Let the dentists take the pain, not advisers

Last week I broke my tooth (on a chickpea, the perils of healthy eating!) and had to see a dentist. Perhaps that’s why this article resonated with me. It cites a survey which found that one in five people would rather visit a dentist than a financial adviser.

It makes for a good headline but, if you think about it, it actually means that the vast majority of people would rather see a financial adviser than a dentist. After my own recent experience at the dentist I count myself firmly in that majority.

The survey flagged negative connotations about financial advisers, saying some people put them in the same category as ‘estate agents and double-glazing salesmen’.

Too much negativity

I realise the survey was aimed at raising awareness about the many benefits of a financial adviser but sadly I think this important message got lost in translation.

Advisers are easy targets for negative press coverage and it would have been good to see a headline that said four out of five people would prefer to see a financial adviser than a dentist.

Financial advice has come a long way over the past 20 years and we need to encourage more people to choose this as a career path. The more the industry perpetuates the lazy cliché of ‘dodgy salesperson’ the less likely we are to attract the bright young things the industry needs to address the financial challenges facing people from all walks of life.

More advisers needed

We currently don’t have enough advisers in the industry to meet the demands of people who are not yet affluent but would still like to take advice on how to manage their finances.

Technology is enabling solutions for advisers to open their doors to people who want to save and invest and need the right sort of advice to set them on a path to success.

We need a new type of adviser to cater for the needs of the future and, to achieve this, we need the industry to focus on the positives, not the negatives in the messages it puts out.