What is the value of financial advice

Your definition of VALUE FOR MONEY is likely to be different to mine; writes George Critchley, Chairman of True Bearing Chartered Financial Planners. The internet accentuates the philosophy that cheapest is best, but is this correct?

A £300 pair of shoes may cost more, but do they have value? Yes, if they are so well put together that they last three times longer, look and feel great and add to your sense of self-worth.

So, where is the value in taking financial advice?

This question should be reframed as ‘Where is the value in FINANCIAL PLANNING?’ What’s the difference? It’s massive.

Financial Planning is ultimately about the client getting what they want out of life. Financial Advice is the arrangement of a financial product. It is the last 10% of the Financial Planning process.

Financial Planners understand that their clients’ life is not a rehearsal. They will help them to do stuff now. To do this, they will spend as long as it takes to fully understand their clients’ views and opinions, goals and aspirations, motivations, and worries.

The job of a Financial Planner is to help their client have a better life, not just a better return on their investments. Money is often the enabler but should not be the goal.

Financial Planners are not YES people. They ask searching questions of their clients. They make their clients think deeply. In this process, clients may change their original aims. Planners coach and discuss.

Financial Products are important, just not that important. A financial product will never change your life, but a financial planner will do.

Internet data tells us that the British public spend many hours (often over 10) researching financial products! I think these people are missing the point. Amazingly after this process, they are often more confused than before they started. Does this sound familiar?

The UK has 25,000 financial advisers, but of these, I would estimate 90% are advisers who consider the return on their clients investments and not their aspirations and goals. True Bearing Financial Planners are in the minority. However, a 98%+ client retention rate over the past 7 years tells us we are effective and give value for money.

In this world of Best Buy Tables, Robo Advice and AI Algorithms, don’t miss the point. Just talk to a real FINANCIAL PLANNER!


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