I’m aiming to become an adviser in the next few years and have thought long and hard about this decision.
Being in the industry for over 9 years, I’m still what would be referred to as ‘new blood’. Fresh from university I went straight into the mortgage sector, which went downhill within two years. I saw the warning signs and left; the company became a claims management company and then became a national press covered scam, lucky exit.
After, I moved over to a pensions and investment provider as an account manager. I’ve done well for myself over the last six years gaining many exams and experiences; good and bad. I’ve worked directly for one of the ‘big four’ and more recently a provider who outsourced their telephone based account management. Working direct worked well, although there was the threat of redundancy at stages. Working for an outsourcer however did not work, but that’s another story.
Over time I have made many good friends/contacts in the adviser world gaining a good insight into the troubles advisers go through and the changes you have to put up with. In essence I agree with the basics of RDR, though I do not agree with how it has been handled and implemented and next year is going to be a war zone for at least 6-8 months. I do believe the dust will settle eventually and we will end up with a system that works…..but for who?
I’ve had good values instilled into me over the last six years. One of my first advisers, Grant, once showed me one of his reports and the level of detail and quality of service he and his wife provide. This was my basis as what advisers should be, their clients are their world.
After working in the industry for this short period and having had family who have been affected by bad advice in the past, the decision for me to shift over to the advice side was an easy one. Of course I wanted to do it. I want to provide great advice for my future clients and do all I can for them. I want to work towards a long career I can be proud of and I believe my experience thus far has given me ‘some’ skills needed.
I have a great deal to learn but I’ll get there. The various redundancies, company change overs and general amateur financial services companies I have worked with have given me a good indication of when to spot a flaw. My provider work has given me a good starting point and understanding of selling and what areas are important to clients, I have the required exams and shortly I’ll be ready to go.
There will be people that say I’m mad and shouldn’t even consider it, but with RDR coming in one thing I’ve seen is many of my excellent advisers who are in their late 60’s early 70’s being pushed out of the industry as they cannot pass exams so they’ll shift over to mortgage and protection or become introducers. This was not the intention of RDR and is one of the bad points about it. It is this area that I really believe more should have been done. A system of grandfathering could have easily worked for certain advisers who have been in the industry for many moons with no complaints etc.
For me, starting as a new adviser in the future, the main attribute needed is to have your clients best interests at heart, as it has always been. The only difference being that this new RDR world will be all I’ll know.
So the future can look very bleak for some, the same as now for others, but can also (hopefully) be a very promising fulfilling career in a new world for people like myself.
Kyle Dale is training to become an IFA