Financial scams are sadly all too common, we cannot measure how much we save clients by helping them to avoid the many thieves, scammers and general loathsome low-lifes that are keen to part you from your money. Yet that is arguably one of the most significant aspects of my work – helping clients to avoid making mistakes, or at the very least, making fewer of them.
I had to admit to living in a bit of bubble within my sector. When I started as an adviser (1991) I thought most of them were crooks and little of my early experience of helping people get out of rubbish rip-off arrangements altered my opinion. Admittedly for a more complex set of reasons, I was acutely aware that when I turned up to events, my car was one of the “worst” in the car park. Others were doing much better… and frankly I thought I knew why.
Skip forward quite a few years and my opinion changed dramatically as a result of being part of the institute of Financial Planning (IFP) who are now the CISI. The people I met there were open, genuinely keen to help each other do a better job for our clients and were adamant that clients must be put first. This is the bubble that I have been in for quite a long time now. I forget, (because I tend not to come across them) that there are still a lot of horrid individuals who would raffle their family.
The Ark Scam
I have followed the Ark scam with some exasperation, these scams impact our regulatory fees (which rise as a result). In many senses they feel like rewarding failure, but I do appreciate that it’s not an easy job to stop every scam. However this morning I saw a tweet from a decent-minded adviser I know about a post from another. It is the very shocking and desperately disappointing story of Sue Flood’s experience with Ark and her pension. She has been failed miserably.
I would encourage you to read the item on Henry Tapper’s blog page. It is a verbatim script of her account of things from a meeting yesterday. I wish it were very different.
All I can say is that it is about time that some justice was provided to these 500 or so victims. The authorities responsible should wake up and get on with resolutions and bringing the crooks into the safety of prison.
It is this sort of stuff that we help clients avoid. There is a lot of it out there. Frankly Bitcoin is another and most of the rubbish that is covered in the press is decidedly bad for your wealth. Sue did just about as much as anyone could be reasonably expected to do, she checked out her adviser and everything seemed fine. As an industry (we still are) we have collectively failed many, many people like this.
You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org