Chris entered financial journalism on leaving university and after a spell with the FT went freelance in 1973. He spent ten years writing for national newspapers and wrote four books on personal finance and investment. In 1982, he launched What Investment magazine and developed a set of financial titles over the following five years. After a period as a marketing consultant, he joined an IFA firm in 1995. In 2011 he left to set up FiveWays with four other advisers in 2012, where he chairs the investment committee. The firm now has seven advisers and £140 million under advice for 800 clients.

Over the years Helm Godfrey chairman Danby Bloch and I have often discussed the practice of financial planning. Our views have consolidated around regarding advice businesses as process engineers. We conclude that good adviser firms engineer their processes to be efficient but without trimming the client.

The problem I’ve always had with restricted propositions, especially ones aimed at building huge firms, is that their engineering always ends up converting clients into squares regardless of what shape they were when they began the process.

Sequence-of-return risk matters in decumulation – advisers need to ensure their clients avoid it, writes Chris Gilchrist of FiveWays Financial Planning.

It’s true that different sequences of return can have as big effects in accumulation as in decumulation over a term of 20 or 30 years. A favourable sequence in accumulation can result in a pot 40% larger than would be achieved with an unfavourable sequence even when the cumulative annualised return is the same. But this doesn’t mean there is no difference between risk in accumulation and decumulation.

Chris Gilchrist explains why his firm uses an ‘investment suitability’ approach with clients rather than the traditional risk assessment process.

I’ve always been sceptical about assessing investors’ attitudes, whether to risk or anything else. Perhaps attitude to financial risk is a stable personality feature, as the psychometric guys claim. But what’s the relevance of this? Of far greater importance is what any experienced adviser knows: people’s tolerance of risk changes with experience.

The pension freedoms have left the advice industry in a bit of a dilemma when it comes to advising clients on pension encashment, says Chris Gilchrist.

The initial political spin on the pension reforms did focus on cashing in your pension to buy a flash motor. So it’s not surprising that a large number of people have decided to take the opportunity to spend their money.

We are seeing a shift to ‘insourcing investment’, says Chris Gilchrist, director of FiveWays financial planning. He explains more.

A year ago the adviser press was full of stories about outsourcing investment. Advisers couldn’t hack running model portfolios, people argued. It was better to choose external discretionary fund managers (DFMs) and delegate to them.