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. Or carry on as most of us (around 90%) are, on a percentage of whatever funds we look after. Most attempts to bring down the cost of advice have had the opposite effect, reducing the numbers of advisers and allowing the remainder to actually charge more. Certainly while the other components of our business, the providers and fund managers, continue to charge you a percentage, I think we should continue to do so. And we shouldn’t try to be the cheapest, or necessarily worry if we’re the most expensive part of the trio, as we bring a lot more to the party than the others. I’d say. Discussion to be continued.
In my view, the ‘for some’ is the key. For many years, financial advisers were indeed tarred with the hard-sell brush, from the days when, to earn a crust, we had to persuade potential clients to sign up for something they needed but didn’t want.