This is how we explain things to clients:
What a therapist does for your mental health, or a personal trainer does for your physical health, a financial planner does for your financial health. We take a wide view of your financial values and goals to help you create the life you want and put your money to work for you. We’re part coach, part teacher, part confidante, part project manager, and part progress checker. We are here to reassure you and help you feel secure and happy.
We also connect you to other professionals, like accountants if you need tax help, and solicitors if you need to draft a Will or a Power of Attorney.
So it’s a pretty wide remit! But that is the great part about it – we can enjoy our chosen profession because it isn’t all about one thing – we can talk to different people about their different interests and dreams for the future and in doing so, be creative about our solutions (and get some great ideas to enhance our own lives along the way!)
What we don’t do is investment management, or administration or IT or insurance. We outsource all the boring bits so we can concentrate on what we love doing – talking to clients and seeing their plans come to fruition.
The best part for me is when the penny drops and clients understand that their dreams can come true.
A couple of real client stories best illustrate our value and our power as planners:
I once had clients waltzing around my office (it might have been a fox-trot!) when I explained that they had sufficient funds to retire immediately (he was 58) rather than wait to 65. Their lifetime cashflow forecast showed quite clearly, using conservative assumptions, that they could afford their desired standard of living until they were 105 – reassurance enough for him to resign his engineering post one week later. Another life changed for the better – kerching!
Another client was literally working himself to death – 15 hour days were common with lots of foreign travel. He had a poor family life (apart from mega expensive holidays to assuage his guilt!) He had a big salary and all the trappings of a wealthy man, BUT he was overweight, unfit, unfulfilled and unhappy. His family cashflow forecast, showed that if he sold all his fancy assets and downsized a bit, he could take on a more fulfilling job on a quarter of the salary. He was initially unconvinced, but his wife and 2 sons persuaded him that they were more interested in his time than his money and so the necessary changes were made. In this case our planning advice saved his marriage, his relationship with his sons and probably his life!
The gratitude that clients like the ones above show – not just in their happy payment of our fees, but in their willingness to accept our advice unconditionally and their generous promotion of our services to their wider network, make them very easy and enjoyable to work with. What other job offers such satisfaction and genuine joy?