2016 - and so it was ever thus...

Samantha Downes

Samantha Downes

Hindsight is a beautiful thing, so a well-know saying goes. Who hasn’t looked back and said: “Ahh but wouldn’t that have been better done that way?”

Yes, the answer is it would have been, but then you had to do it the wrong way to learn how to do it the right way.

So it seems this way with regulation, what doesn’t work one year - depolarisation for example - suddenly appears to be a solution the next.

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The same with commission - and so it goes on.Well, maybe it’s time to really learn from the lessons of the past and not base future legislation on a process of elimination. But then that would take some intelligence and aforethought, which are not always in abundance.

But surely something that will be on many of your Christmas wish lists, a bit of thinking rather than ‘doing’.

Looking back at 2016 the last 12 months there really was only one event that will mark it out as being distinct from any other year.If you’ve lived through the oil shocks of the 1970s, the Winter of Discontent, the interest rate rises of the early 1990s, and of course that other referendum in 1975 - then 2016 will simply be the year that the UK voted to remove itself from the European Union.

Nothing more, and nothing less.

In ten years time advances in technology and globalisation could even make an irrelevance out of the UK’s decision to invoke Article 50 - whenever that may happen.

EU membership or not what concerns many advisers is that the cost of running a financial advice business means that advice itself is becoming the preserve of either those who can afford to take out a mortgage, those with a large pension fund,  or with liquid assets of £250,000 or more.

If we are to have a New Year’s resolution as an industry then it should be to make sure advice does not become too precious as to become endangered itself.In the meantime there is the future and all it may bring - good and bad. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers. See you on the other side.