Occasionally I am asked to write for a wider public than the people who read my blog and when I do , I scare myself.
Many of my blogs struggle to get 178 readers so to get 178 comments on this post was weird.
It was mentioned as a veteran – something that clearly amused my old spar David Penney!
— David Penney (@DavidPenneyPRW) February 17, 2023
I am flattered to be called a veteran.
What people said
The animosity against advisers runs through the whole 178 comment thread. It is occasionally broken by clients who have good advisers but the trouble with the headline is it attracts trolling and many of the comments do no more but vent abuse.
The comments keep on coming as the article has been posted to the main Daily Mail money home page.
One of the aims of the consumer duty is to help people value the advice they are given and pay for the value they get.
I have argued on this blog that paying upwards of 2% pa of your advised wealth can constitute value and clearly advisers who do this , will be able to demonstrate why they charge what they do when the FCA asks that question.
The current thematic review into ongoing advice in retirement is focussed on the issues addressed in Tanya Jefferies and my article.
Where such value can’t be proved (and the immediate judge of this has to be the consumer), it is important that the advice is not paid for and the adviser “ditched”.
The comments should be read by the FCA. They form part of the intelligence base it is building. The Consumer Duty is not always met , but likewise, much of the prejudice against advice is based on a flimsy premise that advisers are only in it for themselves.
Advisers have a duty to their customers to stay in business as well as a duty to offer value for what they charge/
From minor to major
It is hard to step up from minor to major and be judged on a public performance rather than in a boutique environment – such as this blog or in the pensions trade press.
It is scary to be read by hundreds of thousands and to see comments on what you’ve written from people you will never know.
It is easy to play to a popular tune than a tune with meaning. Journalism has a consumer duty too.
I hope to do more of this work when asked to. I hope that I will be able to write about pensions in a popular way, because – like Ros Altmann – I want pensions to be popular again.
But for that to happen, we must find a way for pensions to pass its own consumer duty, which is why I will continue to write about value for money in pensions.
One day I hope to play that tune in a major rather than a minor key!