Insurers are being blamed for encouraging unqualified advisers to continue to hand-pick investment funds for their clients despite the unprecedented economic conditions.
Justin Urquhart Stewart, director and co-founder of Seven Investment Management (7IM), says insurers "offering 500 funds plus a modeling tool" have given a number of advisers misplaced confidence.
He says while some advisers are "very talented" at stock picking, most should stick to strong financial planning and avoid making "impossible promises" by playing the stock market.
"Insurance companies were offering 500 funds plus a modeling tool and it just isn't enough," he says.
"A lot of advisers are now looking at the planning process as a whole, rather than just looking to advise and sell individual products.
"[But] there are still an awful large number of advisers doing the stock picking. Some are very talented, but they need to work out what their business model is going to look like going forward."
The volatility of the stock market, and clients' unrealistic expectations, will mean some awkward conversations if things start to fall, experts warn.
Tim Parsons, business transition director at Succession, says stock picking is the "worst thing" advisers can do for themselves and their clients.
"If an adviser tries to become a stock picker they will go bust," he says. "Many think clients pay them to pick stocks. They don't. They pay for long-term financial planning."
Others say outsourcing the investment management to larger, specialist firms will become more widespread in the build-up to 2012.
"Smaller IFAs just can't spend the necessary time on research and development," Martin Bamford, managing director at Informed Choice, says.
"We looked at this and decided not to, mainly because at the moment the process is still quite rigid - you have to bend to the outsourcer's rules. But this will become less rigid and more competitive over time, and as more IFAs outsource."
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