Happy Birthday in better times!
A big happy 13th birthday to PIS! What a year it has been, with the global financial crisis having a major effect on all. However in unstable economic conditions we managed to see our way through the uncertain times and out towards the light. It is a credit to you all; your level of care and expertise, teamed with your hard work and dedication has made a difference.
The first home owners housing boom is bubbling away, retail sales are stronger and there is a pick-up in demand from China. It’s no wonder that the RBA has declared threats to the economy are receding and a recovery is likely before the end of the year.
The Australian markets are showing glimmers of hope, in fact in the June quarter, the market surged 11.8% - the biggest quarterly rise since the start of the great bull market run after the tech wreck.
Signs of progress in a recovering market are evident through the Group’s performance figures. New investment inflows for the 2008/2009 financial year were $1,702,304,643, at an average commission rate of 1.22%. Comparing the last two weeks of July 2008 to July 2009, the Group’s performance in investment inflows saw a significant increase of 33.42%, insurance premiums by 13.1% and loans a record 62.3%.
It is important to remember that it is still early days and we must maintain a ‘work hard’ mentality to ensure the Group continues to grow.
Client / adviser relationships
At this year’s Standard Financial Planner (SFP) conference in Penang I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Yip, CEO of Abacus Advisory and author of Smart Money-User. Her presentation to the delegates at the conference explored in detail the importance of the adviser client relationships as well as understanding your client’s beliefs, behaviours and emotions towards money.
Financial planners are faced with many challenges in every day practice. I believe the following five points from Carol’s presentation can be utilised as ways to identify and manage these challenges.
- Financial planning is about creating and preserving wealth for your clients. You as the financial planner must pay more attention to ensure that there is adequate financial and emotional preparation before your clients embark on their personal financial planning process. This is a key aspect of growing and preserving wealth for your clients.
- For many, one of the most challenging steps in the financial planning process is understanding your client; reason being that every one is unique. Every client has a different set of financial obligations and complications and each time the client experiences a change in his or her life cycle, there is a financial impact.
- The dynamics of your client’s lifestyle depend on his or her family upbringing. Your client’s belief system or concept of money creates a perception and expectations of what finance is (what money can do for them), which leads to their feeling and behaviour towards money.
- Money is just a medium for the exchange of goods and services. It does not buy your client happiness. It does not buy success, recognition, power, friendship or status. They are the intangibles, but no less significant and important to your client. They are important because money becomes a substitute for love, a symbol of power, a benchmark of success and a tool for doing good deeds. Understanding this need is crucial in the overall scheme of things when it comes to knowing your client well.
- There are many issues, each being different for individual advisers. However, a two-pronged approach is found to be most effective when dealing with the challenges of money and wealth.
- Personal level - the primary objective is the emotional education, which can begin by exploring the underlying concerns and psycho-dynamics that are related to the person’s life and his or her financial consciousness.
- Practical level - financial aspects relate to financial education, and the giving of suitable information to your client on how to better manage and preserve money.
Our business is based on relationships; understanding your client’s emotional and financial beliefs is an essential element to building a strong relationship and providing quality financial advice. Take on board some of Carol’s points to assist you in building your business and client base.
If you are interested in meeting Carol face to face or sitting in on her talks she will be presenting at the Lending and Risk conference in Fiji on the 15th – 18th September 2009.