What category of adviser are you?
Friday, April 20th, 2012

The IFP’s call for different categories of adviser is intriguing. It could bring in classes of financial planner, financial adviser and wealth manager. Though ostensibly you might think that would confuse people, I’m not so sure. Fifty different versions of restricted adviser from whole of market to tied with only verbal disclose sounds quite confusing to me.

Nick is linking this to FSCS categories. But that raises a lot of questions. For example is the wealth manager category designed to split apart what are currently IFAs and what used to be stock brokers – a source of quite a bit of FSCS pain recently. Do all financial planners avoid all structured products?

It is difficult certainly with the latter category to define the boundary except perhaps with exams or qualifications and that does not rule out or rule in any product categories.

 In addition, if a consensus were to build for more categories not just to help firms but also the public, would it be better to wait a year or two, when we can actually see what range of business structures emerge and what that means for the advice they provide at the front end?

However this is a very interesting idea and I think regulators should consider it.

On Fidelity Funds Network, I make a plea for clemency for advisers who are nearly there in terms of qualifications at the end of the year. I suggest the regulator should give them a little more time. And if you have passed, and it sticks in your craw, you know what, you’ll get over it. Give procrastinators a little bit of slack. Honestly there are more than enough people who need advice out there to go round.

Finally here is this week’s trade news round up on Adviser Home. This is of course, the best IFA trade website, paper and magazine review west of Samarkand and north of Timbuktu. At least I think that’s what the announcer at Waterloo was talking about the other day.
Can planners win clients from the private banks?
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

I would quite like to canvass some opinions on the following column I wrote for Investment Adviser this week, where I suggest some of the problems faced by private banks, might certainly at the edges, give financial planners the chance to make some inroads and win some clients from them. The column is on the FTAdviser website. Basically my suggestion is that some advisers must be moving up market not just by having larger minimums but by targeting bigger cases and wealthier clients at the top end. Certainly some private banks are making a hash of things. I would love to hear your views.
Is the IFA name on the rise?/ and UCIS beg the question why in so many cases
Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

A couple of columns that may peake your interest. My FundsNetwork column from Friday sees me debating (with myself) on whether the term IFA is on the rise again. I think so and indeed whether financial planner is – relatively – falling a little certainly as the term becomes more generic while wealth manager is seriously falling down the charts.

And my thoughts from my Investment Adviser column – on UCIS funds. Honestly, actually I simply don’t understand.

Next update. Dover.