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Raise your game

Ihave just returned from a visit to the physiotherapist. I am a right-handed man with tennis elbow in the left arm, due to an over exuberant two-handed backhand.

Fitness is a good way of determining just what type of sector we want to end up with. If you want to be a product-flogger, it is a numbers game but even then persistency or retention to use the new buzz word, will still be there in the foreground, and remuneration for sales staff is likely to diminish as clients become more aware of charges.

Flabby products do not have any future and nor have wrap platforms that do not have a truly open architecture. But that does not mean that all IFAs should be creating their own platform.

How any IFA could contemplate building their own wrap platform or customising another means two things – they have never been involved in an a major IT project and they have greatly underestimated the costs.

Transparency of charges, including our remuneration and being fit for purpose, are the twin pillars of our emerging profession, everything else fades away.

Regular education is essential. The PFS recently launched seminars on IHT changes and nearly 400 people are set to attend. If there are 60,000 advising, does this mean 59,600 are up to speed or are there only 400 people advising on estate planning? Taking personal responsibility for your own education is essential if you want to be a professional.

Leaving education to product providers dripfeeding it via their products makes no sense.

Creating your own training plan allows you to consider just what will take you forward. If we are to be professional, we need to develop our skills and that goes further than exams.

As wraps take hold, the old methods of secreting charges to fund excessive commission will hit the rocks. We are now heading to the polarisation envisaged by the much maligned Ron Sandler, where at one end we have the fee-based professional and at the other the product distributor.

Maybe we will soon have status disclosure in language so the public immediately understand who and what they are dealing with.


Moving story

Back in 1994, having trawled the City for openings in investment management, I found myself having a pre-finals interview with Tim Cockerill at Whitechurch Securities. From the glamour of the Square Mile, with a degree in financial services from the aptly named University of WOE (West of England), I started work as an investment analyst […]

Hargreaves Lansdown petition over ASP move

Hargreaves Lansdown has set up an online petition against compulsory annuity purchase at the age of 75. The move follows the Government’s plans to clamp down on anyone using alternatively secured pensions as an alternative to annuitisation. Earlier this month, Treasury Economic Secretary Ed Balls told Parliament that ASP should only apply to cases where […]

Panel claims the regulator’s tests are statistically useless

The FSA’s mystery shopping and thematic exercises have been condemned as useless by the financial services practitioner panel. It claims that the small sample sizes used by the regulator mean there is little to glean from findings despite the FSA placing great emp- hasis on the results of its quality of investment adv- ice and […]

Stockbroker’s onslaught at fund managers

Stockbroker Christows has fired a broadside at fund managers, claiming they get more respect than they deserve. Head of fund research Dan Kemp says investors selecting a fund should assume the manager is no good to ensure that their judgement is not clouded by marketing material. He also warns against relying on strong past performance […]

Lifetime ISAs – International Evidence

By Fiona Tait, Pensions Specialist Since the announcement in March, the Lifetime ISA (LISA) has attracted controversy. Heralded as a saviour for the self-employed and the young wanting to get on the housing ladder, the new LISA risks adding confusion for savers trying to fully understand the benefits of new workplace pension savings through auto-enrolment. To […]


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