I have a fun game I like to play now at WKM Wealth, and it’s called ‘Have you met Ben?’ OK so I stole the line from an American sitcom, but it does work a treat when we are introducing him to our clients.
Ben is our investment director (although he has no time for titles) and directs our investment portfolios. His interests are sport, technology and travel and is frequently found watching Leicester City or Shepshed Dynamo while enjoying a Dominos pizza. Ben is one of the best cooks I know and catered for the WKM team on numerous occasions (pre-lockdown) while we created the company of an evening.
He has been investing for clients for 16 years and is sharper than ever when looking for the next best place to invest on behalf of our clients.
He always states that everyone has the same information available to them; it is how they interpret this that makes the difference to investment performance. This allows him to aim for higher returns without taking more risk, which is what we are all searching for!
Over the past four months, I’ve introduced Ben to; hedge fund compliance managers, haulage owners, top five partners at accountancy firms, solicitors, accountants and architects. The format is always the same. I introduce the client to Ben. Ben then conducts a 45 minute PowerPoint presentation on his views for global investment returns.
I deliberately don’t sit in on Ben’s initial meetings as I want clients to have the full Ben Wattam experience of listening to his thoughts and what he will be doing on their behalf.
Questions are encouraged as these allow Ben to bespoke the portfolio to the investor. Gaining a deeper understanding of why are taking investment risk in the first place is all key to what Ben does daily. He takes the risk, so we don’t have to.
The result is always the same. Silence. Not many clients have much to say after listening to Ben deliver his thoughts on the world and where he is seeking out investment returns both now and in the future.
The silence lasts about 30 seconds while the client begins to assimilate what they have just heard. Over the coming days, they then feedback to me their thoughts on what Ben and his approach and to date this has been nothing short of mind blowing praise.
From my viewpoint, having a client speak with Ben is a massive tick in the box of continuing their journey to engage with and understand their wealth fully. Having that direct contact does help to ease the underlying fear we all have with investing and allows them to focus on financial planning.
For years I have advised clients to retire early and to spend more during retirement when it is clear they have reached their retirement income objective. To change your retirement plans, you need to listen to someone ‘at the coalface’ of your planning on more than one occasion to fully understand that they are on the same page as the financial planner. This builds the trust that you can fully achieve your goals.
Having Ben on hand now allows clients to fully understand what happens to their capital in times of market stress and growth, bringing in to better context, the ability of the money to provide their long term income.
Thanks for reading and