Posted by Flora Maudsley-Barton | December 14, 2008
As I take the plunge myself, and become an un-shackled financial planner (I mean starting up in business), I’ve been wondering…What it is about financial advisers that makes us all think we can do better than what the already cluttered market place has to offer?
Just imagine if this was common in all jobs? Teachers leaving their schools to set up new schools, new refuse collection services springing up everywhere as the binmen (forgive me if that’s un p.c.) all leave their yellow trucks.
Don’t tell me it’s about high-barriers-to-entry, ‘cos there are a LOT of cheaper businesses to start up than regulated financial advisers.
Of course, I’ve also been thinking a lot about what my proposition will be. I’ll tell you. Because (obviously) I think it’ll be the best out there.
I’ll start with what I don’t want.
I don’t want to advise everybody. I don’t want a client list as long as a phone book. I don’t want to act for anybody who doesn’t want my advice at that time. I don’t want my wealthier clients to subsidise the others, ie over-charge Mrs A because Mr B isn’t paying enough.
I want my clients to know in advance what I’m going to do to improve their financial strength, and know what they’re going to pay for that.
I want to advise people who need and welcome impartial guidance. I want my clients to know that “impartial guidance” has a price attached.
A lot of my existing clients do know that. I love them for it. They understand that there’s the risk of a conflict of interest when the adviser stands to gain money from recommending “A” instead of “B”, and commission is settled behind closed doors.
I want a business model that gives prospective clients the confidence that they are paying the same as anybody else for the same advice. To that end, I will publish my price list..