As financial advice industry is shaken up, more consumers head online

 

Paul Atkins, 37, from Norwich is typical of millions of Britons. He wants to do what's best for his partner and two daughters but isn't sure of where to get the right advice.

"I have always tried to do my own finances but feel that I need a second pair of eyes to look over my plans. Standard financial advice seems so expensive and I'm worried about being mis-sold." With the financial advice industry's long track record of pensions, endowments and investment mis-selling, Mr Atkins's reticence is understandable.

"I don't like the idea that advisers are paid by banks and insurers for products they sell to me, but on the other hand up-front fees for advice can be very high."

He sees the benefit of advice but doesn't want the expense that goes with it. With the paying of commission to advisers to be banned by the end of 2012, choice is about to get a whole lot worse for people like Mr Atkins.

"The banning of commission will mean that lots of financial advice firms are migrating up to target high-net-worth individuals, leaving an advice gap of potentially millions of disenfranchised people, the squeezed middle," said Martin Peterlechner, the head of marketing at new launch financial advice site Moneyvista.com.

Mr Atkins, as a production manager in the food industry, is part of this squeezed middle. He has signed up to Moneyvista's new service, which promises to help consumers plot how they fund future financial goals.

"My daughters are only six and eight but already I am concerned over how to fund them through university. Moneyvista helps me plan my finances to put enough aside while also laying out how my retirement pot is going. I like the fact that it doesn't try to sell me a product."

Moneyvista is a new breed of website designed to offer users a clearer view of their finances and focus them on their goals but are backed by professional advisers. No commissions are collected from product providers but subscribers, after an initial 30-day free trial, pay from £8 a month or £75 for a year.

"Users can enter information about their personal finances into one place and we show customers where they are now and what there financial future is likely to be," said Mr Peterlechner. "Although we are not offering a regulated advice service, we monitor the value of investments and keep customers alerted to tax changes and if their investments aren't performing sufficiently to pay for their long-term goals."

But some aren't convinced that the Moneyvista model will work.

"The difficulty will be getting people to commit to paying £8 monthly or £75 a year for this online service. Some of the calculators and guides on the site are available elsewhere for free," said Andrew Hagger from financial comparison service Moneynet. "I think it will appeal to those who are more hands on with their own financial affairs, but I still think many people will prefer to sit down with a professional adviser to discuss their options face to face – even if it ends up costing them more."

Mr Hagger did point out, though, that it was "refreshing" that Moneyvista was free from advertising and wasn't trying to push people on to a particular product.

As the banning of commission selling approaches, more sites like Moneyvista will go live, and the Financial Services Authority money advice service has been up and running since April.

"The FSA's service gives people a good grounding and services like ours and those which will come into this space is the next step up from this," Mr Peterlechner said.

Independent Partners: Search our directory to find Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) who have been rated and reviewed by their clients. Find out more

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Sheridan Maine: Accounts Assistant

    £30,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a perso...

    Richard Bishop: Accounts Payable Clerk

    £11 - £13 Hourly Rate: Richard Bishop: Are you looking for a purchase ledger r...

    Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

    £250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you qualified accountant with previous exp...

    Richard Bishop: Accounts Payable Clerk

    £11 - £13 Hourly Rate: Richard Bishop: Are you looking for a purchase ledger r...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor