This all sounds very good for us and promising for the rest of the ‘unadvised’ who need advice; until you dig a little below the surface, that is. The figures represent an increase of just 2%, to 8% of those who could and should get advice actually seeking and presumably receiving it. And ‘unsurprisingly’, over 30% of those with £100k in savings sought advice, less than 2% of those with £10,000 or less. What, you could argue, would we tell the latter? Pay off your credit cards, stick the rest in the bank and try to save a bit each month? That’s where what was, back in the day, called the ‘Industrial Branch’ of life insurance companies came in, with Men from the Pru and the like trolling round the Coronation Streets of this world collecting those savings each week, to make sure they actually happened. Not, of course, cost effective for either party in the modern world. But now it’s only the loan sharks and bailiffs who do this. I’m not sure that’s exactly progress.
How we as advisers charge for our services has been the subject of navel-gazing debate in our profession for some time. Should we work on accountant- and solicitor-style hourly rates, charge a fixed subscription or have a menu of tasks and bill you accordingly.