48 – Things to talk about: 101 Things financial planning is really about
Successful financial planning is not about waiting for your client to tell you what they need. Often, clients do not know they have a financial problem until it is pointed out to them. This means that a proactive financial planner can usually find problems that a client needs to have solved. And if the solution makes the client better off, as it should, then everyone benefits.
If you are stuck for guidance as to the types of things that clients need good advice about, please visit Dover’s 101 Things that Financial Planning is Really About. This is a great tool to get you thinking about ways that you can add value to your client’s situation. Things like:
- Would they benefit from consolidating their credit card debts?
- Can they manage their non-deductible and deductible debt more intelligently?
- Can the client – or someone they love – be helped to buy a home (or helped to buy more home)?
- Is there a disabled person somewhere who would benefit from a financial adviser running their eye over their financial management, perhaps with an eye for the future when current care arrangements can no longer be sustained?
- Should the client slow down the mortgage repayments and ramp up super contributions instead?
Money affects everything and is affected by everything. A key driver of wealth for women, for example, is whether they become single mothers. Whether a child gets a private school education depends more on how wealthy their grandparents are, not how wealthy their parents are. This is not to say that financial advisers should become marriage counsellors or family therapists. But it does highlight the fact that money touches on everything and this means that most people have an area of their life that could be improved by better financial management.
Keep an eye also on the financial press. When Comminsure hit the news in early 2016, every client with a group life insurance policy through a super fund would have been wondering if that was still the best way to go. This gave advisers something very meaningful to talk about with all relevant clients. Good advisers saw the potential for a client meeting, and this stirred up a lot of new work for those advisers.