Last week I met with one of my clients who wanted to find out if he could retire early.
My client had built up a successful electrical company, his sons were just taking over the business and it was growing rapidly. After inheriting some monies, he had decided it might be the right time to retire. During our meeting, after explaining the complexity of pension drawdown, annuities, sustainable income withdrawal, sequential risk and using cash flow modelling tools the recommendation was yes, he could retire early. He was pleased and thanked me, he mentioned that without my guidance and advice he would never have been able to understand the complexity of pensions and then asked me “why did you decide to become a financial adviser”?
That got me thinking, people have in the past asked me why I entered this industry and became a financial adviser. Like many people, I didn’t grow up knowing what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do with my career. What I did know was that I liked the idea of working with people, building long-term professional relationships, and helping them solve their problems.
Life experiences taught me early on the value of hard work, discipline, and a long-term approach – I could apply this to investment management and financial planning.
During my school years, I developed a strong interest in finance and investments. I was good at maths, and so this made me study accounting and finance at university gaining a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. My university years allowed me to discover how I could make a career out of my talent for finance and my desire to help people.
After university, my love and passion for helping people inspired me to enter the financial services industry, and the rest is, as they say, history.
My Role as an Adviser
I have always believed in the importance of serving clients on a very personal level, working one-to-one with them and offering individualised strategies to help them achieve their goal. I believe the best way is to work closely with my clients and offer them a high level of service and trusted advice.
Whatever my clients’ specific needs and objectives, my goal is to help them travel along their financial journey and arrive in good condition by providing a solid foundation of exceptional customer service and in-depth market knowledge. My aim is to serve all my clients as their most trusted adviser.
Why Use a Financial Adviser?
Some people also often ask me ‘Why should I use a financial adviser, what value do you provide?’
An example of the value we provide is set out above. When I first met the client four years ago, he and his wife wanted advice on accessing their pensions to pay off their mortgage. Prior to meeting me they had been told by friends that they could access their pension to pay off their mortgage which was an interest only mortgage, after our meeting assessing their short term and long term goals my advice was not to pay their mortgage from their pension as that could impact their long term financial goal. They followed my advice then and doing so has allowed them to achieve their long-term goal early.
Most of the instruments I deal with are very long-term, so it takes time for them to fully work properly in a long-term plan. With a never-ending news cycle and attention-grabbing headlines, it is easy for clients to feel overwhelmed with so much information. They can get caught in the cycle of looking at the short-term picture of strategizing rather than a long-term approach.
Additionally, it can be difficult to manage my clients’ emotions so they can separate them from investing and look beyond the news headlines in order to focus on what they can control. It can take some time for clients to ignore the media noise and focus on their individual needs and goals. Especially when markets are dropping (a bear market) or when they are rising (a bull market) people can become emotional and can exhibit behaviour that ends up derailing them from pursuing their long-term goals and ideal outcomes.
Despite the challenges, I cannot imagine having any other career. For me, there is nothing more fulfilling than helping people pursue their ideal outcomes in life. Many of my clients tell me that working with me has helped them worry less about their finances. Having fewer concerns and less stress in their lives allows them to enjoy their passions in life and spend more time on their family and loved ones.
Meeting with clients and reviewing the progress they are making and hearing them verbalise the true value of what I do is very fulfilling to me and motivates me to help more people. Ultimately, I’m driven in my career by my family, and the joy of helping people. I truly love working with people, and not many careers offer people the chance to make an impact on so many peoples’ lives. It’s very rewarding for me.
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