While by no means a big supporter of endowments, nor wishing to cross swords particularly with Philip Milton (Money Marketing, August 5), I do have a problem with a non-committal approach to financial planning (the “Why sign up for a 25-year product if…” argument).
None of us knows where we will be short term, let alone long term, but if we based all our planning in life on that basis, I wonder where that would take us?
Why bother with life cover if you are unlikely to need it in the short term? Why bother with pensions as they may not be worth it in the long term? Why bother putting an effort into your job as the chances are you will not be there next year? Who could work on that basis?
Hang on a second, half the country's youth and most of the occupants of call centres, Parliament, FTSE boards of directors and Government employees are springing to mind…
OK, I personally would like to add to the list of “missellers” some members of my local clergy who, whether tied (to Rome) or independent (C of E) have over the years signed me up for a number of long-term contracts, despite the fact that statistically they would have known that one in three of those contracts would fail.
I have endured high upfront costs (courting, engagement, the reception and honeymoon) and then been further penalised at the back end with legal costs and the actual loss of the houses involved. I now want to know where to complain. Does Which? run a website for this?
The “common man” in the UK (Philip's terminology) in the main refuses to pay fees, has a Government-given right of access to free advice and, despite the reams of newsprint and TV coverage, continues broadly to be financially illiterate.
If the common man can no longer be expected to aspire, plan or commit to the long term, nor consider it worthwhile to pay for financial advice at any time, then I think this country's financial services industry should pack up and move to flogging credit cards.
Our common man can then have exactly what he desires today and avoid the uncertainties of having to deal with a scary future. Gosh, isn't that exactly where we are now?
Nicholas Max Chapterhouse, Nottingham