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Opinion poll

The report (Money Marketing, October 25) that Marlborough Stirling&#39s research has found that 53 per cent of people prefer not to meet their financial adviser in person flies in the face of general perceptions.

It also contradicts other (perhaps more disinterested) research studies as well. Typically, you would expect to find that some 70 per cent of people prefer face-to-face advice – not surprising, given the complexity of financial decision making and the quality of service available from IFAs.

What you learn from these research studies depends entirely on what questions you ask, how they are phrased and who you ask. In this case, what is meant by “advice”.

All that usually depends on where you sit in the supply chain. It would indeed be surprising if a software firm were not able to substantiate through “research” that people prefer remote channels. Exper-ience would suggest otherwise.

Neil Craig

Principal, PMP Marketing, Cheltenham

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Comments

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  1. From my own experience this research is robust. It certainly doesn’t mean that people prefer ‘robo advice’.

    In my own case., apart from an initial meeting or two, I had clients that I hadn’t seen for ten years (in some cases even more).

    Unless there was a significant change in circumstance (when face to face may be necessary) one can communicate quite adequately by post, e-mail phone and if absolutely necessary – Skype. Valuations with appropriate reports can be sent by post and followed up by e-mail or phone. Clients can be reminded that they need their annual ISA or pension contribution.

    From what I have seen the main reason for sitting there eye-balling a client is to try and justify outrageous fees and/or to try and convince the client that you are actually doing something for the money.

    I have yet to see any evidence of any firm providing as comprehensive valuation on an excel spread sheet together with an explanatory narrative to compare with the ones that I produced.

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