James Coney  

Cost is rearing its head in financial advice

James Coney

James Coney

Consumers have also become more questioning about costs. They want to know what that typical 1.8 per cent annual fee is actually getting them.

They can have a world of investment choices on their phone, and do their own financial planning on the train home from work.

The PFS is right to champion the cause of advisers. But more constructive would be finding better ways for advisers to show the value they are giving and of the type of work they are doing, year in, year out, so clients do learn to appreciate advice more.

But they also need to recognise that the needs of customers are changing, and find a way for advisers to fit in to that.

It is about adapting for the future rather than fighting to keep the one that kept them going in the past.

Cryptos

What would you do if a client demanded to have money in bitcoin or ethereum or any other cryptocurrency?

An adviser I was speaking to the other day said he would strongly advise against it. Others said that if this was what their client wanted they would help, providing it was very limited exposure.

The rise of crypto in to the mainstream (whatever your viewpoint on it) certainly poses some modern business challenges.

And with plenty of the private wealth managers now offering exposure because their clients want it, it seems like an area where advisers really ought to have an opinion.

Greenwashing woes

Another week, another mountain of environmental, social and governance fund launches.

Another week, another load of funds found to be mis-stating their ESG credentials.

Mark my words, litigation funders are watching.

A giant mis-selling complaint could be around the corner.

James Coney is money editor of the Times and Sunday Times