Independence +

Over the years, one of the key things we've learned at ValidPath, is not to spend too much time resting on our laurels.  It is, of course, possible to have far too much change for change's sake, and so the desire for novelty should be resisted insofar as it allows us the space to retain and consolidate the good habits, practices and services which may have been built up over a prolonged period.

However, we have had a sustained focus on the whole issue of not merely facilitating genuinely independent financial advice, but actually also enabling every single ValidPath Member to put in place a cast-iron justification for every individual recommendation.  To achieve such objectives one needs something a great deal more robust than those resources which help advisers to 'dress up' their favoured solutions with a degree of plausibility.  No, you need an industrial-strength research database, the kind of database which product-providers use when they design new products.  The kind of database that the FCA itself uses and respects.

Yesterday, at our Auto-Enrolment Workshop in Solihull, we were pleased to be able to announce our new partnership with DeFaqto, to deliver their award-winning, whole-of-market research system to every ValidPath Member.  Today, Members should be receiving their introductory emails from DeFaqto, providing immediate access to their own Engage research database, and to the training which is available.

Engage covers nearly every kind of financial product and investment fund that IFAs will need to use.  It can be used to demonstrate your client focus and independence at every stage of the product-selection process.  Platform due-diligence?  A snap, using Engage.  Likewise DFM due-diligence - and, as we saw yesterday, the whole auto-enrolment piece.  Investment data is supplied via Morningstar, and the research, due-diligence and suitability reports that the system generates are as good as it gets.

Of course there is a cost involved.  We have managed to negotiate a rate of £25pm + VAT per licence, which is around 25% of the usual cost - but that means that all of us will have access to it.  ValidPath are covering the cost for the first three months (we pay the bill anyway), after which Members will see a slight revision to their percentage Network Deductive.

For Members on existing DeFaqto licences, they'll immediately see a significant reduction in their actual overheads.  Those using alternative systems should now have a superior resource, at significantly lower cost.  Those Members who have not been using any research system now have the Gold Standard available to them as a default ValidPath provision, as part of their package - and can therefore reassert their genuinely independent advisory proposition with abundant forensic evidence.

Benefits to ValidPath Members

  • Forensic justification for every recommendation
  • All the relevant data is available in one place - resulting in a significantly curtailed due-diligence process
  • Demonstrate your independence persuasively to clients
  • The best, wholly independent, research database respected by the FCA
  • Every adviser has access
  • Create your own panels
  • Help to minimise risks across the ValidPath Network
  • CPD-able reports
  • Low, low cost

Kevin Moss, 01/07/2014