Future Based Financial Planning – It May all end in Tears

Future Based Financial Planning – It may all end in tears. Improvements in technology have enabled financial advisers to reduce the amount of time spent on administration of client files and provided more time for them to focus on client’s real needs.

Improvements in technology have enabled financial advisers to reduce the amount of time spent on administration of client files and provided more time for them to focus on client’s real needs.

The financial regulator is also aware that today’s adviser needs to understand his client better.

So the financial advisory world is moving to a more consultative approach, you now need not only to have a good technical ability but also to be prepared to dig a little deeper.

That can lead to some interesting situations. You prepare yourself for a client meeting, you go through a preliminary greeting. You notice the client is a little tense, maybe they said they are OK, rather than their normal response – terrific, the next thing you know somebody’s crying in your office.

Your planned conversation about changes to the client’s investment portfolio goes out of the window, and you must help the client deal with whatever issue is causing unhappiness. You must listen, listen good, be patient and empathise. Because that is what they need right now.

You must do more than that though, you must wait for the right opportunity to reduce the client’s tension, that is a skill that wasn’t taught in any financial service college. Most of all you must ensure the client leaves the meeting feeling a lot better than how they felt before the meeting began.

You need to emphasise with the client, that is something that cannot be faked. So, you really must genuinely care about your client’s welfare.

Today this is all part and parcel of the job

When you ask a client to state their goals, instead of allowing the client to tick the box, you need to go further and ask why that is important to them and then you need to dig further again.

The client may be reluctant to provide you with the appropriate response because quite often they have surprisingly little interest in a detailed understanding of their future. Sometimes the reason for this is that they do not want to be lectured on saving more of their hard-earned money, they want to spend it.

So, often clients will not reveal full details to their financial adviser of how much they have stashed away, (that’s theirs) and the spoil sport (their financial adviser), is not going to take that away from them, so there!

Unless of course, the adviser turns the conversation away from their financial arrangements to financial arrangements for their children and grandchildren. Now you have their full attention.

Especially when you inform them that although they have worked hard all their lives and accumulated a lot of capital, that 70% of the value estate will be dissipated within two generations. It’s not difficult to establish why, with HMRC taxing each generation and the rest being lost through the divorce courts.

Lost and gone forever

This is the point when the hankies should be out. They rarely are, many clients find this statistic difficult to comprehend.

They also find it difficult to accept that almost all their wealth will eventually benefit third parties, not those nearest and dearest.

This is the new advisory world, where the adviser if he is worth his salt, must put REALITY on the table.

Some clients don’t want to accept reality, they prefer to live in a world of make-believe.

Sadly, for them and their families, there may not be a happy ending.

For a reality-based conversation on your financial situation and how best to protect your wealth for your family – click HERE.