In writing this post I looked for a quote about ‘getting to know someone’, but quickly gave up because it isn’t overly authentic to me. Being authentic, or ‘true to myself’, is one of my personal values.
As financial planners it is important that we get to know what your (our client’s) values are, whether we just discuss these values with you or whether we come to intuitively understand them from the many interactions we share over the time of our professional relationship. It is important, because everyone is individual, with their own thoughts about their life. Ultimately, everyone views the world through their own lens.
This individual thinking means that what you value could be completely different to what many of our other clients may value, or, indeed what your Magenta Planner may value. As such, we start with no pre-conceived notions about what is important to you and we take the required time to understand your personal beliefs.
Divergence of Values Regarding Inheritance
An example of this would be when it comes to the issue of inheritance and Inheritance Tax. We often see three quite different views amongst our clients.
Some people take the view that they would prefer that, if possible, the majority of the money they have worked hard for is kept within their family and passed tax-efficiently down the generations, so that their children and grandchildren have the maximum resources with which to enrich their lives.
Others take the view that Inheritance Tax is a tax designed to benefit wider society and that their family will benefit from their wealth to some extent, with the rest going to the treasury.
Then there are those in a third category, who take the view, much like Daniel Craig publicly stated recently about his own situation, that they would prefer that their family are comfortable in future, but should not become so wealthy overnight that they have no motivation to better themselves and thus may prefer to give a large amount away to charity.
At Magenta, we do not espouse one way being more right or wrong than any other and will work with you to align your money with your values, whether this is in relation to Inheritance Tax or any other issue.
In addition to understanding your values, we are really interested in understanding your hopes and dreams so that we can guide you to use your money to reach these. This is all about having money in the right place at the right time.
We believe that money should be treated as a means to enable you to do the things you want, when you want, provided it doesn’t do too much harm further down the line e.g. running out of money half way through your retirement years!
This is where understanding your short-term and long-term goals, objectives and life values is important.
By getting to know you – and not just focusing on the money – we also start to understand your concerns and fears, so that we can help ensure that you have the financial mechanisms in place to ensure you feel secure and in control.
Ensuring you feel secure is something we cover when we help you understand how much risk you should take with your money when trying to make it grow.
We firmly believe our job is to ensure that you don’t lie awake at night worried about losing money, and by the same token we also don’t want you missing out on making your money work as hard as it can for you, by taking some risk. Like a lot of things in life, it’s a balance and one we firmly believe we can help our clients to find.
Things will inevitably change over time – despite us all not really liking change! Whether it’s how you feel, the world, your circumstances or something as mundane as tax legislation.
Understanding you and the way you view things will help us navigate those conversations and work out the best way forward for you.
An example of how Magenta do this: When the pandemic struck last year and stock markets were temporarily in freefall, we knew exactly which clients to call to ensure they were reassured and comforted and we knew those who wouldn’t be too concerned. In fact this is something we have kept up throughout the pandemic, staying in touch with our clients who are a little more vulnerable or nervous. Only by knowing you properly can enable us to tailor our communications like this.
Feedback we consistently get from those that we look after, when asked about what they value most from our relationship is being listened to and understood. Fortunately, we very much enjoy listening and understanding our clients and helping them as best we can!
If you’d like to have a chat with us to tell us about your situation, we’d be very happy to listen, understand and discuss how we can help.