The year 1966 is probably best remembered for England’s World Cup victory. However, it was also the year The Kinks released their hit containing the line “lazing on a sunny afternoon”.
Hopefully, this is something most of us will have at last managed to do as we recharge our batteries in the summer sunshine.
For advisers in particular, taking time off from the constant pressure of ensuring our clients’ affairs are in good order is important. None the less, while lazing in the sun, I wonder if your mind wandered to the challenges and opportunities of the past 12 months or so.
Pension freedoms, the Financial Advice Market Review, Brexit, record low interest rates, quantitative easing, frozen property funds, plus the outlook for the housing market and the Financial Services Compensation review are all affecting our businesses in one way or the other.
Pension freedoms alone have given every adviser two wonderful opportunities to improve client outcomes. At a stroke, the government gave access to pension funds at age 55 and ditched the requirement to buy an annuity. These changes have revolutionised retirement planning and the savings market.
Hopefully, your lazy-day reflections will have reinforced for you how every client under the age of 55 currently saving for a pension should now be strongly encouraged to increase their contribution, because at 55, if they need their savings, they can access them.
Additionally, instead of just needing help at retirement to arrange an annuity, virtually every client will now need your continuing advice and services for years to come.
As your mind continues to wander, some of the potential negatives such as Brexit and record low interest rates may cause you to question whether, despite the great opportunities ahead, there are also a few issues which could get in the way of your success.
Indications are that the overall economy is going to remain in pretty good shape and, as long as we do not talk ourselves into a recession, the steps the Bank of England has taken will prove more than adequate.
This should mean the continuation of a stable housing market and some really attractive fixed-rate mortgage deals.
All in all, therefore, your thoughts from “lazing on a sunny afternoon” should enable you to conclude that you have some fantastic opportunities ahead to grow your practice.
Even the odd cloud which might come along is likely to have a silver lining and, as you return from holiday with renewed energy, vigour and determination, you can alert your clients, their friends and families to the great benefits you can deliver for them.
Ken Davy is chairman of SimplyBiz Group