He thinks he benefitted from being in the business at an early age, because he started his pension at the age of 20. Having now sold out of his business, in which he had a 47 per cent stake, he claims to have the financial freedom to pursue his plan of public speaking, which he will do for free, although he would like a corporate sponsor to pay his costs.
Another project is his involvement with an online advice business, Advicefront, that aims to link financial advisers with people who are engaging with financial advice for the first time.
The company, which is to launch in the first quarter of this year , will put together financial plans for clients through an automated system, before they are signed off by advisers.
Mr Butler said: “It’s not robo-advice, it’s cyborg advice. Rather than meet someone and fill out a fact-find, the client can do most of that online. If their affairs are really complicated, they can fall back to the firm for additional services.”
He believes that technology is the way forward for advisers who can use digital platforms to reach new customers, and is critical of advisers who are overly reliant on very affluent clients.
He said: “Even high net-worth clients are balking at paying over the odds for something that’s becoming a commodity. Firms will continue for two to three years before their existing customers will start to say: ‘I can buy that portfolio for X. What are you doing?’
“That does not mean to say they not continue paying, but the firms have to reinvent themselves. Price will come under pressure.”
In his mind, Mr Butler has certainly moved on from Bloomsbury, which he left last September. He said: “You’ve got to learn when your time is up and your job is done. I think the firm was probably going to suffocate with me being in it.”
Now with newspaper columns to write, and a financial education mission to accomplish, he is more than happy in his new, self-created, role.
Melanie Tringham is features editor of Financial Adviser
2015 – Present
1998 – 2015
Founder, Bloomsbury Financial Planning
1995 – 1998
Jackson Batten Financial Group
1991 – 1995
Lamensdorf & Co