Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The IFA is dead, long live the IFA

In a side room of the Liberal Democrat conference last week, the traditional IFA was put on life support. Lord Newby stated in a satellite meeting that, “The traditional model of the IFA looks to me like a doomed species. I think there will be a drift away from old fashioned financial advice”.

He went on to say. “I hope people do take financial advice but they will want it free and they will want it delivered electronically.”

This may well be true of the old model, but at the same time in Newport the IFP was holding their annual conference. This collection of individuals represents the future of the industry. Life planners and chartered financial planners, who embraced RDR from the minute it was announced and are now using new technologies to engage with their customers and run a completely fee based model. This was a room of individuals harnessing the power of the web to ensure that the advice model adapts and changes and letting the world know through a vibrant hashtagged twitter stream.

Businesses like Informed Choice with its Brilliant with Money and recently launched Brilliant with Advice split option portals or Jackson’s whose MD Pete Matthew recently launched the completely free video based Meaningful Money .tv channel are looking to overlay free sensible advice with quality paid for financial planning.

This new model for advice is being supported and electronically enabled by businesses such as Paraplanplus whose Moneyscope product is about to launch. In addition the IFA focussed social network IFALife is growing exponentially to support the community and stimulate the growth in this new electronically enabled financial planning model. To facilitate that growth they launched their new iPhone app last week.

The IFA may be dying, but the future of ‘paid for’ financial advice is alive and kicking stronger than ever online.

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