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Public fail to recognise IFA ‘gurus’

Advisers are not marketing the benefits of their services properly, with consumers failing to understand the proposition IFAs offer, according to research by Aegon.

In a one-and-a-half-day workshop, Aegon questioned consumers on how they felt about financial planning and asked them to design their ideal advice solution.

There were five advice concepts tested – the financial guru (IFA), a life coach, a personal shopper, a dropin centre, and a financial superstore.

Consumers did not recognise that the financial guru was similar to an IFA and felt that IFAs do not provide ongoing, holistic advice.

Aegon believes many of the elements that consumers say they want from their ideal advice market already exist but are not being clearly marketed to consumers.

Head of corporate affairs Francis McGee says: “People are telling us that they lack confidence in tackling their finances, motivation in sticking to plans and trust in the advice market.

“They want independent, ongoing help and guidance to make financial decisions but do not believe that it exists in the current market.

“There is a lesson here for IFAs in looking at what consumers want and better marketing their services as meeting their needs.”

Best Advice Financial Planning IFA Calvin Lillywhite says: “We probably have not done as well as we could have on that front.

“For the most part, it comes down to cost. You will find that the bigger firms have enough money for things such as TV and radio ads, so they get more clients. Many independent firms are happy with their low profile and are not looking around for lots of new clients.”

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