The ‘Advice Gap’ is the chasm between those who want or need financial advice, and those that can get it. Typical of financial services that we find jargon that needs explaining to talk about the problems of advising people who need stuff explaining. Anyway, the bottom line is, for most advisers, the bottom line, that it’s not worth talking to anyone with less than a certain amount to invest because they can’t or won’t afford to pay for it. This will get worse if we all have to move (as the regulator would prefer), to fixed fees, rather than taking our charge as a percentage from your investments. In fact, the last change, when commission was outlawed, has probably done most damage. For better or (I’d say) for worse, no-one now knocks on your door to sell you life insurance, savings or a pension. Some of those old policies may not have been great, but most who held on to them and still have them are glad they have. We (or the Sinister Faceless Mandarins Who Make the Rules) should have learned by now that just making the product or investment cheap will not encourage those who won’t or can’ to save or protect themselves. Our approach to this is that we’ll talk to anyone. We have no requirement for a minimum level of wealth. If we can’t help you now, we’ll point you in the right direction and ask you to leave us a great review. And maybe, when we can help, it’ll be us to whom you come back.
“Financial advice provides £47,000 wealth uplift in a decade”
After a meeting of financial advisers this week, a younger member of my team asked me if I thought there were actually too many financial advisers. ‘How can there be?’, was my first reaction, ’there were over 100,000 of us in the ‘90s, now there are only around 25,000.