Tag Archives: financial adviser

How RDR Impacts Investors

2 Jan

The Retail Distribution Review (RDR) comes into force from Monday 31 December 2012, but what does this mean for those who are paying for advice?

There has been an overhaul of the disclosure of what you pay, how you pay and the advice (at point of sale and ongoing). The idea being that the advice received is suitable, you are aware of any restrictions i.e. independent or restricted; and the associated costs. 
I am an independent financial adviser (IFA) under the old and new regime. The service provided has always been detailed with an ongoing service as the advice process starts with the purchase of a financial product and on-going advice is paramount (in my opinion). Make sure you receive what you are and have paid for – 
Lord Turner FSA living wills proposals
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) outlines the changes which will directly impact – and hopefully benefit – the everyday investor:
1. Know how much advice costs
“Advice has never been free. You may not have realised but if you received financial advice before our changes came in you probably paid ‘commission’ to your adviser.”
“This generally came from the company providing the product paying your adviser a percentage of the sum you invested.
“Instead of you paying commission on new investments your financial adviser now has to be clear about the cost of advice and together you will agree how you will pay for it.”
“This way you know exactly what you are paying and that the advice you receive is not influenced by how much your adviser could earn from your investment.”
“Your adviser now has to clearly explain how much advice costs and together you will agree how you will pay for it. This could be a set fee paid upfront or you may be able to agree with your adviser that they can take the fee from the sum you invest.”
2.  Know what you are paying for
Is this a transactional item, on-going advice and defined service to be provided.
While many advisers are remaining independent, some have changed their business models so that they only give “restricted” advice.
“Financial advisers that provide ‘independent’ advice can consider all types of investment products that might be suitable for you. They can also consider products from all firms across the market.”
“An adviser that has chosen to offer ‘restricted’ advice can only consider certain products, product providers or both.”
“Your adviser now has to clearly explain to you whether they offer one or the other.”
Get improved professional standards“Some investments can be hard to understand. So the minimum professional standards of qualification have been increased….”
“Financial advisers also have to sign an agreement to treat you fairly.”
3.  What should you do now?

“Next time you see your adviser you should ask how much you have been paying for their advice and how much that same advice now costs.”
“They should also be able to explain how the changes to the way you get and pay for financial advice affect you, and whether they offer independent or restricted advice.”
Happy New Year and good luck investing in 2013

RBS To Scrap IFA Arm and Offer Restricted Advice

25 Jun

I understand the principle of “Restricted Advice” and as a business model understand the needs of a bank to maximise profits, minimise costs and control the focus and the advice. I accept that they have made the decision to replace the IFA Arm with a “Restricted” Advice Model.

I believe that this is appropriate for a sales model to offer Restricted Advice whereas “Independent” will be left to those offering advice rather than product sales – yes, I am biased as I am and will always remain an INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVISER – service and advice is my mantra. I am unclear of RBS’s use of the term “specialist” within the Restricted Advice model.

This is very close to my heart, as I am in the final stages of serving notice with Jewell & Petersen Ltd – I will be trading through my limited company Waverley Court Consulting Ltd as an Appointed Representative of Julian Harris Financial Consultants. The reason for this is to retain my status as INDEPENDENT, the service provision, support received and care I provide to my clients both now and in the future following the changes implemented in 2013.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

RBS to scrap IFA arm and launch new restricted service

It’s official, Royal Bank of Scotland’s IFA arm is set to become “Restricted”  Advisers under a restructure of the banks financial advice division which saw it announce plans to cut around 600 financial planning roles earlier this month.

The advisers who were IFAs within RBS will form the backbone of a new restricted service which will also house some of the advisers affected by the cuts announced last week.

The new service is expected to launch in October 2012.The advisers under the new restricted advice proposition will be called “specialist” financial advice managers with additional roles to be filled through internal recruitment and some advisers will be dedicated to business and commercial customers.An RBS spokeswoman said: ‘we will be offering a full advice service to our customers under a “restricted” badge, our existing IFA advisers will be moving into the new advice model together with a significant number of new advice roles being created.

‘The present RBS Group advice model is composed of IFA and tied propositions across private bank and financial planning.’The bank said it was currently researching its final panel proposition but confirmed that it will consist of solutions from the RBS Group and a set of third-party providers.

Now That’s What It’s About!!! – Article Removed

14 Jun


I have had a discussion with my wife who took the article totally a different way than I had meant and I worry others would do likewise.

I am not someone who brags or talks about the great I am.

My mantra is to understate as the only thing that matters are the people – my family, my friends and my clients.

So to anyone who read the original article – all I was trying to say was how proud I felt that through my endeavours my clients have been able to live the life they deserve.

Please forgive me if it came across as arrogant or bragging – that was the last thing it was meant to be.

The Markets and What’s Next?

21 May

The markets have seen a sell-off in the recent past and I expect this to continue untill some stability returns to the market and this is unlikely until the Greek Elections in June and a government is formed, at the earliest assuming no additional market controvecies.

It is clear that the problems in the Eurozone will keep a chokehold on financial markets in the weeks ahead. Investors and the markets are currently assessing Greece’s commitment to the austerity measures and the Eurozone as a whole – we await other headlines on the debt crisis.

G8 Meeting over the Weekend


G8 strongly supported keeping Greece in the Eurozone. No decisive decisions were made but confirmed they would do what was necessary to battle financial turmoil while revitalizing their economies. They stressed the need for strategies to encourage growth.

Greece’s failure to form a ruling coalition after its May 6 election has now led it to a second election in June. Polls show the radical left party is in the lead, and that party rejects austerity measures agreed to as part of the Greek bailout.


Reports This Week

  • Monday & Tuesday – Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart speaks in Tokyo on monetary policy
  • Tuesday – US Treasury auctions $32 billion in 2-year notes
  • Wednesday – US Treasury auctions $32 billion in 5-year notes
  • Thursday – New York Fed President William Dudley at Council on Foreign Relations & US Treasury auctions $29 billion in 7-year notes
  • Friday – Consumer Sentiment Report

My contact details are :- tel 029 2020 1241, email welshmoneywiz@virginmedia.com, twitter welshmoneywiz, linkedin Darren Nathan

SIFA Slams St James’s Place

6 Apr

St James’s Place (SJP) is a well respected Insurance and Investment Company who still work solely through a self-employed sales force. The down side is they are not independent but have many proficient sales people who will offer the best of the product range they can sell.

The outrage is from the Solicitor IFA trade body Sifa, who have accused St James’s Place of making “distinctly misleading” claims and it raises concerns where an institution who gives financial advice sees it to be acceptable to allow dishonest business practices. SJP has written out to financial advisers in an attempt top attract them to join St James’s Place, while suggesting that they can continue to receive professional introductions through solicitors.

This is not the case as solicitors are governed by a strict code of practice to refer only suitably qualified independent financial advisers and this can’t be a sales person from SJP. SJP’s sales people are called Partners and Senior Partners depending their success and longevity in selling their products.

SIFA has reported SJP (St James’s Place) to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

The SRA’s code of conduct states solicitors can only refer clients who need investment advice to “independent intermediaries”. It defines an independent intermediary as an IFA who can advise on investment products from across the whole of the market and offers a fee option.

Structured Products – Why Are The Results Not Published?

30 Mar

Structured Product Providers have been called to publish the maturity values of products and make the data more widely accessible. This information of performance and investment returns are NOT published in any accessible way. I have asked time and again, Why is this the case? I believe Structured Products’ maturity values should be published and be available. If it were ETFs, Investment Trusts, Collectives, Interest Rates on Savings Accounts or pretty much any other investment – results are available.

I can only question the performance and the results achieved. I can’t believe if the results were good that these details would not be shouted from the roof-tops by the product provider. I personally have grave doubts, especially when you factor in the use of financial instruments, such as, derivatives; counter-party risks and the varying terms offered by each product provider on an ongoing basis.

Maybe I’m just a bit cynical and these product providers are not hiding poor results but rather just don’t published their returns. Possibly this is to avoid the ability or need for either professional advisors (such as myself) or investors to better compare their past results and so create an opinion of the possible returns in the future. 

Possibly, the view of these product providers is that an adviser, if not a direct and typically employed, sales force, will not sell the product after suffering the initial results, so it’s academic what that product returned – but I am now just speculating. I suspect that the details I require are not readily available because they are market-driven products – they are sold and my approach of professional reviews, assessments, advise and guidance, is not their market place.

The investment return is not the whole story with Structured Products, we must also consider the guarantee (if exists) and/or the level of protection. But, how much are investors paying for that guarantee?

The lack of product clarity means the costs are hidden in the returns, where past performance and results are not readily available. Although, I would say I am not anti structured products if these questions were answered. I am anti products where there is insufficient data to assess if they are effective, well structured and there is a realistic expectation for profit. What I need is much greater openness about what they deliver can, have and could deliver in terms of results.

The IMA released a study in 2011, which found almost all the tracker funds outperformed the structured products. It found the main reason the trackers did better was they reinvested their dividends, whereas the structured products did not.


Is The IMA Study Contentious?

The IMA study did not take into consideration of the risk profiles of the two investments.


There is a Need for Progress

There is a need for better dissemination of data on structured products. The lack visibility on maturity means that the results are almost product provider’s best kept secret. I cannot comment on why this is but uintil this data is available one must question the reasons for this secrecy.

I believe a central repository for values of maturing structured products would help transparency and enhance this investment class.

This could lead this investment product out of the gutter of sales pushed product into advice related planning.

Any questions, email me at welshmoneywiz@virginmedia.com

Seeking Advice

18 Mar

I have been asked by many, the best way to contact me if you are seeking advice?

The easiest is by the blog email :- welshmoneywiz@virginmedia.com, or my business email :- dnathan.jpl@ntlworld.com or darren@jpltd.co.uk

Or call my office :- 029 2020 1241

Or my mobile :- 07931 388651

Or to follow me  –

On twitter :- Welshmoneywiz

On Linkedin :- Darren Nathan

All the best