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Must Try Harder?

I was speaking with a Chartered Accountant who does a lot of networking at various business clubs and conferences.

There are many financial advisers that attend these same events.

The CA has been disappointed in these advisers approaches (lots of them) as they  all seem to be saying, as their ‘unique’ pitch – “we should speak as I am/ we are Chartered Financial Planners”. Yawn!

This begs the question ‘so what?’ – surely being qualified to a decent level is an expectation – not a benefit? Could you imagine your dentist of 15 years dropping you a line to say he/she is now a qualified dentist?

Does the ability to pass prescriptive CII exams – often more about exam technique and a memory rather than a real life skills test – prove a financial adviser can add any value (other than a product or fund) to a prospective client’s life? I doubt it very much.

By all means have your Chartered and Certified Financial Planner professional qualifications on your business card. I do. The reality is nearly everyone has these now – so why are you any better or different to the financial advice firm next door? Where’s the value add? What’s the differentiator?

Seems everyone now is a ‘life planner’ too. Many trees are being hugged and candles lit. Ohmmmmm! That approach isn’t for everyone though.

Cash flow modelling too – who wants one or has ever requested one? There is a growing tendency to over-egg Truth, Voyant et al. It’s still just a tool in the box – albeit an important one. We make it part of the normal way of the normal business practice. It isn’t unique though.

For what it is worth, we find that most clients we deal with want to know what they need to save, earn and/or sell their business for to become financially independent (so work becomes a choice).

They need to know that they won’t run out of money in their lifetimes. They don’t want to outlive their capital and income. They need to know they (and their family) will not run out of money no matter what happens. They seek peace of mind.

So, can I suggest enough already of the “I’m qualified look at me” – it’s no longer enough nor relevant. It certainly isn’t interesting. In fact, the  CA told me its a turn off. She should know – she’s my wife.

A different approach is required. Over to you as to what that should be.

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