It is hard not to empathise with Richard Bishop when he describes the trials and tribulations of being an adviser as the RDR changes start to bite. But maybe I can paint a “glass half-full” picture instead.
Change it is said is the nick-name used by opportunity. As we are in the business of being financial advisers I guess it is always going to be better to have a more optimistic world view and to exploit the opportunities that come along. After all when clients speak to their adviser are they really interested in hearing about the struggles that adviser is going through? I don’t really think they are.
If they want to be depressed they can go and listen to the financial adviser equivalent of Marvin the Paranoid Android from Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy “the first 10,000 years of the RDR were the worst and then the next 10,000 years were even worse”
How much better an experience the consumer might get if they were on the receiving end of an upbeat message. I honestly can’t see how study in preparation for exams can result in no learning experience that can be applied in the client world.
I hate taking exams as much as the next adviser but really we can all learn from the study (not just the manual but the wider reading that needs to be done- although I accept that most people do just stick to the manual) In my view study can always improve the quality of advice delivered to the client but it does require effort and maybe that is the problem.
RDR is by no means perfect, never said it was, but a lot of the problems being attributed to it are not insurmountable if the advisory business owner, and it doesn’t matter if they are a sole proprietor, partnership or company, small medium or large, takes a more positive attitude towards change.
We have seen it all before and this time round is no different. Forward thinking, positive attitudes and a client centric approach to delivery of advice and service will win through. Sure it isn’t easy but I don’t reckon any of us signed up for easy, if it was easy anyone could do it.
Successful intermediaries, and there are many thousands of them out there, have embraced change. They have pushed through barriers put in their way by some might say heavy handed regulation. They will be successful in the future as they were in the past. It will have everything to do with having a positive mind set. Some won’t make it and honestly that is a real shame, but very, very many will.
Last Sunday morning in minus 1 degree temperatures I ran a 5K race for charity. I hated every moment of it. It was painful. I had not done vigorous exercise for 23 years and my training regime since mid October was curtailed by injury. But I still did it and in a personal best time.
I tell this story not to brag (well only a little- I came 38th out of 102) but because that race was a bit like the RDR. It was painful, it hurt, it required preparation, it required a desire to change, some entrants didn’t show up, but most did and when you get through it you don’t half feel good! My simplistic 5k analogy means that the finish line is just a couple of weeks away- or just maybe that is the start line, I prefer to think it is the latter.
Nick Bamford is executive director at Informed Choice