Hello and welcome all you disgustingly youthful NextGen planners! It’s time for the third annual lang cat State of the Adviser Nation. Or ‘SOTAN’ as we affectionately refer to it at lang cat HQ.

If you completed the 2018 or 2019 waves, you’ll know that this is by some distance our largest research exercise of the year. You can find it by directing your finest mouse clicks here.



Some of you will know that we run regular surveys (one a month max) with our research panel – a community of around 1,100 extremely sexy individuals (only 15% less sexy than NextGen) working in financial advice. Those surveys usually take 10 minutes max to complete. This one…well, it’s more of a beast. In fact, if you look in the mirror and say “SOTAN” three times then a big survey appears and eats you. Or something.

We’ve trimmed this year’s study back by about 10% or so and paid some real attention (i.e. binned) the more laborious questions but we still reckon this is going to take at least half an hour of your time, depending on how involved you get with some of the questions. With that in mind, we should talk a little about one of our big philosophies at the lang cat.


Fundamentally, we think each person who gives up their time to help us out should get something in return. Something meaningful. No prize draws; that just says 99% of participants are worth nothing. “Take that, abstract majority!” That’s why everyone who takes part in our shorter studies throughout the year gets a playback of the research headlines before anyone else sees them.

Clearly, the annual SOTAN study is a different game altogether: that’s why we offer a little more in return. This year, everyone who takes part will get:

  • a copy of the report where we talk through the headlines and themes – including ‘NEXTGEN VERSUS’, a look at how the future of financial planning compares to the rest
  • access to a webinar where we’ll talk through the main findings
  • and the biggie – a complimentary copy of our 2020 review of the platform sector (due out in the new year when the embargoes are done and full year data is released to the market). Firms tell us material like this that helps them with their ongoing platform research and due diligence.

We reckon that’s a decent return on your time.



Now, we’re not just looking for adviser views here. We’re looking for the opinion of anyone who works in an adviser business – you all play a hugely crucial part in delivering top class advice and vital, potentially life-changing reassurance to your customers. So if you’re an adviser, planner, paraplanner, investment manager, administrator or compliance director; we’d love to hear your views.

One thing we’ve deliberately not done is make the majority of these questions compulsory to answer. We know that not everything will apply to everyone. So, if you come to a question and you think “hang on a minute, I don’t really need to think about that in my role”, then just dance your way over to the next one without giving it a second’s thought.


So, there we have it. Last year, 404 wonderful individuals took part in the study, giving an incredible range of insight and opinions that made their way into a wide range of our white papers, reports and other material that was cumulatively read and downloaded tens of thousands of times across the financial services sector.

The very last thing to say, and perhaps the most important of all, is that none of your views will be directly attributed to you or used in any way without your prior consent. We’re a member of the Market Research Society and we take its code of conduct seriously.

Thanks for listening and, of course, a huge thank you if you take part right here.