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Why advisers must go with the investor flow

The Isa season in the UK is becoming just about as predictable as the actual seasons i.e. not very.

IFAs who in the past have relied on the end of tax year sales boom to concentrate their sales and marketing fire should be warned the pattern is breaking down.

The latest Autif figures suggest sales are already picking up, a full two months earlier than 1999.

The news should not come as a surprise. Fund managers themselves have played a part with every passing week bringing a raft of fund launches and discounts.

This comes in the midst of volatile global markets and a flat-footed FTSE 100. In the past this sort of investment climate, rightly or wrongly, has put investors off. But not anymore.

The message for IFAs is clear. Investors, just like the British weather, are no longer conforming to traditional patterns of behaviour. If IFAs do not take advantage others will, whether the discount operations, countless personal finance websites – even those on their last legs may flog a few funds – and of course the direct sales forces.

The fact investors may no longer be wary of a bear market per se, is good news. It would be nice to think this could mark the end of the herd instinct among investors with thousands piling into the investment flavour of the month often at the top of that particular market.

This may be a vain hope. But what is clear is that investors are buying now. IFAs should gear up for this tax year&#39s Isa season to make sure investors get access to independent financial advice.


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