I do indeed have almost-complete confidence in IFAs, but unfortunately it’s confidence in a bad way.Â I have almost-complete confidence that when confronted with an opportunity to a) do the right thing for their clients and b) do some good to their own businesses, the IFA community will turn their noses up at it in droves.
Today’s example is to do with Child Trust Funds (CTFs) in particular, and children’s savings in general.Â According to a supplement in today’s Investment Adviser marking the seventh anniversary of the launch of CTFs, only 10% of IFAs are raising the subject of CTFs within their general client fact-find, and only 22% claim to be “very interested” in the whole subject of children’s savings.
The reasons for this distinct lack of enthusiasm are obvious enough.Â Â IFAs like large investments paying lots of commission (either initial or renewal or, ideally, both) and they perceive children’s savings at the opposite end of both these spectrumsÂ – small investments paying little commission.
The truth is that a) getting into aÂ discussion with affluent people about their children is at leastÂ 20 times easier than getting into aÂ discussion with affluent people about themselves, and b) helping clients and prospects with the financial needs of other close family members is the right thing to do.
But, as I say, for the large majority of independent financial advisers, ignoring considerations like these is the kind of instinctiveÂ reaction that’s helped them build the great businesses they have today.