I recently attended the Back2Y financial planning conference in the UK.
There's a constant stream of research carried out with investors and personal finance clients across the world, a lot of it seeking to identify the silver bullet of exactly what clients want from their financial adviser.
I'm a huge fan of Voyant's software and usually go out of my way when meeting financial advisers to encourage them to start using it, if they are not already doing so.
Imagine that you are driving down a road, to your left is a very tall cliff face. Rocks fall from the cliff from time to time. In order to warn you about this danger, which of these approaches would work best?
On Friday, while watching the Ryder Cup, I was chatting to a friend of mine. He works in the public service and has a DB pension. He is getting pretty fed up in work however and would love to retire early. He had never heard of having a cashflow to support his thinking. With my laptop handy, I cracked open Voyant. After all, there is no time like the present!
In a dramatic market shift, more and more financial advisers in Ireland are recognising the importance of future cashflow planning as an integral element of true financial planning. We are very grateful that most of you are turning to Voyant to provide you with the software solution.
Last year, having used your software for a couple of weeks, I received a phone call from Mary, a 57 year old woman. She and her husband Tom were prospects. I had completed a financial plan for them 2 months earlier. I could sense that from her voice that something was wrong.
I recently met a couple, a doctor and his wife who were a new prospect. They were celebrating his recent retirement from a successful family practice. They were looking forward to spending winters in Portugal and more time with their grandchildren. He had just under 2 million in his ARF and another €200k in a unit linked bond. He took great pride in doing most of his own investing but was looking for an adviser to manage the €200k. They were also interested in gifting some money to their children and grandchildren. They wanted to know was now a good time to do this.
Tom and Margaret were looking for help. Tom wanted to retire, after 35 years on the corporate ladder he was done. They weren't sure if they could afford it. Tom at 61 was 10 years older than Margaret. He was very concerned that she would outlive him and would she be ok if that happened. They were also somewhat risk averse.
Future cashflow planning is probably the biggest innovation in the financial planning industry over the last decade. It's been the game changer for financial planners, as they move from being transactional product sellers to positioning themselves at the heart of a client's personal financial affairs. For many firms, future cashflow planning has been the key factor in driving up trail commission / recurring income levels and as a result, significantly adding to the value of the business.
Sales processes the world over have changed since the onset of the Digital Age. The internet has increased exponentially the pace of this disruption, transforming sales patterns that had lasted for decades. The financial advice industry is no exception.
As a financial planner, you face a number of significant challenges in building value in your business. You need real clarity of your target market, access to clients within that market, an engaging client value proposition and service offerings that you can communicate clearly to your clients. You then need a remuneration structure that enables you to leverage all of these to build a profitable and valuable business.