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‘Structured products

Structured products and exchange traded funds could eventually wipe out the need for fund managers, claims Barclays Wealth director Colin Dickie.

Dickie says structured products fail to feature prominently on the radar of retail investors but he believes that by educating the intermediary market, they could compete strongly with conventional funds.

He says: “I can see the day when structured products and ETFs will largely cover solutions traditionally met by life and fund companies.”

Dickie says protected products are often cheaper than collectives and should be considered as credible alternatives.

He says: “You may never need a fund manager again. Structured products can provide the whole solution – access to asset classes with a level of capital protection.”

Dickie believes that the retail distribution review could bolster the structured product market through a guided sales channel targeting the £567bn which is currently held in cash.

He says: “It is all about tapping into that big bubble of depositors who cannot afford advice. Structured products, trackers and corporate bonds are well placed to provide solutions to that market segment.”

Fidelity head of IFA channel Peter Hicks says: “I do not think structured products and ETFs will take over the fund market as they are all very different tools in the box. However, as both become more sophisticated and accepted, they will increasingly form a normal part of a portfolio.”

Wilson Dean Financial Services director Nick Lincoln says: “We are of the opinion that fund managers do not add much value but that is not to say we are a fan of structured products as they can be quite opaque. If you do not like investment risk, you should be holding your money in cash rather than protected products. We favour the use of passive index-tracking funds which eliminate the problem of high fund manager fees.”


For whom the bells toll

Picture this. I was chatting with my partner over dinner and the conversation came round to work. My partner asked: “What sort of life cover do you do?” With enthusiasm, I explained a bit about differing types of cover. Perhaps surprisingly, she asked me to explain further, so I talked about LTA, DTA, FIB, CIC, WOL, IP and so on.


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