What category of adviser are you?

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.

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