Weekly Thoughts 26 July 2013

Last week I spent a morning, together with many other financial advisors, sitting through a long and boring three hour session in Durban, listening to two lecturers speaking on the topic of ethics. I needed the session for the three education points it would give me for maintaining my licence – I need 60 points over a rolling two years. They spoke at length about ethics, as a concept, then about investment products available from insurance companies, how good or bad or ethical they are and how we respond.

I believe that the ethical issues in our industry have very little or nothing to do with the products available from product suppliers. Just because there are investment products from insurance companies that have poor structural design, does not mean that I have to offer them to my client. It’s all about what we take to our clients. We don’t have to use investment products from insurance companies just because they exist. I recently wrote to Bruce Cameron about this – no reply. Anyway, during a tea break while sitting with a group of colleagues around a table, I raised this point: that its got nothing to do with the companies, its about us and what we take to clients. For example, if there was such a thing as an independent car salesman, just because a poor car was made, doesn’t mean it has to be offered to a customer. No one at the table agreed with me. No one saw the difference. Either I am wrong, or I’m on an island. And there are (still) very few of us on this island.