Good afternoon, everyone, Rich Mayor here doing the update this week as we’ve been crunching the platform numbers and our own to see if we can keep the ever-more-expensive leccy on in Edinburgh. Thankfully for me the South Coast of England is bathed in glorious sunshine 365 days a year, so 50p in the meter lasts a while.  

Tomorrow’s the day we can free the platform data from its shackles and talk about the platform bounty time of tax year end. That means today the data is still under embargo, so we can’t talk about individual performance, but as a whole the advised channel flows are pretty resilient, if not spectacular, which is a good result considering the strong headwinds. Some platforms said their firms were understandably spending more time reassuring their existing clients than usual, so there’s not the expected spike in tax-year-end business, but resilient nonetheless. 

A lot has changed since I’ve been involved in the thick end of the tax year, in the proverbial platform trenches, frantically phoning and emailing firms to ensure their clients snaffle up their allowances before they disappear. Waiting for post bags, matching signatures and cheques. It was a frantic time full of opportunities for little upstarts like me to get in a bit of overtime (my personal favourite was a Saturday of keying in applications, on triple time pay, only for a power cut to halt everything for a few hours while I devoured far more than my fair share of pizza), but we’re in a decidedly different place now. Much, much more is processed online, and fewer squishy organisms known as humans are bashing keyboards, submitting trades and scanning cheques.  

As we know, the pandemic forced platforms to move to a completely online way of working, wherever possible, so has this changed the pattern of platform flows from the seasonal spikes of the past to something a bit… flatter? When looking at the numbers, the difference between gross sales of the first and second half of the year is a bit closer than you might think.  

 

Of course, there are some rather significant events in this timeline, such as Brexit, a pandemic, but it’s suggestive that providing advice to clients nowadays is much more of an all-year-round job in terms of flows onto platforms instead of some intense periods in spring. Having said that, this year looks like it’s going to have a more traditional trend, but due to tightening squeeze on households especially from October time and another energy cap increase, rather than a rush to use subscription limits.  

The freeing of platform data also means that the Platform Market Scorecard is en route too for premium Analyser subscribers (not one? Have a look here). While expanding much more on what we’ve teased today, there’s also plenty of #newstuff and angles and insights for us to explore as we’ve evolved the Platform Ratings survey too.  

IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE…. TAKE THESE!

  • Home Games is today at 12:30! Natalie is joined by Dennis Hall, of Yellowtail Financial Planning, Philipa Hann of Clarke Willmot, Michael Ruck, partner of K&L Gates and our very own Mike Barrett. Linky-link 
  • Mr McPhail’s latest podcat is available here (there’s been some entertaining infighting at LCHQ over the top spot for pod downloads between Tom and Mike, so you’ll have the added pleasure of making Mike unhappy if you do your bit).  
  • Music choice this week is the band I’m going to finally see tomorrow, nearly three years since originally getting my ticket, The Dear Hunter. This track is part of a six (yes, six) album concept. All of the albums are great. Sort of like pop, rock, with bit of woodwind and brass, and a healthy chunk of the theatrical. Link to nine minutes of excellent song writing. 

See you on the flip side. 

Rich