The September 4 issue of Money Marketing featured a long letter from Dave Harris, an IFA, whingeing about a client allegedly pinched from him by the Pru.
I am afraid I don't have much sympathy. I have little doubt that he gave excellent advice. The problem appears to be that the client did not value the advice enough to be bothered about whether Dave Harris was paid for it or not.
Until advisers stop perpetuating the myth that financial advice is “free”, this type of scenario will continue to happen.
If advisers provide a professional, added-value, service, then they should make sure they have a decent fee agreement in place so they get paid for the advice, regardless of whether a product transaction is required – or who completes it.
When enough IFAs adopt this approach (aided, you will note, by the FSA) consumers might start to realise the true value and cost of proper financial planning advice and IFAs might begin to realise that it is independent advice they are being paid for, not product selection and sales.
Simon Pym Williamson
Broadway Financial Planning,