Your IndustryJun 3 2021

Advisers 'tremendously upbeat' about year ahead

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Advisers 'tremendously upbeat' about year ahead

“The only setback is another setback in the virus; and inflation, but that is good for debt of course, so I’m tremendously upbeat at the moment, especially for the UK.”

Unique Financial Planning managing director Philip Martin also agreed with the general conclusions of the research.

Martin said he too was anticipating increased fee income over the next year, as clients seek to invest part of cash savings increases over the period of the pandemic and continue to invest in house purchases and improvements. 

“Reduced spending during lockdown has swelled many clients’ deposit holdings and investing that is forming part of ongoing financial planning as regular reviews take place,” he said.

Tim Morris, IFA at Russell & Co Financial Advisers, said: “I’ve read several reports about the 'UK piggy bank' or savings ratio swelling to 30 per cent of household income. That is the highest level since records began in 1987.

“This certainly represents an opportunity for a spending boom this summer with the UK economy fully reopened.”

Morris said based on conversations with clients, this was a main driver behind increased confidence in the UK’s outlook.

“We have already seen a lending boom for house purchases,” he added. 

“With the stamp duty deadline looming at the end of the month, that now appears to be on the decline.”

Specialist advice

This year has been tipped as the year in which advice firms could “get back to growth”. 

But Ruth Handcock, chief executive officer of Octopus Investments, told FTAdviser in January that growth might not always be in the traditional sense of simply looking for new clients.

Handcock said: “Instead, I think we will start to see increasing numbers of firms looking to drive that growth by focusing on specialist areas as they look to differentiate their offering.”

She pointed to sustainability as one of the “greatest areas of opportunity” for advisers.

ESG investing has boomed in popularity in recent years as fears over climate change have led investors to consider the impact of their money and as a growing number of millennials have begun investing.

Handcock said: “Clearly, the desire to make a positive difference with your money now extends well beyond the younger generations but, if you are an adviser looking to position your business for long-term growth, a clear specialism in sustainable and impactful investing is a huge opportunity to stand out and attract younger new prospective clients."

She said advisers also had a “real opportunity” when it comes to tax planning and working with accountants and other professionals.

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