The unintended costs of regulation

Rob McClelland shares how regulation and legislation are affecting clients’ choices in the wealth industry

The unintended costs of regulation
Rob McClelland is the founder of The McClelland Financial Group and a senior financial planner and vice president of Assante Capital Management.

Which aspects of financial advice have your clients found to be most valuable?

The number-one item that my clients still find most valuable is portfolio management. It is the consistent strategy of a globally diversified low-cost portfolio that they find most beneficial. Stick with the plan and don’t deviate. The other two areas that my clients find extremely helpful are the detailed retirement planning that we provide as well as the cash-flow planning on an annual basis. These are the three areas that my clients consistently point out as providing the best value for them.

What industry trends or regulations do you think have most greatly impacted clients’ perception of financial advice?

I believe that the CRM2 and all of its components have been helpful in pointing out what value a financial advisor needs to provide to the clients and at what cost. I do believe the playing field has been levelled somewhat, but there is still room to go.

Many clients have come away with the belief that the only fee they are paying is the fee to the advisor. This has provided Canadian Bank Advisors with a decided advantage. The other area of confusion is that dealers are required to provide clients with a money-weighted return calculation while the manufacturers are still providing a time-weighted return. The client is then required to be a mathematician to figure out which number they should use.

Can you think of any financial products or services that will become more important to clients in the future? How will these become more significant?

The obvious choice there is either low-cost exchange traded funds or low-cost mutual funds. The price for investment advice will become more reasonable. However, I still believe one of the most important services that we provide for our clients is tax planning. Given our current government’s objective of dramatically increasing their tax revenue on the backs of its small-business owners and high-income earners, this will become extremely important for Canadians both now and in the future.

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