Day five million in the Big Brother house, and the contestants have started to eat each other. “This is normal,” says Suella, gnawing on a thigh bone. “I’m struck by how well everything is working,” says Dominic, popping a juicy eyeball into his dry, blackened mouth.
I’ve been looking for a long time for a positive comparator for the advice market – “yeah it’s disorganised but at least it’s not as bad as…” and I’ve sort of struggled to be honest, but happily this lot have sorted that right out for me. That’s the next batch of HILARIOUS talks sorted.
All the rest of us can do, I suppose, is get on with things, and there is pleasure to be found in that. I’m writing this in Edinburgh Airport this – well, this morning if you read the Update on Wednesday; a different time, relatively speaking, if you read it at another time, or – and this is where it gets complicated, siblings – right now if you’re me. I know, right? It all works because of quantum, basically, and it’s best not to ask too many questions. I’m quite looking forward to my day – off to do a Good Old Fashioned Pitch, in person no less – which really does have a reassuring whiff of proper normality about it.
Rich gave you a sneaky-peeky (© Antoine de Caunes) of State of the Adviser Nation last week, and this week I thought I’d carry on the tradition by giving you a wee flavour of what we’ll see in platform stats now everyone’s had time to tot up and send their data in. We can’t do it properly yet because some of the listed businesses have embargoes till 11th November, but the main headlines are RED RED RED RED RED OH MY GOD MOTHER BLOOD things are stable and secure SO MUCH RED WILL IT NEVER END and there is no cause for concern RED RED RED and, well, you get the idea.
A few have bucked the trend and when we publish soon you’ll see them very clearly (especially if you get our quarterly market insight pack; if you’d like that just stump up and subscribe to Analyser; we’ll throw it in for free). But most are RED RED RED – much of that is down to market movements of course, and that’s not the platforms’ fault. (“Mine neither,” says Liz, slicing a chunk of roasted rump off a former contestant.) But the real story will be net flows – not to spoil the surprise, but you’ll see some well-known names in quite unfamiliar territory.
I bumped into a planner this morning at the airport – this is actually true – and asked him a) for money and b) whether he was seeing more clients withdrawing their capital either due to market jitters or to help family with cost of living or whatever. His view was that no he wouldn’t give me any money and also no, withdrawals were normal, but there was just very little new business going on, and in fact quite a lot of firms (in his view) still weren’t out touting for new clients that much. I don’t know if that holds true for you – we’d love to hear from you about your experience over the last few months. Is it just a lack of new business? Are clients having to draw on their investments, not necessarily for themselves, but to help Little Horace and Jacinta out? We’ll include your views in the Q3 pack we send around the place.
Oh, and if you haven’t chipped in your views to State of the Adviser Nation yet, would you be kind enough to do so? We’re about 30 responses short of breaking our record and Steve has been promised a bumper pack of Lidl crisps if he manages it. And Steve likes crisps. You can find the survey here. Now pass me a bit of loin, would you, Penny? I could do with some stability.
COMPLETELY NORMAL LINKS
- I can’t face parsing regulation for you this week but it’s worth pointing out two big new Things from Stratford which is all part of the regulator making itself Completely Indispensable at a time of great uncertainty. I used to do that when restructures were happening back when I had proper jobs. Lots of purposeful walking about; some high quality folder work, plenty of emails. I might write a business book; wouldn’t be any worse than all the others. One is about stopping greenwashing, the other is about ‘big tech’ in financial services. To be honest, these are the sorts of regulatory publications which you can read about rather than plough through, so go do that.
- Are you at the PFS conference next week? If so come see a band I’m in play on the Tuesday evening. It’s called – distressingly this is true – Consumer Duty – and has Jenny Smyth from Verve on vocals, Chris Budd from, well, you know Chris, on guitar, Nigel Ross-Scott from PIMFA on bass, Ian Beestin from Money Alive on drums and me trying to keep up and sneaking in the odd Slayer riff on guitar. It’ll be more fun than it sounds. You can throw stuff if you want. We’ll have rehearsed by then, unless we find more interesting things to do.
- Some interesting breadcrumbs from Noel in this bit on Abrdn’s adviser businesses and the impact it has on the share price. Worth a read of Ruby’s piece.
- Monday marks the first big Consumer Duty deadline to have your implementation plans ready. We’re busy working on how Analyser can help, but in the meantime our own Alison Gay has put together some questions to be asking yourself as you form your plans – read more here.
- And your music choice this week – only one contender. You need some metal, and although you don’t know it you need metal with bagpipes, flute, harp and hurdy-gurdy. Step forward Swiss weirdos Eluveitie with their mighty new single Exile Of The Gods. I haven’t got to see Eluveitie live yet, but I will soon and I have a funny feeling it’s going to be one of the gigs of a lifetime.
Another cat will Update you next week as I’ll be off for an extended lie down after the Consumer Duty PFS gig. Be good.