Advisers who fear they will "fall off a cliff" when their reliance on commissions ends post 2012 are missing the bigger picture, Bankall IFA Services managing director, David Golder, said today.
Without the commission relationship with product providers, advisers can make the label "independent" financial adviser really mean independent, added Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford.
Their comments were part of a Personal Finance Society (PFS) online discussion today, What to look out for and how to make the journey from a transactional to a fee based business, chaired by Friends Provident's director of UK business Kevin Watkins.
The move to fee-based charging topped the concerns of advisers e-mailing the panel, which consisted of Golder, Bamford and FP chief executive Brett Davidson.
According to Davidson, for most advisers the fears are overblown.
"The belief is this is wholesale change but the reality is most advisers are already doing 70% of what is needed - this is evolution not revolution," he says.
He says the key is the "really simple stuff" of IFAs delivering advice: "Everything else around the change is what makes things seems so complicated when it doesn't need to be."
A good understanding of back office operations, leading to creating a proposition which can then be delivered to the client is what "really shapes value" says Golder.
The best time to raise the fee issue with clients and the best way to account for time spent working for clients were also key concerns for advisers.
For Davidson the best time to raise the fee issue is during the very first meeting:
"In the first hour and a half, set out your stall, make them think they're in the right place, then quote the initial price. Most of the mental anguish for advisers over this is with old clients, but be confident. People will pay."
A recorded version of this morning's debate can be viewed at the PFS website from 3pm.
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