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Comprehensive Financial Plan: Wouldn’t It Be Nice if Everyone Could Have One?

Nick Cann CFP United KingdomBy Nick Cann, CFP

It is becoming clear in the UK that it is impossible to deliver comprehensive financial planning to all consumer segments, even if the individuals concerned really want it. The weight of regulatory reform, plus a move to fees, has meant that to do the job properly, the client has to be happy to pay the appropriate fee or have sufficient assets or wealth to cover the ongoing cost of advice.

This, potentially, disenfranchises a number of accumulators who would value and benefit from a comprehensive financial planning service, unless firms are able to address the way that they can deliver it. It certainly means that most “middle income” families are going to find it difficult to access this type of service under the new regime from January 2013.

Face Time Costs Money

Most firms are still reliant upon a face-to-face based service for almost all, if not all six stages of the financial planning process. Few are using telephony, technology or other tools to take costs out of the relationship and to improve the overall client experience and bottom line of the business.

Even delivering focused advice is costly if provided on a face-to-face basis because the regulatory requirements in the UK are pretty similar for both types of advice. It is the experience and skills that differentiate the two types in the practice itself.

Clients with assets or those able to appreciate the value of financial planning are going to be particularly well served over the next few years whether it is by CFPcm professionals or accredited financial planning firms in the UK.

To extend comprehensive financial planning to the broader market, firms are going to work much harder at efficiency and engagement and hope that the regulator makes changes to the advice process to reduce the burden of taking on and maintaining a client.

Read Nick’s Other Blogs

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