As journalists, we are often criticised for writing too many negative stories, for “doing down the profession”. The usual rebuttal to that accusation is that we have to cover the bad eggs as well as the good, but I prefer to take a different tack on most occasions, fighting any perception of how tough advisers have it or the real extent of firms’ struggles with some simple facts.
That arsenal of evidence receives a significant boost this week as we release the results of our flagship adviser remuneration report with recruitment consultancy firm BWD. There’s no other way of saying it: 2018 is an amazing time to be an adviser.
I would go so far as to say that the vast majority of Money Marketing readers have never had it better.
The headline stats show average pay is up across the board, more advisers are reaching chartered status than ever and, as a rule, the advice community is not getting any older.
Frankly, I can think of no better way to counter the far more pessimistic tone frequently encountered in the comments section of the trade press. If we write too many critical stories, then it is surely equally the case that many in the market have overplayed fears that the RDR would crush the profession when adviser numbers haven’t fallen, that the compliance burden will put us all in the red when profits are stable and wages are up, or that the public would abandon advisers due to lack of trust when there is more demand than ever.
Those of you who know me outside of these pages will know that I am constantly banging the drum for financial advice as a career, and am frankly staggered by how few people consider it as a viable option – something I can only put down to ignorance of facts like the ones we present this week.
The opportunities out there for well-run advice firms mean that, when we repeat this research next year, I fully expect the just reward for delivering great value to have increased again. Public awareness is improving and the full extent of pension freedoms cash has yet to filter through to the financial planning community. That’s not to mention the myriad revenue streams out there for businesses that embrace automation or new service lines such as life planning and coaching.
By the way, this was also the week that the FCA agreed that product providers should contribute 25 per cent towards financial advisers’ Financial Services Compensation Scheme bills.
The picture is rosy for advice; don’t let journalists or anyone else tell you different.