Shopping around is not the way forward

Barry Rogers

Is it any wonder so few advisers have joined the Mas list?

Mas itself tells people to shop around and not to be afraid to negotiate over fees – not really the sort of clients a quality adviser is looking for. It is far better to work with clients who value your services and have been recommended by a friend or family member.

That is not being arrogant, just realistic, and aware that the way we used to work has had to change.

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I was explaining to a joiner friend of mine how the ‘old way’ worked. Put in his terms – I want a new door, make me one, hold it up, and if I like it I will pay you for it.

He explained he would not work on that basis as he would want paying before he made the door. I then explained that I would have asked another five joiners to do the same thing. One would get paid, five would have a spare door floating around the workshop. That is what happens when you shop around for a service that has to be given before it can be appreciated and realistically judged.

Also, what is the Mas list? Are they recommending these advisers? Have any quality checks been done? Can they even confirm the status? As far as I am aware the answer to each of those is no.

The big problem is the low-value pension fund. If an adviser is involved then full regulatory rules apply, and it is going to be hard to justify a fee of 5 per cent of the fund or even higher. Doing half the job for half the fee does not seem to be an option.

Barry Rogers

Sales and research manager, Price Bailey Private Client, Cambridge