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What advisers are saying: Editor’s comment of the week

Tortuous terminology seeks only to impress, not enlighten

In my experience, most clients are seeking good advice crafted from experience, professional knowledge and empathy with their position. These people have neither the inclination nor, sometimes, the ability to understand the tortuous terminology of our industry, which is designed to impress rather than enlighten. 

In the espoused intention of making ourselves more professional, we run a very real risk of alienating ourselves from the bulk of the population. These same people are now precluded from seeking advice on their low-level, but still very real, problems. 

Currently we are seeing the next big scandal, which has been developing in full sight of the regulators for the past three or four years, where unethical businesses persuade people to “review” their pensions. 

In one case that came across my desk, a lorry driver’s pension was “reviewed” so that he now owns one bedroom in a hotel in Cape Verde. Not only was he totally unaware of the risks but he also signed away his rights after being pressed by the agent. 

This is the type of client who is victim to the siren voices of a “free” review, subsequent recommendations and a catastrophic re-arrangement of his affairs.

John West



FCA cost of closed book probe spirals to £2.2m

The FCA has set aside an additional £500,000 to cover the cost of legal advice for senior staff in its closed book review inquiry, sending the total cost of the botched briefing soaring to more than £2m. The inquiry into the FCA’s bung-led announcement of its review of closed book legacy business, which caused insurers’ share […]

AFH Alan Hudson 700

AFH Financial buys Scottish advice firm for up to £675k

IFA consolidator AFH Financial Group has bought Edinburgh-based chartered financial planning firm Finlay Gow & Company in a deal worth up to £675,000. The deal marks the first acquisition by AFH since the company listed on the Aim market in June. Finlay Gow & Company has assets under advice of £40m, taking AFH’s total assets […]


Asset allocation: GAM stands firm as tech ‘comes back into vogue’

The technology sector offers promising long-term opportunities for investors despite the recent sell-off in tech stocks. That is the view of James McDaid, investment manager at GAM’s discretionary fund management service. McDaid, who joined GAM from Quilter Cheviot in May 2012 to launch the DFM range, is running technology as a theme through his five […]

Pensions Dashboards around the World

Steve Webb’s latest policy paper British savers risk being left in the ‘slow lane’ unless the UK Government takes a more active role in ensuring the successful delivery of a Pensions Dashboard. The report, ‘Pensions Dashboards around the World’, coincided with a major conference that was held on Monday 16 May and brought together experts […]


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