The Rant: IFAs must build a robust proposition
To a great extent, the issues around RDR readiness and the overwhelming focus on Level 4 qualifications, gap fill and obtaining a statement of professional standing is something of a red herring.
If you are a professional adviser with some experience, it is not unreasonable to undertake a period of study, schedule time to take exams and acquire the appropriate standards.
The real challenge for IFAs post-RDR is that of creating a crystal-clear ‘value proposition’. That means something a prospective client can review, consider and agree that what you will do, in exchange for what you will charge, represents excellent value for money.
I hear advisers say that adviser charging is just commission by another name and I fear that they are badly misjudging the situation and the behavioural changes that are likely to prevail come January.
This is a clear and explicit amount of money that requires a specific written agreement, signed off by the client in return for a promise of a service offering. This will involve discussions of the relative merits of paying via a product and the complex tax implications arising.
The question any switched-on client will ask is ‘what am I getting in return, and is that something I value?’ It is vital that IFAs build a robust proposition that will allow clients to see real value and be willing to part with their cash.
Alan Smith is chief executive of Capital Asset Management