We don’t want to talk about long-term goals…

I recently met with the head of a large and successful brokering group.

Let’s call him George.

George said that his brokers didn’t want to get into discussions with clients about their long term goals. That’s a distraction from what they do which was delivering great brokering advice. George’s best clients are already successful, time-poor and know what they want. In fact, his client’s success was because they were already very clear about their goals.

He’s right.

The world needs brokers giving great brokering advice. Just like the world needs knee specialists, and carpenters, and supermarket shelf packers to perform the job they have the experience and training in, for the people that require it.  

But the world also needs something else.

And it’s never needed it more than now.

From a financial advisory perspective, the world is craving greater financial certainty.

There is a growing group of advisers who are helping their clients forge a forward financial path that aims to eliminate as much of the financial uncertainty in their lives as possible. This path is not without its obstacles, but it is certainly a path less travelled than the one that the George’s of the world currently frequent.

More and more clients will seek a relationship with an adviser with whom they can partner long term to best achieve the financial outcomes they have yet to achieve. This partnership will be paid for primarily on a retainer basis, not by the hour, and not by the product. Value will ONLY be determined as to how it better achieves the outcomes most important for the client even though at times like now, the journey will be tough. The tools used throughout the life of the partnership will be many and varied, none of them by itself being the lottery ticket that makes all financial dreams come true.

George may believe that advisers who focus on conversations with their clients about long-term goals are obviously no good at the job they are meant to be doing and the long-term discussion about goals is a ‘fluffy’ distraction from their real job which is the performance of their advice.

George’s model works well for client’s seeking great brokering advice.

But increasingly, George’s clients will become the advisers who are building firms to master the model of delivering greater certainty. George will be called upon by these advisory firms just as medical specialists are called upon by referring medical practitioners when their expertise is required.

If the path towards greater financial certainty means different things for different people at different times, core to understanding what value really means to our clients ARE the long (and short) term outcomes sought by each and every advice client.

What do you think?

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