Good reasons to be independent

Our predictions in 2011 and 2012 proved to be depressingly true:  the majority of the 'big players' have now abandoned any pretence of an independent status in relation to their advice model.

Indeed, the only real surprise has been the speed with which the monoliths have caved into the Restricted advice model.  You can read elsewhere our views on this.  Suffice it to say, that this is the kind of development we've seen occurring in the past, and it has very little to do with any desire to deliver improved financial outcomes for clients.

At ValidPath we have felt for a long time that the rationale for Restricted advice appears half-baked, ill-considered, and entirely focused on practitioners' financial aspirations.  And we think that the Independent advice model is incontrovertibly better - so why would you choose to offer your clients less?

Here's our top six reasons for remaining Independent following the implementation of RDR:
  1. It's about who you act for.  Only the Independent adviser can claim to be able to fully and unambiguously represent the interests of the client;
  2. It's about not placing yourself under undue constraints when acting for your clients.  Why wouldn't the conscientious adviser seek to be as free as possible from restrictions which might limit his or her ability to deliver the best possible solutions to his clients?
  3. It's about being free to deliver decent, impartial advice on legacy business, whilst avoiding a bias towards churning;
  4. It's about minimising the pressures on you to 'consolidate' all your clients' assets on to your network's platform of choice (usually linked to some kind of equity participation);
  5. The ICAEW has not watered down its stance on Independence.  The SRA has opted to allow Restricted Advice - but the Law Society is far from happy about this.  It remains the case that if you are seeking to build a referral stream from professional firms, genuinely independent practitioners will have a significant competitive edge, compared with the underwhelming proposition from Restricted advisers;
  6. There's actually no good reason for abandoning independence - ValidPath supplies our Members with the full, unrestricted version of DeFaqto Engage, the industrial-strength, whole-of-market research database so your due-diligence is 100% client-focused.