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Moan Rangers

The news that Glasgow Rangers were allegedly close to going into administration made me reflect on what it has been like be to be a Partick Thistle supporter, a club who found themselves in a similar position to Rangers some years ago.

Irrespective of all of the talk re the Old Firm (Rangers and Celtic) playing in the English Premiership, the reality has finally hit home. In some ways, that level of reality needs to find its mark in the IFA sector, if I hear another cry of “it’s not fair” I will scream. If the moaners spent as much time on studying as they do whinging they would be well on the road to getting their diploma. This idea that someone with experience – I heard recently this was two years plus (give me a break!) -would do one exam and a bit of continuing professional development and they would be done, or rather the consumer would be.

The really mad bit is that it is J08 they have opted for. This exam is designed to allow advisers to demonstrate their financial planning capabilities and, importantly, it relies on previous study and tests the practical application of technical knowledge and planning skills already gained.

Now bear in mind that many advisers have never seen, let alone produced, a financial plan themselves from scratch. For many, drafting or at least picking paragraphs for the suitability letter is the extent to which their written advice is regularly used.

I wonder if those lobbying have actually consulted those concession-seekers or if they are hoping to “sell” this deal if it is ever granted.

One network chief told me once that I did not understand just how busy these people were, yadda, yadda I was almost left dumb for words. When I rounded on him, I kicked off by detailing my own timetable en route to chartered while building businesses and serving on the Society of Financial Advisers and Personal Finance Society board. The reality is that far too many people sat back after getting the FPC and had up to 14 years off while the rest of us kept going.

The idea that others should get an easier route sticks in my throat and I can only hope the regulator holds it nerve. Indeed were it to offer up guided advice with exams to level three, I suspect the banks would be happy and the lobbying would stop. Aifa claimed the rules were being reset, I suspect the regulator was looking for a sensible and reasoned submission and it got neither.

If we put the RDR to one side, business models need to change and soon. If people really want to build value in businesses, then the old IFA model needs to be parked. There is simply marginal value in picking products, most advisers are incompetent in selecting investments.

dvisers need to map the client experience and ask themselves, would I buy this, and if yes, what would I pay. Wasting time moaning and groaning does advisers no credit. As to the idea that we go back to control titles, this is naïve. The fans of this control had their chance but were complacent, their time slot has gone.

In closing, Celtic fans should not be confident that a similar problem could not occur at Parkhead and any football fans should brace them- selves as Rangers are only the beginning.

My team Thistle continues to make headway within its budgets and may never hit the heights unless so many fail in the higher division that we end up there by default and not by debt.

Rob Reid is managing director of Syndaxi Financial Planners.

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Comments

There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Partick Thristle fan!!! Says it all does it not, No doubt he has had time to study whilst other ‘salesmen’ in Syndaxi have been bringing home the bacon for him to enjoy a nice salary!!!

  2. ….and I might add it looks like he enjoys the bacon!

  3. Please define an IFA post RDR, as is proposed.

    Does he, as Robert suggests, only ‘select investments’?

  4. Robert, as usual you are spot on and perhaps should approach Rangers as the basic income/expenditure advice they have received to date appears in need of a rethink!

    I love the two anonymous moaners’ courage and non-personal comments (that was sarcasm just in case anyone missed it), at least Evan puts his head on the block much as I tend to disagree with this views.

    I remain an optimist that our profession will eventually emerge, although 20 plus years experience in this business should make me a doubter.

    Lets hope the FSA don’t water down the RDR as it presents the sort of challenge we should all relish. And our clients will learn to appreciate that we are worth paying and that the products they buy are the least important piece in the whole scheme of things.

  5. Finally some commentary on the RDR that I agree with.

    People love to feel victimised – I saw an IFA recommend a brilliant book on a forum recently – Who Moved My Cheese? – I think the PFS/AIFA/IFP should mass purchase copies for distribution to every adviser in the UK.

    Adapt or Die as Darwin said

    I also find all the personal attacks that appear in these comments childish and distasteful

  6. A shame to see some people are reduced to commenting on someone’s weight instead of tackling pertinent issues like which McDonald’s they’ll be working at come the RDR. Time will tell which out of you and Rob will be the fatter after your McJob.

  7. If your are going to make personal attackes people, at least have the balls to make it personal by putting your name what you have said othrwise it’s like fighting smoke!
    I don’t neccessarily agree with Robert Reid’s article here (which is a pity as I think i did with his one last week). I think it is very important to moan and moan now BEFORE the RDR come sin to play and so that if consumers ARE disadvntages by some of the poorly thought out elements of the RDR, outcomes can be measured and people can be held to account.
    This didn’t happen with stakehodler which I think everyone will now confirm was a failure and the people who paid tye price were in fact the consumer.

  8. The most important thing that will get the Rangers out of this tricky situation is its investment in Murray Park (our training facility). Witness the performance of messrs John Fleck and Danny Wilson on Saturday. Training and growing staff is in an important part of every business enterprise – have we done enough as an industry – methinks not. We are the people !

  9. Constructive criticism of Robert’s comments might be to point out that he works in arguably a slightly different market to many IFAs whose clients tend to fall into lower socio-economic backgrounds – and whose needs tend to be more straightforward such that they can be adequately covered by the current CF manuals.

    Rob actually hits the nail in the point about how many advisers have actually seen a “financial plan” as such – its just not what the typical IFA does or needs to do.

    I am qualified as Chartered/FPFS and would have to join him in asking what certain advisers, playing around in more complex areas and products, have been doing all these years. But I cannot see that this justifies imposing the same ‘level 4’ requirement on all advisers.

  10. Constructive criticism of Robert’s comments might be to point out that he works in arguably a slightly different market to many IFAs whose clients tend to fall into lower socio-economic backgrounds – and whose needs tend to be more straightforward such that they can be adequately covered by the current CF manuals.

    Rob actually hits the nail in the point about how many advisers have actually seen a “financial plan” as such – its just not what the typical IFA does or needs to do.

    I am qualified as Chartered/FPFS and would have to join him in asking what certain advisers, playing around in more complex areas and products, have been doing all these years. But I cannot see that this justifies imposing the same ‘level 4’ requirement on all advisers.

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