Are IFAs Extinct?

Once upon a very long time ago, I had a proper fancy grown-up job, in a very posh office, in London's prestigious Mayfair no less.  Between my first degree and my Masters, I was a researcher in an executive search company, a kind of upmarket headhunters.  I wore suits and heels, had a very decent expenses account, dined in Conran restaurants (it was the '90s), and spent cocktail hours in fancy hotels.  At Christmas we were gifted Tiffany and Bollinger, and handed rather large bonus cheques; and in those days of plenty a significant large salary like mine necessitated the services of an Independent Financial Adviser.

I met two or three in fact, as it was difficult to find any who were truly independent.  After all, if company X is paying you more than company Y for recruiting a new client, which one are you going to go for?  I never did follow their advice, as doing my own research, even in those early Internet days, was reasonably easy.  Once you get a handle on the jargon, those financial prospectuses aren't that difficult to understand, honest!  I even did all right out of the investments I made.  Now long since spent on far more exciting things like MAs and world travel, of course!

What I did notice about those IFAs was that they all seem to come from the same mould: slightly greasy; middle-aged; a little bit too smarmy; and male.  Oh and they overuse your first name A LOT!

Luckily, these days everyone can be their own financial adviser, thankfully.  Just input your requirements into a few comparison sites and you can find the best life insurance or investment for you and your family, no smarmy chap required.  In fact, online life insurer Beagle Street have even gone so far as to suggest that IFAs are as extinct as the T-Rex, Triceratops and Velociraptor:

What do you think?  Farewell Financial Advisers?


  1. Pam Francis Gregory20 October 2014 at 14:50

    Some good points, but sometimes you need some extra help!


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