The Canadians are showing the lead globally and moving closer to protecting the designation 'Financial Planner' and it's about time the UK followed this positive step to improve consumer trust in the advice profession.
We asked George Kinder, the founder of the global Life Planning movement, for his views on key topics facing planners and his thoughts on the challenges ahead:
We are coming up to 12 years since the introduction of pension simplification and although it seemed at the time not to solve or simplify much I would go back to that day in a heartbeat.
I make no apologies for the fact that ‘phoenixing’ seems to be a regular topic in the industry press – a quick search of the internet brought up no end of articles on the subject, going back over a number of years.
Cast your mind back to 2035 - the year of the great blip. We had made great progress. All individuals, companies and legal entities held their accounts open to each other through the DigiChain.
Now that the season to be jolly is but a distant memory, we move into the season of resolutions and predictions for the new year.
As part of our marketing mix, we occasionally like to enter and win awards. There’s a certain prestige associated with being an ‘award-winning’ firm of Financial Planners. Our website analytics tell us that prospective clients are actively searching for this term, so serving up a handpicked list of award wins helps boost their confidence that they are contacting the right firm.
The high court has ordered a group of pension scammers repay £13.7m to the victims of their scams. This is the first ruling of this type and should hopefully strike fear into scammers, although I suspect those who conduct these types of scams still believe they will get away with it.
There has been a growing, and somewhat contentious, debate among Financial Planners and Paraplanners recently about the fairest way to charge clients. Despite years of regulatory intervention in the advisory sector it remains a surprisingly grey area.
I can’t help but feel a bit cheated when I am sat in the office on Budget day waiting for some surprise pensions announcement by the Chancellor and there is not only no surprise, but the word pension is only mentioned twice in the whole speech.
Speaking with Financial Planning Today editor Kevin O’Donnell regarding the potential content for this column, things going on in my own business are always “hot topics” and fees and charges are one current issue.
All too often, our profession deserves its reputation as the home of grey men wearing navy blue suits. Go along to more or less any conference, seminar or professional body event and you are confronted by a lack of diversity along with the absence of anything especially exciting or progressive.
One thing that makes my blood boil is the blame SIPPs get every time there is a release of information on complaints.
Even in these gender-fluid days I have to confess to being entirely male, as far as I know. This means that I will never truly experience what it feels like to be a women patronised by a man. I will never know what it’s like to be treated as a second class citizen by a financial adviser or mortgage broker.