We read an article this morning that did not quite make our 'blood boil' but did warm it up a little and make us smile. Paul Lewis, financial commentator, regular BBC presenter/finance expert etc wrote on moneymarketing.co.uk: “The financial services sector is driven by money, and advisers are no different. Bonuses should be consigned to history and replaced by an ethos of service where doing a good job is its own reward.”
In the article, Mr Lewis suggests that financial advisers are driven by money rather than good consumer outcomes and that bonuses should be banned and profits should be shared amongst all employees.
We agree, in part that for some advisers, financial incentives and greed to make more money lead to poor consumer outcomes, but not all advisers are the same. Many, like us, are driven primarily by good consumer outcomes but deep down and in all honesty, we are still about the money but for reasons you may not expect. We are sure that Mr Lewis’s intentions are good and create debate within our industry as well as improve awareness and financial knowledge for consumers.
We are all in the main, across every industry sector on the planet driven by money. We have children to raise, we have mortgages and bills to pay and we need to save for retirement security. We are all driven, in some shape or form by money, whether that is fear of poverty or indeed, greed for more. That said, in financial services, greed can create poor consumer outcomes in the same way it can in other industries, whether that’s builders, plumbers, pharmaceutical firms, rainforests being ‘chopped down’ or the motor industry and its false reporting on official engine emission figures.
Our view of the financial advisory business is that clients will generally take advice because they also have a desire to make money, save money or pay less tax, whether that benefits themselves or their loved ones. That is what the business of money and money advice is.
Commercially, our own yearly pay is not linked to revenue or profit, our directors have not taken or needed a pay rise in over 5 years, pay rises and bonuses for staff are linked to client service and feedback but why? Our own business will be attractive to acquirers when we are ready to slow down but only if it is built on solid foundations with the ability to grow and with excellent client advisory and service outcomes to retain and attract even more clients. So our real motivation, as with most other people is money, but we know that by offering the best client service experience we can, for a fair and transparent fee and with development of even better service offerings both online and offline for you, the business ultimately delivers what we want it to for you but is also a long term investment in our own financial security.
As we always state on our websites, we are consumers too, buying goods and services everyday just like you do. We treat clients the way we would like to be treated when we buy goods and services. We always position ourselves to think like we are in your shoes and what you, the consumer wants when seeking financial assistance.
Never forget though, it is not just the financial services sector that is driven by money, ‘money makes the world go around’.