, cheapest food, cheapest coffee, etc.? Sure, you can often compare prices on commodities but services are much harder. I’m still waiting for ComparetheLawyer.com and Accountantsupermarket.com to appear. There might be quite a wait.

      In the end the market and the actions of advisers in front of their clients are what matter and will determine whether, and what, business is done. Clients don’t have to employ advisers but the fact is they do, are willing to pay and generally very happy. Why? Because they add value. Something you won’t find on a list of costs.

    • Haha, about a month late for april fools posts

  35. Reading the comments above simply confirms that so called financial advisers are probably best avoided anyway.

  36. @Paul, I don’t know who you are, not the Lewis type I hope, or what age you are or what your job is but I think that you have a damn cheek calling us arrogant for defending our corner against a numpty like Paul Lewis who is not qualified, does not display his fees, fixed or otherwise and jumps in with both feet unnecessarily. I do not know of any IFA who will not explain their fee structure at the FREE 1st meeting. We put our indicative fees in our Client Agreement, which is on our website, our choice. We also point prospective Clients to the fees/CA abd ask them to confirm that they still wish to continue with the appt.
    As for getting your own mortgage, that’s great, I wonder if you have prepared your own will, POA, Funeral Plan, EIS, Pension, S&S ISA, do your own car maintenance, DIY around your home, book your own holidays and never use a ‘professional’ for anything even if recommended by a riend, family member @David ‘so called’ is a b….y cheek @Andrew Keith… you are just sad. You need to both read the statistics about retirement pots/plans for those who engaged with an IFA early compared to those who never did and blame the ‘markets’ for everything.

  37. Paul has gone full Corbyn, you should never go full Corbyn…

  38. This article and forum reminds me of an anecdote told to me by an ex colleague who considered an IFA for advice on investing his pension pot as he was approaching retirement. Apparently on the day he was to visit his IFA he read an article in the Telegraph about an experiment where a group of IFA’s had been asked to give investment advice on a fictional pension amount by choosing a portfolio of shares to invest in over a certain time frame. At the same time a group of 12-year olds at the local secondary school with no particular knowledge of, or interest in financial matters, were asked to select a portfolio of shares for the same fictional investment amount. They probably based their choices on the name of the companies, whether they like their logo, thought the CEO looked like their parent or some other irrelevant fact. Needless to say after the completion of the experiment, the share performance of the stocks selected by the 12 year olds performed way better that those chosen by the IFA’s in every case except one gallant IFA whose portfolio outperformed the schoolkids. Lesson….it’s all a game of roulette and you might just as well trust your own instincts and save yourself a bundle of your cash in commission and buy your own Merc/BMW/Jaguar/Range Rover instead of watching the IFA turn up to your house in theirs to give you “advice”.

    • Carla, I think you may be referring to fund managers here; either that or you haven’t got a clue what an adviser actually does!

    • Feel free to roll up to any Primary School with your pension pot when you need to choose investment solutions then.

      In addition, if you think an IFA’s job is solely to provide advice about which funds to invest in then you don’t know what an IFA does.

      • I wonder how old you are Nick?

        If you are near the average age of financial advisers, you will know first hand that financial advisers are responsible for the mis-selling of pensions, the mis-selling of endowments, the mis-selling of structured investments, the mis-selling of unregulated products and the mis-selling of any number of other products.

        Prior to RDR, many so called independent financial advisers regularly sold their independence to the highest bidder, whether it was gouging commissions on bonds or distribution agreements on funds.

        I happen to believe that the vast majority of financial advisers who have emerged intact this side of RDR are likely to be right minded professionals and clearly much better qualified. However, you should not forget why huge numbers of people in this country do not trust financial advisers.

  39. I’m quite interested to ask Paul how he pays his financial adviser. What’s the business model that meets with his approval for the payment of professional fees.

  40. HI Paul
    Do you have a website ?
    I would love to see if you publish your charges
    I can see it now
    £x for 100 words of drivel
    £x for 100 words of pure rubbish

    You are a clown , get back to the circus

  41. I’ve said it once but I will say it again, I have often seen Paul Lewis pop up and reply to comments that he is comfortable replying to i.e correcting grammar or a fact about his career, but not once have I seen him replying to a genuine argument against the position he has taken.

    I await being proved wrong……………………………..

  42. Paul

    It seems that you are working hard to ensure the demise of advisers. Press coverage in general has some culpability for the expressed lack of faith in financial advice (largely by those who have never engaged) and the consequent continual bleating about people not getting advice (which they don’t actually seek).

    As others have pointed out the regulator would probably be better employed in getting to grips with more pressing concerns. Car loans and leasing spring immediately to mind. Non regulated scammers seem to have a pretty free rein and I’m sure we could all build extensive lists.

    I’m afraid much of your criticism is akin to rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

  43. The Equalizer 11th May 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Well well. Who would have thought it. Paul Lewis causing a stir with one of his articles. In my opinion a lot more f the criticism is caused by Paul genuinely wanting to spark a debate. It doesn’t always need to acidic comments.

    However, Paul on this s occasion you are not quite correct. Qualifications do not mean a better quality of advice or service. Qualifications do not mean that it has to be expensive.

    If as you suggest, advisers should publish their charges this will result is n a Dutch auction and the public will not get what they deserve. Charges need more explanation than just a printed figure. Clients need to understand exactly what they are paying for and believe me, the best way to explain that is face to face.

    Otherwise, why not have a league table of fees and let the cheapest advisers phone ring off the block and deliver poor service?

    We really must credit the buying public with more savvy and intellectual ability and let them decide.

    A client will need a different level of service and therefore pay a different fee. Or are you proposing a cap on fees?

    Thought provoking as your articles are, this one is on the wrong track.

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