Name: Léony Degraaf Hastings
Company: deGraaf Financial Strategies
No. of Clients: 225
Q. What targets do you have for the coming year?
A: I am looking forward to 2014, increasing the number of education seminars I offer, touching base with centres of influence and increasing sales to at least $300,000 of income.
Q. What makes a good advisor?
A: A good advisor listens to what the client says, or doesn’t say, and formulates recommendations to best match the client’s goals and family dynamics. A good planner is knowledgeable, trustworthy and client focused.
Q. What do you like most about being a financial planner?
A: I like the satisfaction I receive from clients when I have put their minds at ease over their retirement or estate plans. They are typically very grateful for the guidance, experience and solutions I can provide.
Q. What has been the best thing about the last 12 months?
A: That it is over! Sentiment over the past year seems to have been a little gloomy. I’m also happy to have my CFP studies behind me, which have been a big distraction over the past two years.
Q. What is your top tip for other advisors?
A: If you listen to your clients and always put your clients needs first, you can’t go wrong!
Q. What are your top tips for gaining, and retaining, clients?
A: I offer a complimentary consultation so the client and I can get an idea if we are a good fit for each other. Once they are a client, they know they can reach out to me for guidance on any financial matter. I pride myself on ...treating clients how I would like to be treated, as a valued client.
Q. What has been the biggest challenge for financial planners in the last 12 months?
A: The unknown of how industry changes will affect our practices and our ability to deliver comprehensive advice to all clients of all asset levels. I don’t require minimum account sizes, as I believe no matter how much someone has been able to save, that is all they have and it is very important to them. I believe all clients deserve the same level of advice, regardless of their asset base.
Q. What are the biggest issues facing the financial advice industry today?
A: I don’t feel regulators are obtaining enough input from advisors in the field on how or if the industry requires changes.
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