Plan Direct – is there a piece missing?

Peter Chadborn has launched his website for his IFA and now execution only service Plan Money and Plan Direct. It is all very appealing, well designed and has one very nice advantage over other IFA sites – that it doesn’t look like other IFA sites especially those off the peg ones. I also rather like Peter’s description of what he is doing.

“Rather than turn away low value transactions or low value clients, we will instead be able to direct them to our website and as such they are still engaging with us. Historically, most face-to-face advisers deem non-advice to be a step too far but we believe that to ignore consumers rapidly evolving buying habits is to be missing a trick. We envisage clients engaging with us on both levels,” he says.

It is clever that he has aligned with Michael Ward’s comparison site Payingtoomuch which strikes me as a nice reciprocal relationship. This is an income stream other advisers might consider building. However there isn’t anything here for the client with a little to invest. I have tended to think that some clients may want to steer their own investment ship but have the course set by an adviser using the ethos of the firm to which the execution-only service is attached. Is this a missing piece of the jigsaw or does the firm want ‘investment’ to stay within the advised part of the practice? Peter’s correct about the buying habits. But does that not also extend to funds?

There is also a second issue for all firms developing this dual strategy. Is it an offering for existing clients, or will they also develop a marketing strategy to bring in both new advised and new EO clients?