Is financial planning the new sexy?

Is financial planning the new sexy?

Is financial planning the new sexy?

Proper financial planning is really about connecting with clients, understanding where they are in their life, how they got where they are (i.e. what's their story?). It's about being genuinely interested in another human being – and where they are trying to get to; about the life they have and the life they want.

Ideally, it's the process of uncovering what they want to be, do, or achieve – for themselves and their family – before it's too late. It's about helping folk do stuff before they're too old to enjoy themselves… or before they're in a box!

Life is not a rehearsal. I think it's an important part of our job to remind clients of that.

In other words, what sort of life are they living now and what sort of life do they want to live in the future?

Then the big question is: What is the cost of their current and desired lifestyle? And what do they need to do to achieve it and, more importantly, maintain it?

That is where proper financial planning comes in: Identifying the resources available to them now, the resources that might become available to them in the future and, more importantly, the resources that might need to become available in order for them to achieve their life plan without ever running out of money, or dying with too much.

A lot of advisors have forgotten this. They've lost their why. They've lost their purpose. And sadly, it shows. They actually think their job is to ‘manage money' or fiddle with products and investments – the money stuff.

Yet products and investments are simply tools in the bag to be used, if required, to get the job done. I find it absolutely amazing how many advisors have built a client service proposition that revolves around the tools in their bag. And, get this, some have even allowed their 'investment philosophy' to become their service proposition! That's weird. And very stupid.

It's not surprising advisors have lost the plot, what with regulatory pressures, the focus on higher technical qualifications, not to mention the ongoing pressure from the ‘industry' to keep peddling its products... the distractions go on and on.

So, if advisors have become boring, or overly technical, or no longer able to communicate their service in a compelling way, then it's not necessarily their fault. The industry has been messing with their heads.

But what do clients want? (continued.)

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  • Kathy Waite 2014-03-19 2:55:09 PM
    I have been fee only since October 2011 and these last couple of years have been the most fun of my 27 in the industry. I have more engaged and excited clients and we talk about the fun and the sad stuff. I insist the uninterested spouse comes along and 99% of the time they leave bubbling with enthusiasm as this is about THEM , their lives not products. I wont use the word financial planner or advisor as its so muddied by peoples bad experiences with sales reps. I use Networth Manager . We manage all areas so in bad times you weather the storm and in good times prosper. Products are the last thing on the list. Families really appreciate that. they know I am on their side as I am paid by them not commission so no hidden agenda. off to find Paul Armsons book.........This was harder at first no trailers to cover ongoing expenses but will better long run for my next 20 years!
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