I was very interested and somewhat concerned to read the story of Melanie Johnson's comment about stakeholder clients not needing advice (Money Marketing, March 22).
The kindest thing I can say is she did not receive advice before saying it. Presumably, she believes all stakeholder provi-ders are the same, that all funds are equal and if the client wishes to invest in an ethical or socially responsible fund they are all the same?
Does she not realise that, apart from helping clients choose the best or most appropriate fund to suit their needs, IFAs also provide a much-needed check on performance by product providers?
This does not only mean fund performance but also administration. Product providers also use IFAs for market research, which is a very valuable exercise for them to remain competitive.
My clients rely on me to advise them and will, no doubt, seek my advice on whether to start a stakeholder plan. There will not be any income for me to provide this but over the years the commission from business I do for them will cover it.
I wonder if we can run a competition for IFA readers of MM for the best example of doing away with people no longer thought necessary. Can I start with MPs (including ministers)? We can always enter their known reactions to any sit-uation because it has happened before. So we can just have a computer program as our Government – the mind boggles.
The Ethical Partnership, Whyteleafe, Surrey