We’ve had a busy week with the launch of our branding spanking new service Boring Money Advice. A one-stop shop to find the best source of financial advice for you #drumroll
Our focus so far has been firmly placed on products. We’ve built the only ISA and pension comparison site in the UK to combine customer reviews, a pricing calculator and our independent opinion – and with 75,000 people checking this out over the last month alone it’s growing apace.
But we know from our mailbag that many of you need more than this. Boring Money Advice has evolved in part because of the emails you guys send me with your financial worries and woes! There’s a huge need for financial help and advice that is not being addressed.
From full-fat advice …..
At the top end of the wealth scale, some people are still struggling to find a traditional adviser who makes them feel comfortable, who is trustworthy and whose charging model fits their needs.
Some of you struggle to reconcile the fees charged with the service received.
"I would like to find an IFA who's happy to take a fixed fee or hourly rate for an annual meeting and/or ad hoc occasions we need advice, but it is tricky to stomach 1-2% fees on FUM for the current arrangement of a meeting if they remember to arrange it and a dull (not Boring!) Friday email from their CEO".
And the biggest spike in mails I’ve seen over the last 12 months are from women in their 50s and 60s who are going through a divorce or managing a sudden inheritance, coming face to face with a lump sum of money to manage, often for the first time. Initial encounters with advisers have left them underwhelmed and the most common request I get is for an intro to a female adviser who won’t patronise.
"Help! Please. Are you able to be or recommend a female IFA to help me figure out my modest post-divorce pension-share plus investments? I've gritted my teeth through too many meetings with usually married men who knew “... exactly what you need, little lady! Now don't you trouble your poor, old, greying head...”. Okay, so not exactly, but that definitely felt like the subtext".
….to more accessible digital advice
But with many financial advisers requiring a minimum of £75,000+ to take on a new client, where does that leave everyone else? What are your choices?
Robo advisers have been part of the landscape for a while. A ready-made investment portfolio which is managed for you and a good solution for people getting started or those who don’t want the faff. But there’s a new kid on the block in the form of digital advice, for people who want a bit more help along the way.
Digital advice is a hybrid model – it’s regulated advice, mostly given by a computer but with some human help on the side. Providers have worked out that unsurprisingly, many of us like the reassurance of a human being telling us we’re not doing anything daft with our money.
For example, Standard Life has a new digital advice service really aimed at people who are 55+ and coming up to retirement. With real people on the phones and an online model behind the scenes, it’s a lower cost way to get advice on the more thorny issue of pensions. Open Money is an interesting option for younger people with a bit less money who need some advice on a broad range of things including property. Our new Digital Advice tables show you some options in this space and try to identify who will suit who – have a look.
Our new site is a one-stop shop for all forms of advice for all wealth brackets. We’ve partnered with over 30 fantastic advisers for this launch, who have taken 100s of reader questions and provided answers. You can pick up tips and ideas from people who have asked similar questions to yours. Our One minute quiz will reveal the type of advice we suggest you investigate. Our robo advice and digital advice tables will help you choose a provider, or our Adviser directory will help you find an adviser who sounds like a decent, suitably-qualified person to approach.
We’re currently small but hopefully beautifully formed – there are some cracking advisers in that list today so please check them out, read their answers – and please get over any Gen X/Boomer scepticism some of you might have about ‘liking’ things online ;0) – by liking helpful answers you will help us to become more relevant and useful, working out what content you need and find helpful!
Thanks to everyone who has had a squizz already. We had a question earlier from someone called Piers on retirement planning. A chap called Charles wanted to know about amending wills. And a lady called Oprah on managing a sudden windfall. Keep ‘em coming!
Have a lovely weekend