I’m sitting here in Italy, avoiding the scorching sun, reading about the unfolding saga of ‘star’ fund manager Neil Woodford, contemplating what a sorry state financial services are in, and how sad that I have to be connected to such a poor industry to do the job I am passionate about.
Intermingled with articles on social media about Mr Woodford are various adverts, including; a happy chappy dancing in the street, because apparently the Halifax is refunding £40 billion, offers to check if you have PPI, suggesting you consider transferring your defined benefit pension, several claims management companies offering to help you make a claim if you have transferred your defined benefit pension, ‘free’ pension reviews, fund platforms explaining what went wrong with the Woodford funds (although I cannot recall any similar promotions before everything hit the fan), other platforms explaining the problems with Best Buy lists (again nothing before the Woodford crash) and another well known platform promoting itself as an expert whilst completely ignoring the bad press it has been getting because of its involvement with the Woodford funds.
What a mess!
No wonder a large part of the public does not trust the financial services industry, and those who work in it.
Those who work in financial services often have an alphabet spaghetti of qualifications, 30+ years of experience, pin striped suits with red braces, or blue sweatshirts and jeans. And where does it get us? The afore mentioned mess.
I have over 34 years’ experience within financial services, some good qualifications, but no pinstriped suit, red braces or blue sweatshirt (and I leave my jeans for outside work). I think the following lyrics from Bruce Springsteen sum up the industry perfectly:
Gambling man roles the dice, working man pays the bill,
It’s still fat and easy up on Banker’s Hill,
Up on Banker’s Hill the party’s goin’ strong,
Down here below we’re shackled and drawn.
(Shackled & Drawn, Bruce Springsteen)
Bruce also wrote ‘We learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learnt in school’!
What is really sad is that amongst all the above adverts, opinions, and mess another article appeared;
‘British pensioners will run out of money before they die, senior economists warn.’
The World Economic Forum’s study suggests that British pensioners could run out of money 10 years before they die and will simply have to earn more if they want a comfortable retirement.
Is this the lifestyle people want? Probably not, but are they going to be confident to seek help from the financial services industry? Again, probably not.
Fortunately, there are good, genuine financial planners out there who could really help these people, if they were not tarred with the same brush.
Over the next few blogs, I am going to address the issues within the financial services industry, what causes them, why they are unlikely to go away and how a genuine financial planner can be an invaluable asset.
If you would like to find out how to plan a retirement free from the fear of running out of money please get in touch on 01661 860438 or email David at firstname.lastname@example.org
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