Following on from my last blog where I spoke of dreams, I wanted to continue with having the courage to realise them. In our world of financial planning and investment management, we have many conversations with clients on identifying where they want to be with their lives; both financial and emotionally.
- Do they want to retire?
- What will they do when they do?
- Are they passionate about their careers and perhaps they want the financial freedom to continue this but on their own terms, not tied to a salary?
- Do they have concerns about their children?
- And if so, what lives do they want for them?
This is the softer side of our business, which is often overlooked I feel when clients are looking for advice but comes right to the fore from day one when we sit down with a new client. I have been speaking with several of my clients for twenty years and it is now easy and relaxed for us to have these conversations to ensure we are all comfortable with the direction of travel our planning is taking us:
- Who has recently gotten engaged and what are the thoughts on funding their marriage?
- How is everyone’s health and do we have enough insurance / assets to self-insure the family?
- Have we re-visited the appetite to risk bearing in mind how most of us have re-visited how we approach our own health over the past two years?
Asking the above questions has been a recent change for me. Historically, I have been a very technical adviser knowing as much my accountant and legal clients in my field of pensions and long-term savings vehicles. Initially, this made me attractive to professional clients as I have an eye for detail and can spot where improvements can be made to their planning. Indeed, a lot of my initial conversations with accountants were designed to persuade them to refer me to their clients, which they did, after they had signed up themselves!
Looking at my typical client now, would tell a story of both those in the tax and legal fields, but also retired professional investors, sitting alongside company owners.
One of my proudest moments was a comment from a new client earlier this year who had been an adviser with a long-standing insurance company in the 90s and 00s. After an hour he said he had spoken to many IFAs over the years but because he and his ex-colleagues knew so much about finance, they had always listened to, but not instructed an IFA. That was now to change as he wanted to move over to me because:
- His accountant was with me, and it was enough for him as he realises while he knows a great deal, the same is not true for the rest of his family who will need help after he is gone and
- I had given him three new ideas on how to use what he already had to greater effect
We are now four meeting into our relationship, and I have now met his spouse and children and we are beginning to shape the planning that will now play out over the next thirty years. Changes will need to be made but our emphasis is on family wealth and not individual wealth. Subtle, but very powerful. To get to that point we need our conversations to ‘go anywhere’ and to that we need to trust each other.
For that client, without the courage to follow their dream of making their family finances stronger, they may not have instructed an adviser for the first time. Indeed, while they may have continued on their own for some time to come, successfully, the concern in the back of their mind of what happens to the family when they have gone, may become their family’s biggest risk…
Whatever your dream, make sure you have the courage to achieve it! Don’t let it turn into fear.
Talking to someone with a vested interest in your own success is one way of ensuring that courage is rewarded.
Thanks for reading and….