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Soaring wealth to boost advice

Levels of wealth in the UK are expected to soar between now and 2005, heralding an advice bonanza.

The figures, revealed in research by Future Foundation for Abbey National&#39s recently launched wealth management service Inscape, show the size of the UK group of mass affluent individuals with around £50,000 in liquid assets will grow by a third to five million in 2005 from 3.75 million in 2001.

The report, called The Emergence of the Mass Affluent, says this growth will be underpinned by growth in world trade and continued low levels of inflation.

An increase in self-employment to just under four million in 2005 from 3.5 million in 1999 is also expected to increase the need for more detailed financial planning.

The number of people paying into employee share schemes is also expected to rise by 50 per cent to 2.4 million in 2005 from the current 1.2 million while a predicted static rate of income tax will have the knock-on effect of increasing investment in equities.

Inscape says all these factors mean greater need for financial advice, which is good news for IFAs and for new entrants to the wealth management advice market.

Inscape managing director Malcolm Parker says: “Wealth is no longer the preserve of the privileged few. It is undergoing a huge democratisation to the extent that, by 2005, one in 10 of the adult population will fall into the mass affluent group. Providers of goods and services ignore the growing importance of the mass affluent at their peril.”

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