Our Adviser Profile this week is Paul Giordano. Paul is a Platinum adviser with 13 client reviews with an average client rating of 98%. Paul is the MD and Principal financial planner at Vogue Financial, which has offices in Leichhardt and George St in the Sydney CBD.
1. Best thing about being a financial adviser?
This is a hard question to answer as there are so many rewarding aspects of being so close to the lives of so many, my top four favourite things are:
Getting to share in the most important moments of clients lives such as: buying the first home, having the first child, succeeding in business and career, having grandchildren, etc.
Seeing the light in client’s eyes when you present a strategy that shows how they are going to achieve their most valued life goals.
Seeing the weight drop off a client's shoulders when they realise ‘things are going to be okay’ and that they have a pillar of support and education for any financial decision they make throughout their lives.
Getting clients to their ‘point of choice’ sooner than they ever thought possible, that is, where they can make the choice of how they will live their lifestyle and with whom rather than have their lifestyle dictated to them because of financial circumstance.
2. One thing you would like to see improved or changed in the industry?
Education standards that will drive strategic financial planning, that is, building a strategic roadmap to help clients achieve specific goals in the most effective way, where products are used as a tool rather than the basis of the advice itself.
I’d like to see a spotlight shone on those advisers who do amazing work for their clients and for those clients to spread the word about the amazing job their advisers do because I truly believe that for those who are receiving quality financial advice their entire lives as well as that of their families are better off because of it.
3. The areas on their finances or economy that worry your clients the most?
Since the GFC, the biggest concern my clients raise with me is “what happens if we have another GFC”. This was quite a traumatic experience for a number of Australians who were nearing or living in retirement. Whenever clients are feeling uneasy, we always go back to the strategy and I remind them of the plan they have in place, what it is there to achieve and the risks we have mitigated through smart and practical strategies. They almost always immediately feel at ease after this discussion.
4. What's the strangest question a client has ever asked you?
“What car do you drive?”
I later understood that this client had been “ripped off” in the past and believed that any professional adviser who drove a nice car must be ripping off their clients to afford it. This just goes to show the perception some have of those in our industry.
After I explained how we charge and articulated the value that we can add to their financial situation, the client was happy to pay a fee for our advice. At our first review meeting I asked him the following question, “if I was to provide the service and advice that has been provided to you to many clients and become financially successful and buy myself a fancy car as a result, would it be as offensive to you as it was when we first met?” He said, “I guess not…that would mean you have helped many more people the way you have helped me”
5. If you could get three things into consumers' heads about what advisers do or don't do what would they be?
a) Great financial planners do not sell you a product for the sake of making a commission or fee;
b) Great financial planners will help you make confident decisions with your money;
c) Great financial planners will hold you accountable to your goals, provide you a roadmap to achieve them and be honest with you about what is realistic whilst motivating and inspiring you to be the best version of yourself.
6. How do you describe your job at BBQs?
I help people understand what they want out of life and why, then to make smart, confident decisions with their money whilst keeping them accountable to their goals and pushing them to reward themselves along the way.