Speaking at the IFP annual conference, Gazzard (pictured) told delegates he thinks the problem of those not getting money advice who could benefit from it is a “financial planning gap” – rather than what is usually termed the advice gap.
“Financial planning is far more important than advice,” he said. “I don’t think advice has worked.”
The IFP, which has around 2,000 individual members, has long sought to distinguish its membership from that of more mainstream rivals such as the much larger Personal Finance Society.
Around half of IFP members are more qualified than the industry minimum of QCF Level 4, having attained Level 6 Certified status.
Gazzard’s view of the industry as two camps divided flies in the face of the central message of the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA), the body which is supposed to represent advisers and planners alike.
APFA states that “there is a clear need for financial advisers to speak with one strong voice. Our role is to bring about this united front”.
For Gazzard the IFP “exists to grow financial planning in the UK for the benefit of consumers”.
Financial planning is a “starting point”, he said, and must be ongoing in order to be effective.
“I don’t think people should connect with their finances only once,” he said.
“A single piece of advice doesn’t do the trick.”