In one of my recent articles, I set out some of the things I’ll never do as a financial adviser.
As a counterweight to that, I thought I’d provide you with a list of some of the important things I will do for clients.
All of them are designed to help you manage your finances as effectively as possible and to give you the best chance of a secure and rewarding financial future.
1. I’ll always tell you the truth
During our adviser/client relationship, it may occasionally be necessary to tell you things you might not want to hear.
For example, I might think it’s necessary that, in order to meet your financial goals, you need to save more each month.
Clearly, this may have an effect on your budgeting and day-to-day finances – especially if my recommendation is that you should set aside a lot more into your investments or pension fund.
In reality, the changes you may need to make could be caused by external factors, such as high inflation or an economic downturn, just as much as by anything you’re doing or not doing.
But in each case, it would be remiss of me not to raise it. The truth can sometimes hurt, but my priority will always be your future prosperity.
2. I’ll do my best to make sure you never run out of money
The conversations I have with clients always vary. Everyone is different and no two financial plans are the same.
However, there’s one almost subconscious communication I get from many clients that’s the same in each case. It can be boiled down to the desire to know that you’re going to enjoy a secure financial future. I’ve occasionally seen this described as “will we be OK?”
So, one of the most important things I can do as your adviser is to take that worry away. The plans I’ll help you put together will be specifically targeted to try to ensure that you’ll never run out of money.
Furthermore, If you ever appear to be going down the road of not being OK, I’ll help you take steps to get back on the right track.
3. I’ll keep you focused on your plan
For any long journey to somewhere you’ve never been before you always need a good map. When it comes to your life journey towards a comfortable retirement, your map is your financial plan.
Your initial plan may change as your circumstances change, but I’ll always aim to keep you focused on your plan and your goals.
I’ll review it with you regularly to ensure it’s still fit for purpose and that you’re happy with it. An annual review makes sense, but I’ll also make sure we review it if you have any major life changes, such as getting a new job or having children.
4. I’ll prevent you from over-managing your finances
The media love bad news. That’s because it sells papers and attracts clicks.
While it’s impossible to avoid bad news, it’s important not to overreact to it.
One common overreaction is to start thinking you need to meddle with your plans – in particular your investments – at the first sign of bad economic news.
A common perception of investments, driven primarily by films and television series, is that investing money should be exciting.
The reality is that it should be boring – and that’s how I’d encourage you to perceive it. So, when it comes to reacting to market turmoil, you really should do nothing and trust the plan we’ve worked together to create.
Try and see doing nothing as a strength rather than a weakness.
5. I’ll encourage you to look forward, not backward
It’s far too easy to dwell on the past, both in terms of regretting mistakes but also with a sense of nostalgia, and say “things were better then”.
Part of that is down to the fact that the past is easier to think about because it’s what you’ve experienced, while the future is unknown and, as a result, approached with some trepidation.
As you’ve already read, my priority is your future. By all means learn from your past, but ultimately your focus should be on what’s going to happen – or what you want to happen – rather than what’s now history.
Your current position is important, and will have some bearing on your plan, but it’s what you do in the future that is really important.
6. I’ll think before answering your questions
At our annual review meetings, I’ll always encourage you to ask questions. I want you to be engaged with your financial plan and wider aspects of how you manage your money.
I’ll also encourage you to get in touch whenever you have concerns – either about your own financial position, but also how it could be affected by external events. Although don’t forget what you read in point four about not overreacting to bad news!
But, while some questions may well be straightforward to answer, you’ll need to forgive me if there are others to which my answer may well be “I don’t know so let me get back to you on that”.
As your adviser, my key responsibility is to give you the best advice possible. That may well entail reflecting on a question and researching the answer rather than jumping to a conclusion.
Get in touch
If you’d like to talk through your financial planning arrangements, and find out how I can help you, then please get in touch.
You can call me on 07769 156 250.
The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.
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