The Suffragettes are often nostalgically portrayed as heroines. Let’s be honest; they were terrorists.
Every now and then I dream of being a “gette”. I fantasise about chaining myself to railings of the Financial Conduct Authority or burning my metaphorical bra at the foot of the steps to AVIVA, Standard Life or Old Mutual Wealth’s head office.
In 1897 Millicent Fawcett was leading the National Union of Women’s Suffrage. The organisation was democratic, peaceful, lawful, diligent and persistent. She was heroine suffragist. Ever heard of her?
Emmeline Pankhurst and her activists resorted to high profile attention seeking stunts. Initially they self-harmed with hunger strikes and chaining themselves to railings. By 1913 they were burning down stately homes and blowing up monuments. I wonder where it would have ended up had the politics not been interrupted by the outbreak of war? Suicide bombers? Hostages?
I mention this because I want to celebrate the “gists” in financial services. There are some firms of financial advisers selling that precious commodity – advice. There are many others selling products and offering advice services merely to be able to influence where the investors put their money.
This is not news. It is a perennial problem and there are “gists”, like myself, constantly campaigning for the rights of clients. Currently many product providers are providing the capital for other firms to acquire small advice firms and their clients. These companies may look like an advisory business but, actually all roads lead to a product provider. Examples include Charles Derby where Old Mutual Wealth have huge influence and 1825 Financial Planning which is owned by Standard Life. These and other companies have tried to buy (you) my client and they are hoovering up small firms – beware.
Please support your local, professional, independent advisers and in turn you will get what you deserve.