What I learnt about financial advice from a milk ad…

You know that milk ad where the guy walks into his corner store asks the lady for milk?

She blandly spiels out the multiple varieties of different milk.

Having asked a simple question, the guy gets confused now not knowing which one is right for him.

He just wants ‘normal’ milk.

I reckon consumers face the same thing regards financial advice?

Apathy by choice?

Which type of financial advice are you after?

Is it up-front advice or on-going advice you’re after? Is it scaled advice, general advice, personal advice, product advice, limited advice, or maybe full  (or do you mean holistic?) advice?  

Or maybe what you need is intra-fund advice, or super advice, accounting advice, investment advice, mortgage advice, financial planning advice, rollover advice, legal advice, structural advice, risk advice, industry (or government ? or union?) fund advice, succession planning advice, cash flow advice, business management advice, education funding advice, property advice, estate planning advice,  share-market advice, or what about SMSF advice?

Or maybe you should talk to a fund manager, a tax agent, a stockbroker, a lawyer, a banker (business? investment? commercial? or personal?), an accountant, an underwriter, an insurer (personal? fire and general? business? or health?), a planner (bank? self-employed? independent with own license, with aligned-license, with non-aligned license?), a mortgage broker, a leasing specialist, or maybe a real estate agent (commercial? private? industrial)?

Or what about the advice from mates, family, from the late-night radio talk-back, from the internet, from social media (facebook? twitter? Goggle+? LinkedIn?…) from newspapers or investment magazines?

It’s very straightforward isn’t it?

What’s right?

Feeling like that guy looking for the ‘right’ milk?

Where can consumers find the ‘right’ advice without conflict, without bias, without strings-attached, without fine print, without vested interests, without bias to a particular approach, product or platform (er…what is an advice ‘platform’?), that ‘felt right’ and ‘felt comfortable’ and provides almost immediate confidence amid the plethora of choice, scams, and specialties, all confusingly promise similar outcomes?

Where is the ‘right’ advice that doesn’t have deadlines for accepting, or time frames before benefits are realised, or ‘interest-free’ and other initial offers of honeymoon periods promising short-term product discounts in long term product-based relationships?

Where is the ‘normal’ advice that takes all of the above options into consideration and without bias provides the best possible path forward with a fee that isn’t attached to any specific alternatives but the consumers own perception of the value and quality. Where is that advice?

We and the advisory firms working with us are building a version called certainty-based advice.

The objective of certainty-based advice?

Provide the greatest possible certainty that desired financial outcomes will be achieved.

Do this in a manner without regard or dependency on any particular service, any particular product, any particular approach. The only regard should be how best to achieve the outcomes being sought by the client.

Like the ‘right’ milk, the explosion of options driven by huge array of influencing factors makes the search for trusted advice much harder than it needs to be.  It is already difficult enough to determine exactly what we need in our constantly uncertain world without having to consider who to approach and what advice is the most appropriate?

Australians have taken too much financial advice from too many biased advisers with too high a cost which has  provided too little. Australians deserve better.

There’s never been a better time for more initiatives like certainty-based advice.

Want to know more?….here’s a small start.

Want to put certainty-based advice into your firm?…here’s a possible approach starting August 15th.

What do you reckon?


About Jim Stackpool

For nearly 30 years Jim has influenced, coached, and consulted to advisory firms across Australia. As founder of Certainty Advice Group, he leads a like-minded team of professional advisory firms seeking to create greater certainty for their clients. As an author, blogger, columnist, and keynote speaker, Jim is regularly called upon for his professional insights into the advice industry. His latest book Seeking Certainty is available now.

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