I am pretty fed up of being a financial adviser. The majority of my adviser friends are disillusioned and fatigued with the constant change and lack of clear guidance on the key issues surrounding the retail distribution review.
With a less than a month to go, providers are laying off staff quicker than banks are sacking advisers. Many advisers have not got a clue what their disclosure documents should look like next year. Like most advisers, I want to earn a living, a good one preferably. And yes, earning my living doing an honest, professional job for my clients.
I have my statement of professional standing pinned to the wall, next to my shinny level 4 Diploma certificate. I moved to fees three years ago, sacking 30 per cent of my client bank in the process. If you have got less than £100,000 I will not see you and my minimum charge for doing anything is £500.
I am no more or less ethical now than five years ago, my clients trust levels are exactly the same and I was never swayed by commission in the 12 years of operating as an adviser. I did not sell dodgy funds, recommend investing in timber funds or disservice my clients because I only had A levels in financial advice.
The RDR is a complete waste of time, it will result in less advice and the objectives could have been met by simply capping commission. As for the level 4 exam standards, I can say unreservedly I know no more now (academically speaking) than when I passed the financial planning certificate in 2002.
The final insult is the architects of this car crash are no longer with the regulator, they are off to sunny climes in Dubai or enjoying large expense accounts at accounting firms. If you set a course to hit the iceberg you should at least stay on the sinking ship and go down with the rest of us.
Richard Bishop is director at Premier Practice