Advisers have been assailed from all sides in 2020.
Covid-19 put paid to traditional means of garnering new business in the first half of this year, while the ensuing lockdown prevented the sort of face-to-face contact with clients that has been the cornerstone of financial planning.
Even so, advisers have weathered this challenge, rising to the occasion with clever ways of adopting technology to reach more clients than before, while cutting back on operational and time costs.
Exams were put on hold, meaning many advisers will have had to revise twice during 2020, so they can be ready for the rescheduled tests.
Home working became the ‘new normal’, with all the challenges of childcare and senior care this brought with it.
Requests for information from the Financial Conduct Authority were met, and often in short timeframes. Capital adequacy was protected in any way possible – reduction in salaries, removal of bonuses, hiring freezes – and yet despite the financial constraints, no company has stated – as yet – that Covid-19 is directly responsible for the business closing its doors for good.
Advisers have battled scammers and an increase in telephone and online fraud, flagging dodgy adverts and communicating with vulnerable clients to warn them not to part with their hard-earned cash.
Portfolios fell 10 per cent – and in some cases, more than 10 per cent. Despite this, communication from advisers to clients has remained paramount, and the proof of good long-term investment planning has meant many portfolios have already experienced a rebound.
Resilience is one word that can be used to describe financial advisers during the first half of 2020, but it does not go far enough to describe the brilliant work they have done for clients.