James Coney  

Social media has helped advisers - but it can also hurt them

James Coney

James Coney

At the heart of this seems to be a view that only financial planners should be allowed to talk about money. No one else should be allowed to express an opinion that they do not believe in, seems to be their belief.

It is true that the internet, and particularly social media, is packed with charlatans, but advisers do themselves no favours by attacking those they believe are a threat.

They do so with the certainty of people acting in an echo chamber.

Twitter can be useful, it can be funny and entertaining. But if you are on it you need to think very carefully about every word you type, because it can also be exceedingly damaging.

Action needed on underperformance 

The Financial Conduct Authority’s decision to put on the back-burner a long-promised review of funds that consistently underperform is disappointing. Once again you are left with the distinct impression that fund managers are continuing to get away with it.

This is particularly the case as just a fortnight ago the FCA published its review of how value assessment reports were being carried out. It found that many fund managers were simply making unjustified claims in their reviews of their own funds and demanded they act.

There were always going to be teething problems with value at risk models as businesses were more or less left to their own devices, but it does again highlight how hard it is for ordinary investors to get reliable information about fund manager underperformance.

This is why action is needed.

Cut through the noise 

Why do you need a financial adviser? To help you cut through the marketing noise of the fund managers.

From Russia to palladium, from frontier funds to ESG and now we have Japan – fund managers always have a tale to tell, particularly if it is good for their assets under management.

James Coney is money editor of the Times and Sunday Times