Trying to explain best interest (and governance)…

iStock_SlipperySlopeAheadSpoke to a financial advisory firm last week who were very excited about their very own investment platform which they now intend to offer to their advice clients.

The ownership of the platform is a couple of the original owners of the financial planning firm. Wherever possible all new funds will be deposited onto the platform. They intend to gradually switch the majority of existing clients funds across when they review their advice clients. The platform is a part of their longer term thinking to leave their existing institutional license and obtain a licence of their own for greater independence.

They also have ambitious plans to roll up and acquire several similar like-minded advisory firms across the country.…

Advice is not a product – Part III

iStock_IntegrityHomes aren’t products.

Most Australians wouldn’t pay strangers to squat in the rooms of their homes.

Why do Australians accept the fees from the many faceless manufacturers, platform providers, planners, fund managers who crawl all over their superannuation?

Because that’s who has the power in today’s superannuation market.

Because the power in today’s superannuation marketplace is held by the large banks, the huge superannuation funds and insurance companies and because none of these make a cent from pure advice, it’s easy to appreciate how Australians have been conned into believing that superannuation is just another ‘product’ for a far-off retirement.

As long as politicians, regulators, banks, manufacturers, the media, financial planners, and on-going financial services inquiries (e.g.…

Advice isn’t a product – Part 2

iStock_CompassAdvice isn’t a product.

Advice is far richer, deeper and more valuable.

At the heart of good financial advice is a on-going conversation that ignites life’s possibilities and helps realise their attainment.

Despite the banks alluring advertising, the value in the actual financial product is minimal when compared to the value of attaining much sought-for aspirations and objectives. Products can play an essential role, similar to the role of the jet engine on the wing transporting passengers to dream holidays. However the value of the jet engine doesn’t match the value each holiday-maker holds for their holiday.

Possibilities and aspirations are the guts of great advice.…

Advice isn’t a product.

iStock_supermarketDo Woolworths sell advice?

Do Coles sell advice?

Do banks sell advice?

None of these groups sell advice. They all sell products.

Unfortunately when it comes to financial advice, Australia’s consumers don’t know the difference between financial advice and financial products.

Advice doesn’t provide the same tangiblity of a physical product from the supermarket or even the same intangibility as a loan specifically to buy your new home.

In terms of tangibility, advice is more the invisible hand supporting or pushing you to financial objectives not yet reached or over obstacles not yet overcome. Or advice can be the ‘helping hand’ holding yours providing the confidence for your next venture, adventure, challenge or simply your next step.…

Do your clients deserve the best you can deliver?

yes I canDo your clients deserve the best you can offer?

Remember your first clients? Remember how hard you worked to really excel and hopefully earn their trust and future work? Back then you knew shoddy or late work would not provide the opportunities to get off the establishment runway and fly towards growth, success and better returns.

As you gained traction your instincts were confirmed that offering your clients the best service you possible could was the ‘ticket to the game’ to your growing reputation and success. Deliver your best work become the unspoken motto, the assumed starting point for every opportunity, client or job.…

Why Do Advice Clients Buy – Part 2

mfsprout_20120606_281[1]Do clients buy for the returns you offer or the certainty you provide?

Time for a re-think?

Is it time for a re-think as to why advice clients will buy from you?

Consider the following:

  • the Grattan Institute recently suggested that Australians are paying way too much in fees ($10b!) for way too little regards their superannuation;
  • CPA Australia are strongly suggesting that the definition of ‘retirement’ needs a fair bit of work as the baby boomers are spending their superannuation too quickly;
  • the Australia Institute has raised significant issues that the policy regards superannuation is just not working, with the tax incentives for the wealthy costing precious revenues ($34B estimate) as welfare spending (currently $39B) soars and number of workers for each retiree reduces;
  • after 20 years of compulsory super only a minority of Australians seek and trust the advice from a financial planner.