Have you seen Mitchell & Web in the "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" adverts? They're very funny. Anyone using a PC running Microsoft Windows will identify with these short comedy sketches.
Have you seen Mitchell & Web in the “I’m a Mac, and I’m a PC” adverts? They’re very funny. Sorry about that, I’m running a PC and I had to reboot and start again. Actually it’s not quite so funny if you are using a PC running Microsoft Windows.
But funny or not, the world of Macs versus PCs and Windows is analogous to the world of financial services. Comparing the launch of Windows Vista with the launch of platforms from traditional providers is an easy one though not the one I want to talk about today.
However, it is beyond temptation not to mention the flow of funds from Standard Life’s existing contracts onto their new wrap and SIPP offerings. It’s a lot like upgrading from one version of Windows to another; it makes a shed load of money for Microsoft and the reseller, but is not always a good deal for the customer.
Instead, I want to compare two operating systems, Mac OS and Windows, with the way retail financial services are delivered. There is a new and snappy title to describe a seemingly new type of adviser - the “New Model Adviser” (NMA). This can be likened perhaps to the re-emergence of Apple due to the success of the iPod in a world that has long been dominated by Windows.
Both Apple and New Model Advisers have been around a long time but it is only now that they are tapping into the zeitgeist of the current consumer. Whilst the transaction-led adviser, provided or paid for by the traditional product provider, has dominated, the NMA has been quietly gaining ground as a result of new technologies and transparency.
I haven’t seen any figures on it, but my belief is that advisers who have focused on advice rather than transactions and perhaps fees rather than commission, receive fewer complaints, have a more valuable business model, experience less stress and have happier clients.
My firm has already shifted to the Mac version of financial services, and I’m feeling more positive than at anytime in the last 20 odd years of being in this business. To complete the journey I’ve just got to ditch our real PCs and switch to Apples.
Dennis Hall is a chartered financial planner and founder of Yellowtail
The views expressed are those of the author and not those of the company he represents.IFAonline
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