What does it mean to be an “Independent” adviser?

RDR seeks to bring about a change in the financial services industry. From where I sit, change is needed.

A key issue that will affect Independent advisers, and is mentioned in the RDR consultation paper, is the definition of “Independence” so in this post, I want to explore the concept of Independence and check-in with you to see if there is any agreement on what it really means.

Continue reading “What does it mean to be an “Independent” adviser?”

RDR – Tackling adviser charging

RDR – Where to start with adviser charging


The big noise with RDR is the shift to charging for advice. It’s the bit that everyone is getting jumpy about. The thing is, it’s not as simple as replacing commission with fees. There are a whole bunch of things to consider, as anyone who has voluntarily made the move will tell you.

In this post I want to give you some tips on starting the process.

Before you can start thinking about how you are going to do this, how much to charge and how to collect it, you are going to have to get some clarity about some important things. If you skip this bit, you’ll be back doing it later. I promise you will… so don’t skip it! Continue reading “RDR – Tackling adviser charging”

RDR – Drug manufacturers should not pay ‘doctors’

It seems financial services is not the only sector being challenged by conflicted remuneration incentives between ‘industry’ and ‘profession’.

Last year, GlaxoSmithKline decided to change its procedures for paying doctors who could influence the distribution of its drugs. Some say it’s because the company is trying to be honourable, although cynics suggest the company has been caught out and has decided to make the changes before it gets forced to.

Whatever the reason, there is a trend in the world for professional advisers to be seen to be professionals, which means they can’t be remunerated by industry influence for product distribution.

What would the world of financial services look like, if financial planners and advisers could only dispense advice and could not sell ‘drugs’?


The Matrix has you!

 The Matrix has you!

You take the blue pill… the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill… you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

A classic line from one of my favourite movies. The Matrix – if you don’t recognise it.

What the hell are we doing in financial services?

Is it just me, or are we living in the Matrix? A world which is controlled by powerful forces that don’t want you to see the reality. And many of us have bought into it

The Matrix has you!

The ‘machines’ are in control and are breeding us financial advisers and planners to use for their energy. No soul, no choice, no freedom.

As independent financial planners, we need to recognise that we can be part of the Matrix and tell our clients how to continue their illusory journey within it, or we can help to set them free by showing them their own reality… The truth!

It may not be pretty at times, and it sure is confusing, but the truth is surely better than illusion, right?

We need to turn this thing upside down. We need to do the opposite to what we’ve been taught. We need to trust our instincts, even if we are not yet confident. We need to take the hard path, because it’s hard. Better still, go where there is no path at all… because it’s the right thing to do.

It’s time to say “Enough!” and believe. Nobody else is going to do it. The machines won’t do it. Why would they? It’s up to us.

I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”