As most of the main stream media are full of tales of bad advice and poor advisers, I was pleasantly surprised to see a positive piece on the Telegraph Money web page last week, (see here). Although the writer is a newly freelance journalist, concentrating on financial matters, she makes it clear that she has no specialist knowledge in the personal financial field and was surprised at the priorities of her new financial adviser. She was expecting a conversation about pensions and the adviser was asking questions about disablement and death!
As an IFA myself, I am less surprised; adults with 30+ years to retirement should worry more about sickness and disability as this will have a devastating effect on whatever lifestyle you are aspiring to for the future. One phrase did intrigue me;
“The main job of a financial adviser, it seems, is to force you to confront those difficult questions that you have put to the back of your mind.”
I have some sympathy for that statement; clients do not want to contemplate their own mortality and that of their nearest and dearest, but good financial advice should enable you to survive the impact of extremely bad luck, with stable finances in place. Good planning for the “worst to happen” will prevent it from being the absolute end of the world.
Comparing our own service to that being explained by the article suggests that there is not a huge difference in approach, but I was a little concerned by the issues of fees being addressed at the end of the meeting.
For ourselves, we would try to be upfront about it; our disclosure documents and fee agreement define an initial cost and ongoing charges. Our first meeting is without obligation; we are trying to understand if our services would benefit you and whether we feel we could work together over an extended period. Good financial advice is not a fit and forget one-off; your needs and the world we all inhabit changes all the time, so a good plan going forward now is highly likely to be changed within 5 years.
After the initial meeting, we will define our charges in writing and ask you to sign a fee agreement, so you have a clear idea about what we will do and how much it will cost you.
Reading the comments after the article is often eye-opening;
“I rate them below double glazing salesman and estate agents. neither of whom drive about in other peoples' pensions.”
So, my regular continuous professional development, supervision and compliance is worthless then? Other comments are more supportive, but it still suggests that sections of the general public are still trapped in the 1980s!
If you would like to know more about how we can help you plan and realise your financial goals then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01223 792 196.
The information contained is for guidance only and does not constitute financial advice. It is based on our understanding of UK legislation, whether proposed or in force, and market practice at the time of writing. Levels, bases and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change. Accordingly no responsibility can be assumed by Martin-Redman Partners its officers or employees, for any loss in connection with the content hereof and any such action or inaction.