What’s in store for financial advisers in 2012?
Stock market volatility, inflation and indecision in the Eurozone leadership have all combined to undermine the British economy – and more of the same is set to come.
Sarkozy and Merkel have huffed and puffed about shoring up the Eurozone, but the truth is they don’t have the money and need other countries to sign up to their dream – with the UK, USA and China asking why so when the euro has been managed so appalling.
Add to that austerity measures biting in Spain, Italy and Portugal while Greece threatens to leave the euro.
Live or let die
The eurozone leaders seem to have two choices – breathe new life in to the body or let it die.
Closer to home, investors and savers, especially the over 55s approaching retirement, are waiting with bated breath for inflation to finally subside as last year’s VAT hike and energy price rises have worked their way through the economy.
Still to come are more public sector job losses and more firms likely to close as the UK’s delicately balanced economy shows little signs of growth.
The housing market will stay in the doldrums. The Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Bank of England have already confirmed lending levels will stay the same for another year.
The threat of looming unemployment is destroying consumer confidence, keeping any spare cash anyone may have firmly shut in their purses and wallets.
For mortgage advisers, the only likely way to go is after lenders who are following the margins away from home purchase to remortgaging or buy to let to bolster their earnings.
Change brings opportunity
If all that was not enough excitement in the financial sector, more is yet to come.
RDR will continue to ruffle feathers, NEST pensions are winding up for an inauspicious start and the European Mortgage Directive may yet regulate buy to let.
Financial advisers, insurance firms and mortgage brokers face some tough challenges as their markets continue to adapt to regulation and economic woes – giving all the more reason to study for professional qualifications that let them capitalise on new opportunities brought about by change.