The changes that are being imposed on IFAs by the FSA as a result of RDR that is due to begin from 2013 are wide and varied. Perhaps the most obvious question to ask is “at the end of all this, who will use an IFA?”. Therein lies a question prompting a plethora of responses and business models. An equally important question is – who will not be able to use an IFA? (because we will all be charging fees). The short answer is – most people and probably anyone that doesn’t pay 40% (or more) income tax. This is of course an issue that I have had at the heart of the business since I formed it in 1999, but new for most IFAs.

So I was intrigued by one of todays PFS topics about segmenting your client bank a strategy apparantly an outcome of RDR. I can’t stand being put in a marketing box and frankly doubt anyone else can either. Yet marketeers continue to attempt to redefine what we all know by meeting people and frankly I think that most of it is complete hogwash. So much is read into consumer spending and responses to telephone surveys that ask questions like “do you have a private pension?” yet I dare say that most respondents are fairly flippant in their answers… “Do you have any investments?” asks the market researcher… something tells me that I’ll say what you want to hear or say no, just to stop you from flogging me something.

Surely people are alike and different. We are much more complex than the surveys would have us reduced to. Who would I prefer to advise? well surely its obviously people that WANT my help and can afford to pay for it. People like my existing clients, who knows people like my existing clients?… my existing clients. Surely that is the marketing (based upon delivering results and service) that any business needs.. or am I being too simplistic?

Anyone fancy a mailshot?…. give me strength.

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