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The Real Advisor Blog

The Real Advisor Blog

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday our office had a call from someone who was looking to take out a Life Assurance Policy. “Three Hundred Thousand Euro” they confidently announced when I queried what type. I then asked if it was for a mortgage or loan and was told, “No. It’s for my family in case I die”.

First and foremost, fair play to the individual who called in (which is what I said to them straight away). Not enough people think about what would happen to their family in the event that they were to pass away, especially when it comes to financial matters. To take the time to make a call to a life company, brokerage or Financial Planning Firm like ours takes initiative and should be acknowledged.

So why did I tell this client that I wouldn’t do it for them?

IT’S FIRST IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SELLING FINANCIAL PRODUCTS AND ‘FINANCIAL PLANNING’ AS A SERVICE.

To understand that, it’s first important to know the difference between selling Financial Products and ‘Financial Planning’ as a service. The former is the way our industry worked for decades and is one of the reasons that many people still look on us with some scepticism. The truth is that people came to brokerages for advice and instead got sold things. Sometimes they were the right things, often they weren’t, but the underlying agenda was always the same – get the client to spend the most they can afford on a policy so the advisor gets the highest commission payment.

THE BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ADVICE YOU GET FROM A FINANCIAL PLANNER AND A SALESPERSON? CONTEXT.

Thankfully things are changing. Ours is one of many ‘Real’ Financial Planning Firms in the country whose primary goal is to empower our clients to improve their lives through smart, tailored decisions and actions around their finances. The big difference between the advice you get from a Financial Planner and a salesperson? Context.

Should you take out a pension? Maybe. Start a savings plan? Probably. Get Life Insurance? It Depends.

None of those questions can truly be answered fully without knowing a whole lot more about your situation. If I had said to our caller, ‘sure, this is the price – we’ll send you out the forms today’, I’d have been doing them a major disservice. Instead, I asked if they would like to come in for a chat with me in our office. We’ll have a coffee and it’ll cost them nothing but 30 minutes of their time.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

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