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Hargreaves: 84% of investors plan to go without advice

by Alex Steger on Jan 03, 2013 at 07:59

Hargreaves: 84% of investors plan to go without advice

Nearly 85% of investors plan to make all, or the majority of, their own investment decisions without using a financial adviser, according to execution-only platform provider Hargreaves Lansdown.

According to research by Hargreaves only 4% of investors would look to use a financial adviser to help them make decisions.

The research was based on 1,132 responses to a Hargreaves survey of clients and non-clients.

Hargreaves said the rise in self investing was due to the increased availability of information and access to research needed to make financial decisions.

It said: ‘The internet provides investors with access to virtually all the information and research they need, plus the services to buy most products.’

Danny Cox (pictured), Hargreaves head of advice, said: ‘In the past, investors have often been presented with advice as the only option. In our experience when most people say they want advice, what they actually need is information to help them to make their own decisions.

‘Today, the vast majority of financial decisions can be made without the need to pay for financial advice and most people plan to manage all or part of their finances themselves.’

Cox said advice remained important and benefitted investors.

‘Investors should seek advice if they lack the confidence or time to do the necessary research themselves,’ he said. ‘In the more complex areas, such as transferring final salary pensions or estate planning, investors are more likely to benefit from advice.’

Hargreaves argued that the retail distribution review was likely to further boost the growth of DIY investing.

Its survey found that 62% of investors were aware of the regulatory changes, even if they did not know the details.

58 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Jan 03, 2013 at 08:18

Nearly every "survey" l've looked at over the last 5 years has had the questions designed to get the answers required by those paying for it.

Q: Would you be prepared to pay a little more for your train journey to work if you were guaranteed to get a seat ??

SURVEY RESULT : Commuters are prepared to pay more for their daily train journey.

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Ed via mobile

Jan 03, 2013 at 08:26

Shock! Survey of exection only broker's clients reveals the majority intend to be.... execution only. This isn't an independent piece of research.

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Jan 03, 2013 at 08:30

@ Anitaki....completely agree.

100% of the clients I have discussed the changes under RDR have agreed to continue with ongoing service & fees so where does that leave the HL survey?

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Paul Barnard

Jan 03, 2013 at 08:32

What rubbish. I agree with the previous two responses. We have run an RDR model for the last 5 years and for our clients there will be no change and this model never dissuaded any new clients from investing previously nor will it in the future. Perhaps Hargreaves can commission (pun intended) a survey which says that 99% of people think that their execution only broker should hang on to the bungs they get from the fund houses for pushing their funds.

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Graeme Ferguson

Jan 03, 2013 at 08:35

Hardly even worth commenting on this Junk survey...but great free advertising

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Jan 03, 2013 at 08:38

Obviously if you ask 100 DIY investors if they need advice, they will answer NO.

My research of DIY investors who come to our firm for niche financial advice regarding emigration is that their portfolio performance is very poor because their behavioural investing habits. 'Buy high, sell low' is the most encountered habit.

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Laurence Monaghan

Jan 03, 2013 at 08:42

‘Today, the vast majority of financial decisions can be made without the need to pay for financial advice and most people plan to manage all or part of their finances themselves..............'

Ahh! so that's why we had to take all those exams.

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Jan 03, 2013 at 08:45

This propaganda amuses me.

"Of 1,132 clients surveyed, (of which 1,092 are already using the execution only platform because they have too much time on their hands in retirement, but not enough money to take cruises) 96% of them said they were going to continue to make their own investment decisions.

No great surprises.

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Jan 03, 2013 at 08:46

How much credibility should we give to comments from the 'Head of Advice' in a firm that is allegedly 'Execution-only'? Given Mr Cox's remarks, should his role be re-named as 'Head of Information'? It's also interesting to note that H-L seems to quite blase about giving advice on transferring FS pensions...

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Hugh Malcolm Morton

Jan 03, 2013 at 09:06

Yes, no one needs advice if they don't get a full explanation as to why this might be of benefit. We engaged a client last year who was receiving 'advice' and when we talked about the investments they held and what advice they were given, the answer was 'they showed me a list of 150 funds they recommended and suggested I chose from them'. There was no mention of spreading their money in different types of assets just different funds with similar risk.

If this is their advice no wonder people are happy to do themselves.

I'm sure HL are very happy with this so they can continue to receive commission they don't declare fully.

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Craig Phillips

Jan 03, 2013 at 09:11

Funnily enough when we release actual independent research the media doesn't necessarily cover it. Big brands get heard no matter what they throw up...

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David Curley Dip extrodinaire

Jan 03, 2013 at 09:34

Bearing in mind Danny's own survey figures, as 'Head of Advice' I presume he will be leaving HL soon as he will be made redundant !

It seems to me that HL are using the same tactics as the female beauty and hair producers do on tv 85% of 126 surveyed said it made their skin/hair softer, This in a market that runs into millions of potential users. I would not use it the stuff until thousands proved it did not make my hair fall out.

HL are in a minority market and there are sufficient members of the public who want ,need and are prepared to pay for our skill guidance and advice, so I will not be worrying about Danny just trying to get in the press first for the new year, he has just shown himself up.

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Smithling via mobile

Jan 03, 2013 at 09:51

Newsflash, 96% of vegetarians say they will not be eating meat this year.

All I read here is that 4% of HL's clients feel their service is inadequate on it's own and will

be looking for advice this year. Sorry HL, your PR firm needs changing.

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Gillian Cardy

Jan 03, 2013 at 10:30

"HL survey conducted at a cost of £x confirms FSA survey conducted one year earlier at a cost of £y : 16% of the UK adult population does / would receive financial advice."

How gratifying that two surveys from wildly different backgrounds and with the potential skew from surveying HL's own EO clientbase come up with exactly the same figure.

Anyway - that translates to 6.4m adults which evenly distributed around 24,000 or so advisers comes up with round 250 clients per adviser which is the number of advised clients that most advisers say they feel comfortable with dealing with on a regular basis.

This is a good news (or no news?) story then!!

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Gordon Hay

Jan 03, 2013 at 10:35

I really think some journalist should really dig into the so called "discount" broker HL. Yes, some funds have discount initial fees however their TER's are very high and in almost every case I have looked at a decent IFA, with advice paid for, can undercut them and provide a financial planning service as well.

Just look at HL's own multi mananger funds, they highlight "discount" and zero initial charge on the front page, but look behind and you'll see they carry a 5% bid / offer spread (even the bond funds) and TER's between 1.61% and 1.87%.

The b/o spread is charged by HL NOT the underlying fund, so with £2.5bn in these funds this is where they make their money.

If a client has a HL portfolio it is very easy to analyse it and explain the true costs of this "discount" broker, which is higher than an IFA in most cases.

Do not be frightened of these guys, RDR is exposing their true cost and giving us a real chance to go after this lazy investment money

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Mark Angus

Jan 03, 2013 at 10:43


Absolutely correct.

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Bridge North

Jan 03, 2013 at 11:07

Agree with Gillian Cardy.

The Charles Schwab of the UK is going to allow me the chance to win an Audi if I do business with them. Course I don't need advice because Audis are great.

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neil jacobs

Jan 03, 2013 at 11:26

I think lot's of people will do it themselves, he's right.

The problem is that most of them will just make bad or ill conceived decisions and end up wishing they had taken advice. How can anyone that's 5 years from retiring with 5 pensions in different places with different firms and structures possibly find enough information on line to come to the right conclusion when you bear in mind all the crap we have to document to justify the action we advised. It's just ludicrous.

I think lots of people looking to do ISA's or Bonds will go it alone though. Good luck the public.

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Ian Plymouth

Jan 03, 2013 at 11:35

Survey your existing DIY investors and 84% say they will continue.

Similarly ask IFA's to post their response on here and they will say the opposite.

My own view is that existing clients with larger investments will continue with paying for advice.

What will change is middle England who probably wont pay, and more to the point wont have any money to invest either.

New investment is generally created through money from property sales.

Pensions have been churned to death, there cant be many left to move.

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Paul Barnard

Jan 03, 2013 at 11:42

If they are the same ones who would INSIST on putting all their PEP allowance into TMT in 1999/2000, and DEMANDED endowment mortgages in the 90's because they were cheaper than repayment mortgages, then I hope they do "do it themselves" then they can't blather on later about how they were "mis-sold"

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Michael Brown

Jan 03, 2013 at 11:50

Yes, people do have the right and let them get on with it.

I try not to let people know my work and they aften tell me how they do their investments and with a little questioning I mostly find out that 8 years later still in the same funds with no other action taken. This usually resiults in complaining that the fund manager has underperformed and not them!

What comes around goes around and when they come back to seek advice that is when the penny dropst, in the majority of cases what fools they have been

These people used to fix their own cars because they new best and it was chweaper when in reality the costs became larger as time went on.

You get what you pay for and as GC says 250 clients is enough to work with!.

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The ssinnic

Jan 03, 2013 at 12:12

As one who 'does his own', I do have to acknowledge that one of these days I may be too ancient or out of touch to make my decisions as well as in the past. For me it is important to know whom to contact if that becomes the case and I have spent quite a lot of time researching some of the IFAs who frequent this board. Some of them are very good. I respect greatly their opinions.I may well use them. But there is an overriding feeling that many solutions offered are too stereotyped, based on shallow thinking, and too many seem to offer advice with very little wealth experience of their own. I don't really think every IFA has to be a multi-millionaire to qualify, but I'm not sure I want someone telling me what to do who is in debt up to the eye-balls or runs a company on a shoe-string, and I know of some IFAs in this category! There have been too many instances of "phoenixing" in the IFA market place and I shudder to think of the advice some of these give! I recently posed a very tricky pensions question on this board and found only three or four IFAs able to offer realistic, knowledgeable solutions. That was a bit disturbing!

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The ssinnic

Jan 03, 2013 at 12:17

@Michael Brown

Oh dear!

People like me might take people like you seriously if you could at least learn how to spell and check what you say before publishing your opinion.

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Michael Brown

Jan 03, 2013 at 12:36

@The ssinnic

I thank you for your kind comments. Sometimes the good old spell checker does not work to well but the knowledge and views are most important.

However, for your case I have redone this, but the first entry got a reply from you, did it not? Sometimes marketing has to be put differently to get results.

Yes, people do have the right and let them get on with it.

I try not to let people know my work and they often tell me how they do their investments and with a little questioning I mostly find out that 8 years later still in the same funds with no other action taken. This usually results in complaining that the fund manager has underperformed and not them!

What comes around goes around and when they come back to seek advice that is when the penny drops, in the majority of cases what fools they have been.

These people used to fix their own cars because they knew best and it was cheaper when in reality the costs became larger as time went on.

You get what you pay for and as GC says 250 clients is enough to work with!

With regards to your comment 3/4 IFA's suitable. This is a forum and advice costs, you would not really expect all advice from us for free, or would you?

If you want advice please talk to some advisers and then make a decision as to what you want to do.

I do agree some advisers leave something to be desired and this is down to the individual to sort the Wwheat from the Chaff"


I do this when looking for other workmen and make my decision based on knowledge of their performance and recommendations.

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Paul Barnard

Jan 03, 2013 at 13:10

I too was surprised that any IFA on this forum would have offered free "advice" to a question posed herein without recourse to all the facts and background. I hate poor spelling, but have you, SSINIC (and you berate others for spelling?) considered that some people may be dyslexic and most people stopped thinking that this meant that they were somehow less able many years ago?

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Jonathan Kirby

Jan 03, 2013 at 13:46

@ the ssinnic

Although it is down to Citywire (who I have asked before to restrict access to those NMA is aimed at), quite why you should feel that you are entitled to read and comment on these NMA pages when you are not a professional adviser is open to question.

Citywire has a section for the general public and this is not it.

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Clive B

Jan 03, 2013 at 17:23

@ Jonathan Kirby

As another of those damn lay people, where does it say NMA is only for professionals, rather than the articles are more targetted at professionals ?

I had to laugh. Guess you'll be telling us next when we go to other financial websites and it says "click here to enter only if you're an IFA (or whatever)" we're not supposed to read it ? Yeah, as if !.

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Jan 03, 2013 at 18:38

Well said Clive B....

Maybe people have had enough financial advise,from goverments,banks,etc..and now feel that they want to be in control.Using an online site like HL lets them feel empowered,and i DO realise that most people would be better off going to an IFA. Anyway, just another lay oppinion Jonathan...

By the way ,if i went to 100 IFA's,how many different oppinions would i be given on what to do with my money.......?? Would every IFA oppinion be right and the other 99 all be wrong...?

People feel let down by the financial sector, and IFA are being "lumped" in with that feeling,wether they deserve too or not. How many time have i heard retired people bemoaning about how small their personal pensions have turned out.

People just want to feel more in control of their future, and sites like HL will just clean up i think .

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Clive B

Jan 03, 2013 at 18:52


What struck me when I read the entries here from the professionals, was that they all claimed to give good advice, worth paying for, and the charges were reasonable (compared to the benefit to the client). No mention of putting forward investments purely for the commission.

Now, I'm sure they are lots of good honest advisers out there. Perhaps all of those contributing here are in that category.

But, if I was a professional, I'd be asking myself

-why do a large percentage of the public see our profession as untrustworthy

-why was RDR thought necessary in order to reduce/stop mis-selling of investments.

Seems (still) to be a gulf between how advisers see themselves and how the public view them.

I use a discount broker (Best Invest), but has never occurred to me to ask them for advice. Comments made in the past suggest they're too "textbook" in their thinking, e.g. you must have money in Japan, despite the fact it's looked like a basket case for 20 years.

I think the test for discount brokers will come if/when discount brokers and/or platforms come under RDR. Believe that may be in 2014. Happy to be corrected by the professionals if I'm wrong.

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Jan 03, 2013 at 19:27

Points well made...

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Gordon Hay

Jan 03, 2013 at 21:02

I think some of the "lay folk" on here make very interesting comments.

HL have done what few IFAs have managed and delivered a mass service the public want. It may be dressed up as discount when it is actually dearer than many thnink but the public are buying it. I compare it to DFS, selling an overpriced product on easy payment terms and we know how popular DFS is.

However, to keep the analogy going, we don't want to compete for DFS customers, we see ourselves more specialist than that which is why IFAs should not fear HL or anyone else, we are simply offering different sevices. Just see how John Lewis / Waitrose/ M&S survive in a cut price market to see how value often matters more than price.

For clients seeking genuine independent advice its now a regional player game, bit like good accountants and solicitors.

HL are good at what they do but they are far from cheap, much cheaper in the market (although no free pens!!) - just see how their previous cheer leaders on the financial press have turned against them and their much vaunted Wealth 150.

There is space for everyone but all IFAs can learn a lesson from HL about delievering what the clients want - and then price really doesn't matter that much

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Ian Plymouth

Jan 03, 2013 at 21:20


very valid points

HL customers had already decided to 'buy'. The service they provide is worthwhile, had been good value and will now be more competitive as others enter the market.

For many people, HL are offering 'money back' as opposed to IFAs charging whether you do or do not 'buy'.

I am not sure yet about the outcome of RDR, but by comparison:

1) accountants you see once a year for accounts and tax returns - they are a necessity not a buying choice.

2) aside from conveyancing, solicitors you see only when you need them out of necessity

IFA's you saw previously because their services were 'free'

That has changed. We wont know the outcome for 2 years. My guess is there will be less IFAs, offering better services.

Is offering financial advice sustainable as a business model - don't know.

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The ssinnic

Jan 03, 2013 at 22:39

@Gordon Hay.

You are right and people like me, who by the way have every right to make comment on this board, however unpalatable to some, do a great deal of their shopping at JL, W/R and of course M&S, all of whom deserve our trust because they have earned our respect and provide us with what we want...not what they try and make us want! I suspect we also buy a good deal of basics at Lidl and Aldi who also provide us with what we require. In turn there is a movement by the discerning away from also rans like Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury...only small just yet but growing all the time, I suspect.

IFAs have only one decent product: advice! Without that they may as well pack in tomorrow. They will certainly have to if they don't realise such a basic fact. Sorry if you can't take it on..it's a tough old world out there! For those of you who can provide it though, I suspect you will not only survive but prosper.

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Clive B

Jan 03, 2013 at 22:55

@ Gordon Hay

re: "There is space for everyone but all IFAs can learn a lesson from HL about delievering what the clients want"

I agree with that and your analogy with John Lewis is very apt (selling on service, at higher margins, deliberately not trying to be mass market with the cheapest price). Whatever the adviser model, it hinges on whether the client goes away feeling they got value for money, would return and recommend the service to others.

Will be interesting (to me at least) to see whether the discount broker model - HL, Best Invest etc - survives in its current form once RDR changes kick in.


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Mr Balis

Jan 04, 2013 at 10:33

To me it just shows that 170 (15%) of their clients don't like them! which is quite a statement....

Maybe they should re-think!

I'm all for DIY as it's your hard earned money and you rightfully dispose of it as you see fit.... you might as well use it as toilet paper!

Unfortunately, I thik most people do so because they don't trust the IFA's and end up loosing their money because they're not informed.

One of my friends, placed money on a bond picking up info off a web site of DIY investor and went on to complain to the platform because he lost money.....

Same as some IFA run out of client because they're too confident and don't listen to the clients need.

I think everyone, in the end, will get what he deserves

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Jonathan Kirby

Jan 04, 2013 at 11:27

@ Clive B

To answer your question, NMA is:

"The site for professional financial planners"

That is what is says on the link from Citywire.

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Clive B

Jan 04, 2013 at 11:51

@ Jonathan Kirby

As an intended audience, I'd agree with you. However, that's not the same as saying it's ONLY for professional financial planners.

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Clive B

Jan 04, 2013 at 11:54

In fact, given that restricting entry is very easy, one assumes Citywire are happy for the great unwashed (e.g. me) to be using the NMA part of the site.

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Jonathan Kirby

Jan 04, 2013 at 12:01

@ Clive B & the Ssinnic

Further to the above if you look at FAQs below the comment box it expands on this under the which section is right for me heading:

"New Model Adviser is for the growing community of financial advisers seeking to modernise and professionalise their businesses around holistic financial planning, and is produced by the team behind New Model Adviser® magazine".

The point I would make is that the Money section is designed for the general public and as with promotional material, much of what is distributed to IFA's comes with a warning, 'This is for investment professionals only and should not be relied upon by private investors' so there is a very real danger that comments may be construed as advice. The ssinnic has already admitted to posing pension questions hoping to get just that.

I accept that some private investors have a great deal of knowledge, but we often end up picking up the pieces when DIY goes badly wrong which is why NMA like many websites should be restricted to those it is intended for so that free and frank discussion may take place.

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Michael Brown

Jan 04, 2013 at 12:16

@ Clive B & the Ssinnic

Would you open your "website" in the hope of attracting other people apart from your own needs? The answer would be yes as NMA needs adverts and what a better way than to say we have X amount of people logged onto its own blog. NMA is a commercial enterprise. Perhaps NMA should ask and check our FSA numbers before allowing non-professionals to go to the profession site, how about it NMA?

Unfortunately there are unscrupulous people who always take advantage where their knowledge is non-existent and do not want to pay for advice. This is the new world.

Clive if you look carefully at complaints it is the banks etc who are greatly to blame. I accept that some other advisers do not "fit the Bill". However, in any industry there are always some who do not conform to the norm. Hopefully RDR has removed a majority.

@Julian I am in your corner here 100% - well said.

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Clive B

Jan 04, 2013 at 12:19

@ Jonathan Kirby

"...which is why NMA like many websites should be restricted to those it is intended for "

Clearly, that's your view and I have no problem with that. However, as I said previously, it would be a simple matter for Citywire to have done that and they've clearly chosen not to. Therefore, I see nothing "wrong" in myself and others viewing the material and/or contributing.

"we often end up picking up the pieces when DIY goes badly wrong". No doubt you do. Tongue in cheek, I might ask who picks up the pieces when advisers get it wrong ? Oh, that'll be the client.

Though discount brokers like HL run a different model to you guys, at least they run some funds so that we can measure their performance and not just judge them on what they say. Would be interesting if advisers published examples of what they'd advised (e.g. as portfolios) and what the performance had been. Then we might see how top end DIY investors (not me !) performed against low end advisers.

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Jonathan Kirby

Jan 04, 2013 at 12:31

@ Clive B

" Would be interesting if advisers published examples of what they'd advised (e.g. as portfolios) and what the performance had been."

Obviously we can't publish confidential details of individual portfolios, but our clients get exactly that with individual fund profit and loss accounts so that you can see in cash an percentage terms how each fund has performed from purchase to review date or to switching out.

There is nowhere to hide in this day and age and having looked at what is produced by HL etc., it is not a patch on the tools we have available for analysing past performance and more important, future potential.

I certainly don't wish to offend you or any 'non-professional', and I agree that it is down to Citywire, but one of these days there will be a problem when someone uses as a defence in a complaint 'I read it on New Model Adviser'.

Citywire take note.

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Michael Brown

Jan 04, 2013 at 12:49

@Clive B and other non professionals

This is exactly what we, like Julian, do and possibly a bit more as we review quarterly with recommendations etc. You get what you pay for.

Taking Julian's last comment a bit further I await the first complaint made by an investor from a recommendation from not only NMA but also the papers!

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Gordon Hay

Jan 04, 2013 at 13:01

@ Clive B

Recently undertook some work on this very subject and comparitive performance is NOT readily available on the HL managed funds on the HL site.

Looked elsewhere at the HL MM Strategic Bond fund (£1/2 billion in there !) and not only is it one of the fewbond funds to charge a 5% bid / offer spread to get into but has also underperformed consistently and is 3rd quartile against its peer group, with the last returns being 40th from 70 over 1 year and 55 from 59 over 3 years.

Not the sort of fund that would make the HL Wealth 150 I think ?

Their other inhouse funds, with the exception of the Special Sits which has just become first quartile, have not flattered.

As I said, they have mastered the financial marketing side but often the results do not stand up to scrutiny - just see their full on promotion of the Bolton China Fund launch !!

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Jan 04, 2013 at 13:04


We pick up the tab by the ever increasing levies we face.

Now get off the NMA site and back to the public citywire please. Thank you.

@ JK & MB - agree NMA should be for advisers only, would need more than FSA numbers though as anyone can access these

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Clive B

Jan 04, 2013 at 13:22

@ Billy

Thanks for the "offer' (Now get off the NMA site and back to the public citywire please), but as long as Citywire leave it open, I'll have to decline.

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Clive B

Jan 04, 2013 at 13:40

@ Gordon Hay

Sorry, should have said - I was talking about data available in Morningstar (may be others).

But, you're right, they're hardly outstanding. The day I can't beat them, I might sign up for one of their managed portfolios !.

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Julian Stevens

Jan 04, 2013 at 16:14

To Paul Barnard at 13.:10 yesterday ~ Please give generously for Daily Sex.

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Simon Mansell

Jan 04, 2013 at 17:51

How do you conduct a pension transfer into a SIPP on an execution only basis i.e. without advice? Ask HL they do it all the time!

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Jan 05, 2013 at 17:47

I am another "non-professional" in the sense I do not get paid to give financial or investment advice. I use HL (also BestInvest and Saxo) which, contrary to the opinions of some of the (ill informed) professionals on this site, does offer independent advice. I use HL to buy securities and I do my own research.

When I need financial advice I get it from a properly qualified Chartered Financial Planner, who charges me a fee.

I have visited this site for a number of years to find out what is actually happening in the financial advice industry. NMA has been a really good read in recent years what with the run up to RDR and the failure of so many funds recommended by PROFESSIONAL financial advisers. The value destruction has been epic.

I think it is hysterical when PROFESSIONAL financial advisers, you know, the ones now (fabulously) qualified to the equivalent of the first year of a degree course, complain when the general public come onto the NMA site and actually have the cheek to confront them.

There have been occasional and interesting spats on this board, usually involving niche type investments, where some of the PROFESSIONALS have clearly demonstrated a distinct lack of knowledge. This is the reason why we non-professionals challenge some of the things we are told when we have the knowledge or the experience.

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The ssinnic

Jan 06, 2013 at 08:59


So well put I wish to echo the sentiment and add that when people who are by no means professionals start assuming that they are then it's always time to look at their claims. and that is what is happening, people like me don't see why some of the lesser IFAs on this board should have the audacity to assume that we don't know how to boil our own eggs.

Just because I might eat out in a restaurant occasionally doesn't prevent me from taking an interest in Nigella's recipe's and trying them myself!

Some of you need to grow up!

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Martin Millen via mobile

Jan 06, 2013 at 12:25

Years ago people used to buy a Haynes manual and service/repair their own cars. Despite now having access to detailed videos on YouTube is there a massive increase in people avoiding expensive car garages?

With something as important as my car I prefer to leave it to a mechanic but then I don't have message bombarded at me that I could or should repair my own car. As an industry we should be pushing to educate the public on the reasons and advantages of using a professional advisor to manage something as important as their finances. How can we do that better?

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Fund of Funds

Jan 06, 2013 at 12:49

When you pay for advice from HL all you get is most of your money put into their own multimanager funds. Not good value for money and not active management of your funds. They were slow to react to the 2008 crisis and their funds lost a lot of money. With execution only there are a lot of new kids on the block offering in some cases a refund of all of the annual renewal fees which HL only return a small percentage. This can make a huge difference to your future pension fund.Look around at the competitors in 2013.

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Jan 06, 2013 at 17:38

Martin Millen...........totally agree...even though i am one of the great unwashed on here,that some would not want our opinions voiced ,how can we do better should be the basis for any job that involves customer sevices/care.......Maybe some on here would do better to appreciate that an IFA works for ME,not i work for THEM........

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Ian Plymouth

Jan 06, 2013 at 18:10

HL was a kitchen table business, look where they have taken it, providing something of :

1) Value for money

2) What people wanted

Their success is due to their efforts/marketing/service. The owners are no fools.

IFA's have an awakening, there will be new business models coming into the market, at much lower cost than the ridiculous hourly fees being bandied about.

How someone can call themselves an expert having put off until it was absolutely necessary to pass a first year degree equivalent baffles me.

It has taken me 7 years to qualify in architecture,a further 2 years to complete a post grad and MA and now 2nd year's into Ph'd, with 2 more years to go. I do not yet class myself as an 'expert'.

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Jan 06, 2013 at 21:14

@ Fund of Funds - of course HL funds lost money in 2008. If you're a Fund Manager you have to remain invested, you can't just tear up the investment policy for the fund because the markets are tanking. Presumably you reacted very quickly and got your clients out? That is your job, after all. And, by the way, why on earth would I want "active management", the benefits of which are a complete fallacy?

@ Martin Millen - your point is well made. But I have little sympathy for IFA who have been scrabbling to become RDR compliant in the past three to six months, which has been the main bitch on NMA. RDR is in the best interests of clients and advisers as ultimately the contraction in the market will produce well run and profitable businesses, which will be a refreshing change. To answer your specific question, I have always believed that IFA undersell the value of financial planning, which you mostly know plenty about and oversell investment advice which you mostly know jack about. IFA have always purported to "sell a service" so not much has changed and your best clients will pay your fees if they actually value your advice. Time for the acid test?!!

@ssinnic - a bit of constructive, if barbed, feedback never hurt anyone, did it?!!

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Michael Brown

Jan 07, 2013 at 16:00


I note your comment which I feel encompasses all IFAs for some reason?

Complete fallacy of active management you obviously know better here. As one would have thought getting out of the market was a part of active management?

A large amount of IFAs have been RDR for many years so one brush stroke should not include all as your comments seem to indicate.

Again to report other comments made earlier in this blog. This site is for professional advisers so as you are not why remain?

I also agree with your last comment. Over to you here!

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Jan 07, 2013 at 16:16

@ Michael Brown

You may wish to re-read what I posted with regard to active management in the context of the post from @Fund of Funds.

While a large amount have been RDR ready, I suggest that is still a minority of all advisers.

I am here because it is an interesting space to visit.

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