For as long as I can remember, advisers have been saying that personal finance journalists should ha...
For as long as I can remember, advisers have been saying that personal finance journalists should have to be pass exams to write about the subject.
It’s not our job to advise members of the public on what to do with their money, it’s our job to write about people who do. It’s a different skill. Clearly, there is a difference between journalists working on the Mail on Sunday and journalists working on Investment Week.
All Investment Week’s journalists have passed a number of the same qualifications that advisers have to take, and they are writing for professionals, while only one or two of the Mail’s journalists have qualifications and they are writing for consumers.
Of course it’s not different because both publications have a responsibility to their readers to give them information they can trust. This information is sometimes not the information that product providers or advisers would want the public to get – that is information that points out the risks. The financial services industry is always very upbeat and positive - and the public has become very cynical about that.
And quite rightly so. Buying a pension or Isa is not the same experience as buying a car or a fridge – and yet in many cases these financial products are sold in the same way. It’s the duty of journalists to point this out – it’s not the duty of journalists to help sell more Isas.
If journalists have to take examinations to write about personal finance, what about making advisers take an examination to prove they can write a report that a member of the public might actually be able to understand.