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Article 2 - How Do You Think We Can Help?

Article 2 - How Do You Think We Can Help?

  • Friday 19 July 2019

In my first piece for this series I wrote about the motivations for going to see a financial advisor. I propose that it is not as simple a question as it first seems and that there are often a whole number of sometimes complimentary, but often conflicting, factors at play. Drilling down into the motivations for seeking advice from a Financial Advisor we see:

  • High Level Task Focus

  • Long Term Goal Objectives

  • Underlying emotional or belief based values

If we assume that we have been able to engage with you in a way that makes you comfortable talking about all of these areas, we’re then left with the obvious question – how can we help?

Recently one of the largest investment research companies, Morningstar, published an interesting paper. They asked a large number of Financial Planning clients and their advisors what they felt were the most important aspects of their relationship. They called this ‘Advisor Value’

My expectation was that there would be close agreement on what advisors and clients felt were most important. After all, ours is a listening business. However there was often a huge gap between what the client wants and what financial advisors think you want. As I looked back on my own history as an advisor, I recognised many of these inconsistencies, which was both humbling and an excellent incentive to change our approach!

What jumped out from the research was that financial advisors are often looking in a different direction to clients. We often believe that the deeper motivations are really what you want to address, when the truth (as you probably appreciate intuitively) is that often you just want us to do our job. It was shown that the traits you actually value in your advisor are, in ranking order:

  1. Ability to Help You Reach Financial Goals

  2. Having the Right Skills and Knowledge to Do So

  3. Communicating Financial Matters Clearly

  4. Maximise your Returns (grow your money)

With this in mind, we went back to the drawing board and thought about what deliverables you should expect from any engagement with a Financial Planning Firm and the processes we employ. We spoke with clients and investigated global best-in-class research to see what you should reasonably expect to receive from working with us.

From the outset we believe these deliverables should be, where possible; measurable, ongoing and consistent. This means our clients can see tangible benefits through working with us for the entirety of our relationship, irrespective of circumstances.


  • Wealth:  Make you materially better off by working with us

  • Education:  Explain difficult concepts and make you comfortable in the world of personal finance

  • Planning:  Show you the real-world impact of past & future financial decisions, along with the likelihood of reaching your personal and financial life goals

There is no ranking of these deliverables. What we know is that no two individuals are the same and that even within a couple, there are often very different priorities and preferences. Indeed, over time, our clients tend to focus on different benefits depending on what’s happening in their lives.

Ultimately we believe that this approach ensures that our focus is always on the things that matter most to you, and it reminds us never to turn away toward the areas that are simply not of interest right now. Of course, our experience and knowledge means that we bring things to your attention that you may never have thought of, but that should always be in the context of the above deliverables.

So, that’s what you can expect to get. Now we need to get the ball rolling….

In the next blog post I’m going to give you information on the importance of understanding and recording your current financial position. No gain without pain I’m afraid!!
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