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Letter to the editor: Talk is cheap for those on the fringes

I am beginning to think that there is more of a living to be had without justification, on the fringes of financial services rather than being a financial adviser.

Never mind a mile in my shoes, let’s do the 35 years as a financial adviser and the last 15 years as an IFA whose is accountable to all and generally feels despised for wanting to earn a living.

I don’t usually agree with the contents of Nic Cicutti’s articles but my expression of dissatisfaction would not mean that he would have to pay his salary back for that or any article that I did not agree with. There are those on the fringes of the industry who are able to judge and make comment with no financial qualifications at all. Who do not have to keep, indefinitely in some cases, files dating back to day one. 

Whether we like it or not this is never going to be a perfect world. But for an adviser after the sale /advice there are legacy costs such as PI insurance and file storage. When we left our network in 2006 after nine years as an AR (to become directly authorised) we had to hand over 52 boxes of files to the network which we had to copy before doing so and have since scanned.

We have ongoing costs to maintain and keep safe these files and PI for any complaints that may arise. Trail commission is not just for advice to the client, it’s about covering our costs. Without this it would mean that new clients are having to pay for file storage for passed transactions. That I believe would be a ”cross-subsidy”. But then what about all the free work that we undertake for which we don’t charge?

For too long many people on the fringes of this industry have looked to make judgements about something they have no real knowledge or experience of. Until those who have a view have done it they have no right to judge.

Let’s get on with the real job of advising and addressing the pension, protection, savings gap because that’s what the industry is supposed to be about. And by the way, there is a cost involved both now and ongoing even if the client does not want an ongoing service.

Andrew Oliver

Andrew Oliver & Co

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