Struggling advisers have options

MIF, the website providing free expert advice to IFAs and mortgage brokers, has released research findings revealing how advisers think any struggling contemporaries should diversify. Protection, debt management and equity release were popular choices, while utilities sales and claims management were endorsed to a lesser extent.

There was overwhelming endorsement of protection products, commanding 114 (29%) of the 394 responses received from advisers. Debt management was the next most popular choice - with 18% (71 votes) - and equity release was a close third with 16% (62 votes). There was less enthusiasm for diversifying into pensions and ‘savings and investments’ – with 13% of the vote each - and less still for claims management and the sale of utilities, which gathered 7 and 5% respectively.

Derek McGuire, director of MIF, said: “Though most advisers didn’t endorse claims management and utilities sales in the poll, advocates for both have made convincing cases in our forums. Of the markets most developed by the current climate, debt management seems to have strong support in the adviser community, as a means of diversifying your way out of financial trouble.”

One contributor in the MIF forum stated “we need to use every facility that enables a client contact, as a means to act as introducer to others…some make very little income but the alternative is no income at all”. Other posts claimed that if utility sales are treated as a means of residual income, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, but if treated seriously, the financial returns can be equally serious.