Shaun Sandiford, business development director at Axa Wealth's Elevate wrap, gives a run down of what advisers should be doing to secure their businesses in 2013.
January is a dark, miserable month and the post-Christmas detox only exacerbates the melancholy.
To stop that feeling extending into their business and too far into 2013, advisers will need to review and address certain issues to ensure success this year and in the future.
For me, the big issues in the early stages of the post-RDR world are business processes, fee collection and the potential investment universe.
The key storms advisers must weather in 2013
Recurring income is no longer the certainty it has been in previous years.
Disturbance events have been categorised, however what does that mean for cash in adviser business accounts?
If advisers' hourly fees or fee menus are based on receiving a certain level of recurring income, then the level may be too low, as recurring income from 2012 is unlikely to be the same in 2013.
Business processes, if unquantified, in terms of both time and cost, make incorporating an economic return or profit margin, guess work.
At a time when advisers are working out their clients' attitude to risk and capacity for loss, some don't know the cost of submitting new business or the ongoing servicing costs.
In a similar vein client offerings may not be popular to clients in the ratios advisers might have assumed they would be.
By way of illustration, an advisory business may be expecting 40 clients to take a gold service (higher price/profit margin assumed) and 100 clients to take up a bronze service (lower profit and price assumed).
What is the impact if five clients take the gold and 135 select the bronze service? This different take-up pattern could affect short and long-term profitability.
Every year offers investment riches; given the number of variables and market uncertainties it is near impossible to predict at the beginning of the year where these will come from.
Advisers' platform and off-platform solutions need to offer them and their clients the best chance of being able to access these investment riches. This is a case where more really is more.
The popularity of model portfolios as a valued investment solution is undoubted, but what may be a surprise is that some solutions are more feature rich than others so the decision for advisers is not as straightforward as they may have thought.
Model portfolios are built to robust macro specifications, but it is at the micro, in use, level that flaws might be found.
Careful consideration of cash flow and adviser charging issues are likely to be at the fore for many advisers at the start of the year.
The New Year and the new regime are less than a month old, so defining the big ticket issues and concerns for the rest of the year is not an exact science.
The start of the year for some advisers will be spent ironing out the kinks of their adviser propositions. Those fortunate enough will be able to focus on delivering the quality advice their clients are looking for.
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