1. Best thing about being a financial adviser?
There are many, but I’ll narrow it down to two. Firstly, we can make a real difference to people’s future. Not just their financial future, but people’s health and happiness often spring from being financial secure and having direction toward a designated outcome. Clients constantly tell us this, that our advice and support has made a real and tangible difference to their lives.
Secondly, I get to work with wonderful people. Everyone has their own story to tell, and it’s incredibly rewarding to be woven into the fabric of that story.
2. One thing you would like to see improved or changed in the industry?
One thing that the industry hasn’t done well is articulate the real value of financial advice in a cohesive and understandable manner. Knowing firsthand how valuable this is, it is an endless source of frustration that more people don’t embrace great financial advice, and I think that the main reason is because they don’t know how to take the first step. We as an industry could do more to encourage people to take the first step toward better outcomes for themselves.
3. The areas on their finances or economy that worry your clients the most?
If I could sum it up in one word, it’s ‘uncertainty’. This can be personal, health, employment, markets, anything that leaves people emotionally fraught. In the absence of certainty, people naturally gravitate toward the negative. We actively work as a support mechanism for our clients to take away as much of this as possible, and it is certainly a load off people’s shoulders if you can remove that feeling of uncertainty.
4. What's the strangest question a client has ever asked you?
I’ve had a few! Commonly they relate to speculative investments – which normally leads to pragmatic conversations about the risk not being worth it, and people getting better value from taking long term view and investing with goals in mind rather than getting excited about the latest fad.
5. If you could get three things into consumers' heads about what advisers do or don't do what would they be?
a) Fundamentally, we are all about devising and supporting strategies to create and protect wealth – and great advice makes a real and tangible difference to those outcomes.
b) We have a unique skill set that can’t be replicated by other professionals (such as accountants for example). It’s a job that most people can’t or won’t do on their own, and it’s too important a job not to be done by a professional.
c) We are there to ensure you don’t lose focus upon achieving your goals. Many people starting the wealth creation journey with great zeal but lose interest quickly. Great advice is all about ensuring your goals are realistic and can be achieved, but this needs to be actively supported to achieve.
6. How do you describe your job at BBQs?
I tell people that I devise and support the best possible outcomes for people’s financial future. I also tell people that I am a professional with the designated skills and resources to do that job, and to beware of those who can’t show you that they are qualified, educated and indentured to a professional body and purport they can do the same.