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IFA and PAA Plan another joint conference

The concept of a National Adviser Conference works well, we think, so we were delighted to hear that the IFA and PAA are planning another joint conference. But I am conscious that our view is focused on being able to reach and talk with a large group of advisers all at the same time. You might have different priorities. So please drop me a line if you have a strong opinion on whether there should or should not be a joint conference. Link

Rob Stock Reports on Trail Commissions

Rob Stock has this article attacking 'money for nothing' payments on trail commissions on products where the adviser no longer has the right to advise on a product. Link

When this issue was first raised in Goodreturns last year I had several advisers approach me pointing out that the financial agreement between the investment or insurance company and the adviser was made years ago, and never included a stipulation that investment advice would be given. So, they say, 'what has the financial contract got to do with the current situation?' 

Rob Stock suggests it might cut prices:

"The costs of insurance could drop if calls to end 'money-for-nothing' annual commission payments to financial advisers who are no longer providing advice or service to clients are successful."

But it is very unlikely.

The number of products in the category being discussed is tiny. To provide some context, the premium in the affected category is between $80 million and $110 million, but this pales by comparison with the 1.986 billion not affected (Public FSC summary statistics to 30 June 2015).

Some of those old products are on ancient computer systems which cost a lot to maintain - when costs are properly allocated they may be making losses. I doubt very much that there would be much movement in actual premiums even for the specific products, let alone insurance in general. 

Income Protection - Spreading the Word UK

The Independent in the UK has an excellent article on the value of income protection insurance. I think the title says it all:

'It's the difference between make or break if you find you can't work'

But here is another great quote, which includes my personal minimum baseline for an effective insurance package: 

"More awareness raising is needed to show people what a difference this sort of cover can make. It often means the difference between keeping or losing the family home or getting access to the best care and support," Mr Hamilton warned

Insurance has a measurable effect if you got to keep the house. If you got paid out a bit but still lost the house I think that is a fail. 

 Link to the full article. 

AsteronLife launches LifeSnap

Asteron Life launched “Lifesnap” a questionnaire designed to help a client think about their financial risk protection priorities before meeting an adviser. It is a really interesting idea reflecting the discovery that online search often precedes offline purchase. Link here. 

This is an initiative aimed at clients in support of advisers, as they say on the site: 

You are unique. That's why off-the-shelf insurance might not fit you.

Talking to an adviser will help you focus on what's important to you, and it's even more effective with a little preparation. LifeSnap can help you with that.