A year on from its introduction, Andy Zanelli, head of retirement planning at AXA Wealth, considers the key value adding factors of an advice firm post-RDR
The more I think about it, the more I think that the world of financial planning is much like our home and needs to be developed, extended and protected in order to reward us in the future.
We have all read about increasing longevity, the end of final salary pension schemes and changes to the state pension due to roll out in 2016. But what can be done in real terms to improve the value of an investment portfolio and what similarities can be drawn to the homes we live in?
First impressions are always important for any house to make sure it stands out from the crowd. With lots of other houses on the street, differentiation and presentation are key. This is how you communicate the value of the proposition and attract new residents.
At home on the range
This is true for advisers and, in a post-Retail Distribution Review world, it has become vital for them to articulate who they are and what they stand for, to rise above the competition and demonstrate the value added.
The roof on our homes provides protection against the elements, keeping us safe and dry in inclement weather and, in many ways, helps to keep the walls from falling in. Roofs can be made from a variety of different materials and are designed to suit different house styles.
In a similar fashion, different product providers offer advisers and their clients different styles of roof, under which they can shelter their investments. Some providers will be able to offer a full range of products and services that meet client needs at each stage of life and can cater across the generations. While others will be more specialised or niche and will only suit certain life stages, it is possible that clients will outgrow these providers in the future.
There are undoubtedly benefits to each, however, advisers increasingly facing time and resource pressures are able to achieve true integration and convenience, and benefit from a comprehensive proposition that caters to their clients’ changing needs. It enables advisers to better service their client portfolios and manage their different financial journeys. The trick is making sure the chosen roof suits the adviser business and their clients.
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