Mind the gap

The text went on to say: “A career as a financial adviser is not only rewarding but you could be fully qualified in 18 months and earning within six. If you think you could work within a fast-moving, exciting and rewarding industry, get in touch to receive your free prospectus.”

What a great message to see displayed so prominently and in papers with such high circulation. My only criticism is that it referred to ‘industry’ when ‘profession’ would have been more appropriate.

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The advertisement was placed by the Financial Adviser School, which is an initiative developed by the Sesame Bankhall Group with support from Friends Life, Partnership, Aegon, Zurich and Aviva. For more information visit

Next month I will look at FAS and other initiatives in more detail, however the messages are clear. There is now recognition that we have an advice gap, although there remains debate about its size and scope. There is, however, another gap that we should not overlook; namely a need for new advisers to replace both those retiring and also to allow for businesses to expand and for more consumers to be serviced.

Dr Peter Williams is an independent business consultant and chartered financial planner

Key points

* A significant advice gap exists for the general population.

* Only a small percentage of high net-worth individuals have a financial planner or seek advice.

* An advert for financial advisers recently appeared in the London Evening Standard.