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Real Financial Advisers And Opinions

I just listened to this great podcast which carries the provocative title "real financial advisers should always have an opinion" - although I might take issue with the word 'always' I would like to go with the main thrust of the argument. Hat tip: Tony Vidler. 

Advice means, in the current Financial Advisers Act: "...a recommendation or gives an opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing of (including refraining from acquiring or disposing of) a financial product." So clearly, you are not a financial adviser unless you give a recommendation or an opinion.

That is a worthwhile definition, not least because it is the law, but also because it matches client expectations.

Clients of advisers want advice. Calling yourself an adviser and not giving advice is probably misleading.

There are, of course, exceptions. From time to time a financial adviser will provide limited services: perhaps just execution-only, sometimes just class advice. But if these come to dominate their advice business I suggest a re-branding. 

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