Advisers are not getting the representation they deserve.
Incentive is everything
From annuity mis-selling, to pensions, PPI, structured products, endowments and pension transfers, almost every scandal I can think of has one thing in common: commission.
Poorly structured remuneration is at fault for most examples of poor conduct. Be careful.
Social media is great for many things, but as a measure of public opinion it is very poor. It is a world full of like-minded voices, reinforcing your own opinions and bile.
Don’t get caught up in it because it removes you from your the real world of being a champion for your clients. It can only make you look bad.
The press is not out to get you. Really, it’s the truth. But also journalists are not there to do your PR – that’s your job.
Most of the time when I see complaints about a newspaper story, it is about what an ordinary person has done or advice given to them, but the journalist gets the flak for reporting it. Who is the villain here?
If you don’t think a journalist has done a good job tell them politely in a way that you would like to be told. If you want better press, then tell the press.
A thank you
You’re nothing as a journalist without your contacts. So a word of thanks to all those named and unnamed advisers and industry experts who have taken the time (often hours and often late at night) to patiently explain complicated issues to me, and give tip-offs about what some firms were up to.
My opinions – many of which have changed over the years – were always my own, but your advice and words of caution were always what informed them. Thank you.
James Coney is money editor of the Times and Sunday Times