Interview with James Jones-Tinsley, Self-Invested Technical Specialist, Barnett Waddingham
On a scale of 1 to 10, how optimistic are you about the advice market for 2018?
9. The need for advice has never been higher although affordability and access to regulated advice remains an issue for many would-be clients.
What is the best innovation you've seen recently?
Am I allowed to say our own SIPP for Interactive Investor?! It’s taken on a five figure number of SIPPs in a period of months without problems – that’s pretty good, right?
What can be done to improve the supply of advice?
‘Robo-Advice’ could aid the supply and accessibility of advice. While some see this as a threat to human advisers, there are now propositions that use technology to make the advice process much more efficient while retaining the human contact.
Have advisers reached a point of true professionalism yet?
Advisers have been professional for years. RDR raised the bar in terms of qualifications and advisers themselves are working hard on best practices. Of course there are a few rotten apples but that is true of any industry. Episodes such as the recent British Steel Pension Scheme debacle tarnish the profession’s image.
How long will the DB transfer market boom continue?
As long as there are members of DB schemes, Cash-Equivalent Transfer Values remain at historic highs and DC death benefit rules outshine those for DB schemes.
What major trends are you predicting for the next 12 months?
More DB transfers and more FCA attention on this area. More use of drawdown, including non-advised, and more FCA attention on this area, too. New, technology-driven advice propositions. Increasing concentration within the adviser, platform and product provider markets. Further increases in FSCS levy fees, whilst attempts to overhaul its funding model stall. More SIPP provider failures, poisoned by too many indigestible esoteric assets.
What session are you looking forward to most at MMI?
Drawdown: how not to run out of money – the hottest topic right now
How do you think advisers could best improve their image with the public?
Through patience, persistence and transparency, advisers can show how they benefit clients financially. More fee-based advice would align their model with other professional services coupled with an end to contingency-based charging to remove any conflicts of interest.
Who is your advice market hero?
Those advisers who offered pro-bono assistance to British Steel workers having to decide which pension route to pursue, in the face of rogue introducer firms peddling unrealistic investment promises over ‘chicken in a basket’ meals.
What's your favourite tech tool?
We’re using a new expenses app at work now called Webexpenses. It makes collating your expenses throughout the month far easier.