It’s been a week when the Money Debate has been praising people. It’s a nice thing to do of course. So earlier in the week for example, we praised fund manager Barry Norris for his insight on Greece and suggested he get himself on Newsnight. However his public relations right hand woman Louise Hatch emailed to inquire if we weren’t being sarcastic. No of course not. Maybe it’s the sunshine Louise.
So in a similar mood, a couple of days ago, the Money Debate team found ourselves considering some industry wide research from Core Data. It was interesting - canvassing more than 1,000 advisers on charging matters and suggesting a shock when commission is turned off and has to be translated into fees. However the team at the Money Debate felt – being a bit critical – that very general research while useful simply doesn’t get to the heart of the matter. Having talked among ourselves, we thought it much better to carry out detailed research with say 100 IFAs. We then realised that detailed research with say 100 IFAs is exactly what Clive Waller and his team have just produced complete with interesting insights on restricted and independent. He expects arguments between bosses who are fans of restricted and IFAs who are not, though a series of cunning supplementary questions clearly get to the heart of the divide. For example he asks IFA bosses how many advisers want to stay independent compared with how many will. For any provider which really wants to know the state of sentiment in the market, I suggest the report the ‘King’s New Clothes’ is worth buying whatever princely sum Clive is charging for it. However while Clive reports that advice bosses, including particularly network bosses, believe that their members will come round to restricted, personally I wouldn’t bet an ‘average hourly rate adviser charge’ that they won’t meet a huge amount of resistance. A restricted market is still not a fait accompli.