1st November 2019
One of our Financial Advisers, James Nicholas, explores why comprehensive financial planning and asking that extra question can change lives.
Many prospective clients look to invest simply because they want to experience more growth than that attainable from their current banking or building society. Will they be happy if they achieve this? Most probably. Will this really add something to their lives? Most probably not.
Have you ever thought about your investment or pension portfolio in isolation and asked yourself what this pot of money represents?
With my clients, a thorough, diligent and engaging discussion takes place. My ultimate goal is to ascertain their aspirations and how I can create a strategy for them to realise these aspirations. I genuinely and sincerely hope to be able to provide a solution and to inform them they can afford to retire early or travel the world.
At the beginning of the meeting, the most important thing from my perspective is making sure my client feels comfortable, otherwise they won’t be willing to divulge this level of information and entertain conversations on the ‘taboo topics’. This will only come if you establish a good working relationship with the client and instil strong professional confidence. This should be first and foremost with all clients.
Today regulation is stringent, and advisers are more highly qualified than ever before. This means when we work closely with our clients we have the processes, knowledge and expertise to really add value and provide solutions.
Finally, when I do make a recommendation and there is a plan in place, it is reviewed to make sure it remains on track. This is paramount as there are so many variables that can affect a financial plan over the course of time. Cashflow planning is an essential tool, graphs and diagrams are used to give clients a visual perspective of their position, as this can be more meaningful than words and tables.
The underlying message of this is not to spend everything you have nor is it to completely disregard investment performance, but to think about what really matters to you. Yes, I expect to provide advice that results in my clients achieving capital growth or an acceptable income, or perhaps a combination of both. However, just as importantly, I encourage them to think about what is at the end of the journey. Is it the satisfaction of a higher bank balance? Is it helping their children with university costs or buying their first home? Or is it 2 weeks, all-inclusive in Bora Bora? There is no right or wrong, happiness comes in many different forms and I’m no life mentor. I simply encourage my clients to make their money work for them and strive to put them in a better financial position to help them achieve this.