As a certified financial planner with a BCom honours degree and 40 years of service to my clients, I take extreme offence to Stephen Cranston’s depiction of independent advisers as “beer-swilling extroverts and not necessarily that bright” in his argument for why they use portfolio managers to manage their clients’ investments (“There are many benefits to using discretionary fund managers”, March 25). 

While the rest of the article was well written and provided valuable information to the public, this remark reveals a bias by the writer that is of great concern. To single out independent advisers for this attack is even more concerning, as I believe — as an independent adviser for the past 32 years — that we are the group least conflicted by considerations other than the interest of the client. Clients would not have stayed with me for more than three decades if I had not put their interests first.

About the beer drinking — I don’t drink or even like beer. At the age of 63 I ran 21km this past Sunday in just over two hours, and recently did a 10km run in 52:45. These achievements would certainly not be possible with a “big beer belly”. I am also aware of many colleagues with a similar focus on health.

In fact, I have assisted many of my clients towards a healthier lifestyle with my own example, as well as explaining to them the value of good health and the connection with good financial planning.

I hereby formally request that Cranston retract the remark and apologise to me and my colleagues. If his interaction with independent financial advisers has been limited to the kind he describes, I would be happy to have a coffee with him and give him some insight into people like myself who have different value systems.

Johann Krüger
Via e-mail

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