The Beast from the East... 
Office closure! More ...
Phishing and the Wild West 
Recent experiences prompt this one More ...
Unsupportable conclusions 
On train delays and MiFID II More ...
Food for Thought 
Thoughts in preparation for our CIP review More ...
Cashflow forecasts and the GAD 
Reflections on the latest QR of the National Insurance Fund More ...
Your Xmas Video Treat 
MiFID Matters 
The Beeb and the Tata Steel Pension Scheme 
What's in a word? 
Snog Marry Avoid 
The judicious use of incentives 
The FCA, webform design and TCF 
Undue influence 
On setting the bar 
Weighing the data 
On the joy of not failing
Disruptive Innovation 
A day in Pictures 
Just. Walk. Away 
Self-Subverting Regulation
Working on your business 
The Stuff of Nightmares 
How to lose your majority 
The Assessing Suitability Review 
Financial Crime + AML 
A strange interaction 
How 'thick' is your proposition? 
Quick-Start Your Proposition 
A reason to celebrate 
It's OK to be a capitalist 
The Case for Cashflow 
There's always a crash 
Somewhere, close to the brink 
The Persistent Elephant 
Mind the gap 
Merry Christmas 
The ease of negligence 
Brexit: we need entertaining! 
Red sky in the morning... 
Sustainable, or...? 
Advertising and Attention-Span 
Complexity + client understanding 
A world where 
Dreaming the dream 
Eve and the Apple
For goodness sake 
Too good to be true? 
Wake up to a new world 
Data in, data out 
Don't be like Yodel 
A little nostalgia is a good thing 
Welcome to my world 
Sorry to brag, but... 
Complaint-Management Models 
Intimations of mortality 
The wonderful world of regulatory permissions 
From alert to supervisory action 
Due-diligence, suitability and all that 
Regulation, the one-way street
The old ways persist
There is sweet irony here... 
'Wot's compliance ever done for us?' 
A man who made his mark 
Messy world planning 
Teabags and Data-Disconnect 
2016: Onwards and Upwards 
On 'Doing Network' 
Tis the season to be whinging 
Futile Forecasting Frustration 
On being deliberate 
Data Matters 
Over a lifetime 
Your money is safe 
What's going on at the FCA? 
The BT Engineer cometh 
Robot IFA, here we come? 
Rethinking the basics 
Independent...or what?
What you write matters 
Be careful out there! 
Crimes against information 
Realism not Cynicism 
A Question of Trust 
Choices, promises and client experience 
Where's Value? 
Just Say No 
Too bright to look at? 
Compliance + Subjectivity 
Fostering the critical mind 
The sidelining of the client 
There be Bear-Traps 
Threats to Sustainability 
2015, Looking Forwards
Merry Christmas! 
Regulation's working... 
Innovation and Self-Service 
The Challenge of Due Diligence 
The joy of Notes 
Re-Evaluating Rebalancing 
It's all joined-up 
Lights, cameras, action, EIS... 
Row over EU 'interim levy' 
Fences make uncomfortable seating
Adviser Mood Swings Need an Explanation
Choppy waters? 
 What's your number?
Is it a maze? 
The risk of risk 
Picking the winners 
All you need is love ...
It's a State of Mind
Face to face with the FCA 
Surprised by excellence 
Afloat in the Sea of Ambiguity?
Independence +
Does A Fund's ACD really matter? 
The Future's Bright, the Future's Orange? 
2 + 2 = 4 (or does it?) 
What's smart about smart beta?
Even Marcus needs wellies 
PIMS and the place for products 
Ethical Professionals 
Trusted Adviser...or what? 
Never out of fashion 
Customer Service! 
Adviser Charges - the FCA Thematic Review 
On Not Advising on Mortgages
Ennui about Annuities? 
Where there's a Will... 
Your Proposition 
Justifying our existence 
Getting there safely 
A Network perspective
How to look forwards
The point of promises
Auto-Enrolment Implications
Happy New Year
It's almost Christmas
Merry Christmas to All!
Behold...the new marketplace
What's your commute like?
The illusion of choice
The lust of the eyes
A legacy food nostalgia trip
A good read
A bit of fiscal responsibility
Risky business
Service, service + More Service
A salutary Tale
Sorry doesn't have to be the hardest word
RDR Charging - Media Reporting
Anticipating randomness
When Outreach is Underwhelming
Matching expectations
Uncertainty, planning, hedging
Who is being served?
Reasons to be grumpy
Adequate analysis
Client Reviews
Hey ho!

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 five reasons for remaining Independent in 2013 and beyond:
  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;
  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.
Maximising profit
A quick overview of ValidPath's ethos More ...
Time to de-Risk your business?
An introduction to ValidPath's approach towards minimising systemic business risk More ...
What makes us Different
It is no accident: ValidPath are a refreshing change from what you've experienced previously. More ...
ValidPath in Brief
Short and sweet factsheets on key issues More ...