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Money Marketing Interactive: Susan Hill on percentage charging and DIY investors who think they know better

Susan HillAhead of her appearance at Money Marketing Interactive on 3 May, Susan Hill Financial Planning IFA Susan Hill looks to the future of ad valorem and self-investment

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On a scale of 1 to 10, how optimistic are you about the advice market for 2018?


What is the best innovation you’ve seen recently?

At work, its a back office system that integrates with providers and platforms and every tool going; an advisers’ one-stop-shop.

At home, it’s a vacuum cleaner that knows when to come out and clean. If only it could do the windows as well.

What can be done to improve the supply of advice?

Education. Not all investment needs advice, its about knowing when you need to take advice and when you can self-invest.

Have advisers reached a point of true professionalism yet?

Some most definitely, others just need to catch up and realise how far we have come.

How long will the DB transfer market boom continue?

For as long as scheme members have the option to transfer and it’s the right course to take.

What major trends are you predicting for the next 12 months?

Continued DB transfers and more emphasis on long term solutions for retirement income.

What session are you looking forward to most at MMI?

Drawdown: How not to run out of money.

How important is it for the advice community to share best practice?

It is extremely important to share best practice, also I’d say to share what isn’t good, because people need to know what bad looks like.

How can advisers best improve their image with the public?

By doing the right thing all of the time. Bad publicity affects us all. We could do more to  educate the general media journalists.

What’s been your proudest achievement at your firm this year?

The number of interest only mortgages we‘ve been able to redeem the last two months so clients can stop worrying about money and start thinking about easing into retirement.

If you could scrap one piece of regulation, what would it be?

COBS 19.2.2. In the case of a personal pension scheme, it explains why a personal pension scheme needs to be considered to be at least as suitable as a stakeholder pension scheme.

Who is your advice market hero?

I suppose Rory Percival because he never shy’s from the hard truth.

Will ad valorem charging stand up to recent criticism?

While indemnity insurance and FCA fees are percentage based on business turnover type then adviser firms will undoubtedly charge investors on a percentage basis. If my professional indemnity insurance is based on assets under management, surely those holding a higher percentage of assets should pay a higher fee.

Everything in financial services is percentage based. My network fee is based as a percentage of my turnover, my PI is a percentage based on assets under management, my FCA fee is a percentage based on what areas I have advised in.  If we want to remove ad valorem charging, it must start with a different way of charging advisers in the first place.

What’s your favourite tech tool?

My iPad and Apple pencil.

Who would be your perfect client, and who would be a nightmare one?

I already have 100 perfect clients. They came to me with a problem I was able to solve, and they are living a happy life because of it.

My nightmare client would be one who won’t take advice, the self-investor who knows it all, but they’ll never get past the prospect stage so would never be a client.


Compliance tip: Do you need to opt out of Mifid II?

There are many reasons why a firm might wish to amend its status from Exempt CAD to Article 3. Exempt CAD firms have usually opted into Mifid in order to passport their investment services into another EU member state, or to enable them to transmit orders in unregulated collective investment schemes to non-Mifid firms. Article […]

Fade sterling strength

Ian Kernohan, senior economist at Royal London Asset Management, examines the current position of sterling as the Brexit process continues to look uncertain. Read the article here The value of investments and the income from them is not guaranteed and may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount […]


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There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Pretty much agree with what is written here. (I don’t have an IPAD and pen though).
    I’d also agree that one of the worst types of clients is those who don’t take the advice, but I woudl go further and say the worst are hose who nod their ehad, agree, say they are going to do what you advise and then 6 months later you find a family member or friend has influenced them to do the direct opposite. I have had that happen twice and they are th only people (although nice) I have said I couldn’t keep as clients going forward as you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

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