Financial planning is really about… managing your client’s expectations

Financial planners often have to manage their client’s expectations.

It’s almost as hard to do as changing your client’s behaviour.

We can recall meeting a second-marriage middle level manager, on $100,000 a year. His new wife worked part time in a bayside Melbourne frock shop, on commission, for about $20,000 a year.

They were financially ambitious. They wanted to build a new home, put three kids through university, travel overseas every year as a family and retire early with the same standard of living as they enjoyed before they retired. Or better. They were so ambitious. They wanted it all.

The only problem is they were not prepared to change. At all.

This is a hard gig to handle.

The client’s expectations are (almost outrageously) excessive, and have to be gently managed and coaxed back to reality. It’s not easy, and you stand a good chance of never seeing your client again when they realise you do not have a magic wand. Not even their adviser can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

The maths just don’t add up.

Financial advisers are not the only people who have to manage client expectations. Click here to see how lawyers do it.

The Dover Group