Letter: There is more to advice than products

Nick Bamford

Nick Bamford

He is quite correct that valuations of investment and pension plans are readily available online these days, but valuations are perhaps only a tiny part of what a long-term advice service is about.

We must not continue with the mistaken belief that the relationship between client and adviser is all about products. It is not. Of the 12-point advice review agenda that we use with our clients only three points relate to any aspect of their existing investment portfolio. The other nine points are about all other criteria of their financial planning lives.

Direct-to-consumer platforms like the one from Hargreaves Lansdown certainly empower those consumers who have got the time and inclination to DIY but interestingly they do not represent competition to financial advisers and planners. They also do not represent the value of advice. Many users of such platforms regularly seek advice in order to sense check what they are doing.

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The very strength of the internet that Danny describes – “so much information” – is exactly the reason why the adviser is well placed to deliver ongoing review services. The internet does two things really well. It delivers information and it delivers misinformation, and the adviser is the go-to person to sort one from the other.

Nick Bamford

Executive director

Informed Choice