If you read the media and industry headlines, you'll read that thousands of financial advisers are currently running for the door. Their reason? Over regulation, increasing costs, loss of income, increased education standards and ongoing negative sentiment headwinds from the wider public and media. Let’s not sugar coat the facts. Now is a very difficult time for the financial planning industry.
I regularly hear stories of advisers who have taken their own lives, lost their homes, their livelihood's and families; at the same time of their career many others would consider thinking of retirement rather than going back to university or a change of career.
Indeed, the industry is at a turning point.
The question we all need to be asking ourselves is, "What do we all i.e. consumers, regulators, suppliers (financial product manufacturers) and advisers, want from our financial service providers and how much are we prepared to pay for it?"
Maybe this tongue in cheek approach is the answer?
Our services are Good, Fast, & Cheap......Please pick two.
All bad jokes aside, I continue to see the following universal law of money being applied i.e. Money always flows to where it’s most valued.
Call me a sadomasochist, crazy or simply plain arse dumb for choosing this path however I believe the outcome will result in something better for us all as the financial planning community and industry transitions into a profession.
So as for me, I’m not quitting. In fact, I’m very excited and looking forward to sticking around.
So, without further ado the following are my top ten reasons I’m sticking around as a financial planner for the long term.
1. Because I’m not a dinosaur.
I’m 48, not 68 and even if I was ever eligible for the age pension, it’s still 19 years away! And between now and then I’m extremely confident the government will again extend the age to an even later access age.
I’m young enough to adapt and my combined experience and education support my growth. Furthermore, I really enjoy helping my clients achieve and celebrate their major milestones, financial and personal.
2. It’s my calling- It completes me.
Yep! It’s more than my core value, my purpose or my why… Learning about money, helping others become better with their money and doing this over and over together and archiving our bigger goals and dreams i.e. making a difference, It’s who I am, it is my every breath and every heartbeat.
This "helping others and learning more" is what I look forward to doing each and every day and have done so since I decided to become a financial planner back in 1999.
3. Institutional Competitors are exiting and other professions too.
When I was a teenager, I was a good swimmer, however my path to being known as a great swimmer was assisted by one main fact. My fellow competitors discovered other interests, lost passion and ultimately stopped turning up.
I’ve seen this same reality play out in university, careers, news businesses and industries… The following quote is one of my favourites “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”, another is "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!".
4. Barrier to entry higher. Education, cost, regulation, experience.
Rule of life. Fact #1 Life always gets harder. It’s like the generation before us are always pulling up the ladder behind themselves.
On one hand this is a good thing for existing participants because it somewhat protects them. However, on the other hand the more positive outcome is that by doing so they lift the quality of experience for all,
Making it hardre for new entrants fosters greater innovation from those who aspire to "get a ticket to the game". It sorts the wheat from the chaff. New entrants build on their own character and abilities while challenging and testing the old.
In life I’ve learnt that success is simple, but not easy. You simply need to know specifically what you want, know how much it will cost and pay for it.
5. Consumer’s lives becoming busier and financial choices more complicated- Growing market.
Information overload, also known as infobesity, infoxication, information anxiety are the unintended consequence of more choice and seek self-direction regarding decisions. The good news is we all have greater speed and access to information, the bad news is we don’t know who to trust. Furthermore, who knows where our private info goes once it’s online and up in the cloud.
The truth is since the measurement of time was invented, we have never had more time and we never will have more time.
Time is a unit measurement and we use to synchronize our world. The challenge we have however is, in this unchanged amount of time, how do we manage our greater commitments, responsibilities, expectations, choices and desires?
The common thread I discovered about those who achieve the most, is that it was their ability to delegate low value and/or specialist time consuming jobs to others that gave them the advantage.
It’s also my belief, that in our hyper competitive world, the world that encourages and promotes to us, to keep up with the Jones’s and wanting more. In this world the personal services market that can deliver clients trust and can free up their clients’ time, will always have both a busy and profitable future ahead.
6. Own boss.
I will keep this short.
Being your own boss means you get to work as much or as little as you choose. Earn as much or as little as you choose and deciding for yourself what clients you want.
As I financial planner I work with and are paid by our clients. This ensures our client’s interests are always put before our own. This also means we feel good about what we do, and our clients do too.
7. Always interesting.
Have you heard the saying “May you continue to live in interesting times”? It feels especially so in financial services and has felt so for a very long time.
Continuing on from my reason 5 of why I'm not quitting financial planning: we now have more complex regulations, investment markets, bespoke services, and ways in which we communicate. The list goes on and so too will it continue to grow and complicate in our lives, while we discover new ways of dealing with this more effectively and efficiently.
How very exciting!
8. Great community- like minded.
We love our clients and by the way our clients greet when we meet with a hug; it’s my guess they probably feel the same love we do too.
The same goes for our self-employed financial planning community.
When we are together, we celebrate each other’s stories and regale about how we are helping our clients.
We talk about how we are making a real difference to our clients especially in their times of uncertainty and need. We inspire and are inspired by each other. We learn from each other. We hold each other accountable and we cry too because sometimes it all just gets to f#%king hard.
9. Increasing revenue. Professionalism.
Here’s a question.... Name me any industry that has gone on to become a profession only to earn less money?
Please comment if you know, because when I think about it, accountants, doctor, lawyers, architects, sports players are all earning more now than they have ever before, ... because they are now professionals and people (paying customers) want and like their professionals.
I believe we will look back in the next five years and see the same results. More trust, more money, better businesses and better clients.
10. Technology is freeing up my time so I can spend more time with clients. Which is a win/win for all.
In 1999 I’d never heard of google, I had a yahoo email and my modem was a telephone line that took 30 sec to dial up and then would just hang and drop out!!!!
Today I live 3000 km from Sydney and spend over nine months a year in Cairns, I have regular phone, and video meetings while I send via secure email massive data between institutions and clients within a microsecond. It’s easy and clients appreciate the convenience too.
The result is more time with clients and designing bespoke and meaningful services for them. This is at our core what we give our clients.
My final thoughts...
What’s the one thing that changes everything?
It is common to every single individual, relationship, family, team, economy, country and nation. The one thing if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, successful business, greatest friendship and the deepest love.
On the other hand, if developed and leveraged, this one thing has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension life has to offer?
This one thing is TRUST.
If you are stuck in a funk or you’re lost in a cloud of complexity feel free to contact me. Most often in life we just need someone to talk things through and to lighten our load a little.
Peter is a Platinum adviser with 17 client reviews at an average customer rating of 4.88 out of 5 stars.
General Advice Disclosure
Sources of this information are considered to be reliable but are not guaranteed. Information published in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in this document is General Advice and does not take into account any person's particular investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs.