Happy birthday to the pension freedoms!

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As we enter spring and reach the second birthday of the pension freedoms we can expect a proliferation of stories and analysis on the first two years and how people think it’s all gone. We had some up-to-date figures from HMRC at the end of January and another version from the FCA at the beginning...

Revealed: The KPIs you should measure, but probably don’t

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We love a KPI in our profession. Some are more useful than others, but knowing your numbers is fundamental to running a successful business. What those numbers are will differ from firm to firm. In my experience though, (and I used to be guilty of this too) very few businesses monitor them as closely as...

We need some new kids on the block

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Over the past few months I’ve been thinking about the future; not mine I hasten to add, but that of our profession. It’s clear we need the next generation to come through, yet I’m concerned it’s not happening as fast as it should. Worse, there are some signs its actually getting harder to forge a...

Why do so many advisers hide their Chartered status?

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If things don’t change soon my full head of hair will soon be no more. Not, because of impending middle age, my father still has a full head of hair well into his 60s. But because every time I see a financial planner fail to promote their Chartered status, I pull out a handful in...

11 questions to help you assess your own website

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Making a judgement call on your own website can be tough. It’s likely that you have a level of attachment to it or, perhaps, a level of reluctance to look too closely, lest the cracks start to show! It’s also likely that any attempt at judging your website will be based on a level of...

Beware of shiny things

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One of the dangers of being a visionary or entrepreneur is that you can get distracted by ‘shiny things’. What’s a shiny thing? Anything that’s not your core business. Especially if your core business isn’t finished yet. “As soon as you become an entrepreneur – and especially if you are also a parent and spouse...

Pensions: Why 2017 won’t be a quiet year

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The times of calling for a quiet year for pensions are past. It’s now accepted each year is a busy year for pension legislation and pension policy. 2017 is shaping up to be no different. Although seemingly light on change at first glance, some major themes are forming, which will keep us all occupied over...

Why 35% of advisers might be wrong about Facebook

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Speaking to financial services folk, whilst there are exceptions, I tend to hear two opposing views of Facebook: From marketers: “You must be on there, if you’re not, your business will be left behind.” From advisers: “My clients aren’t on Facebook; it would be a waste of time for me.” Instinctively I’m not drawn to...

Vertical integration; the myth is finally being exposed

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If there’s one thing guaranteed to get me on my soap box, it’s the prevalence of vertical integration in financial services. There’s no doubt that it is polarising the profession and, in my view, skewing client outcomes. I am therefore delighted that the FCA is proposing action on the subject. The RDR ‘loophole’ Let’s cast...

Keep It Super Simple

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It was Leonardo Da Vinci who said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” When it comes to your business, never was a truer word spoken. When you think about the business of advice, even when it’s sophisticated Financial Planning advice, it’s pretty damn simple. Here’s how it plays out in my mind: A person gets in...