The Financial Industry has just gone through its first RRSP season with the new performance reporting requirements. There have been more questions, more confusion and more time demands on the financial professionals. There have been challenges, but successes as well.
Top CFP’s have had varied responses but a few positive words have been spoken. Said one CFP: “The onus is now on us to step up. If you can provide your clients with a clear picture of their financial situation you are well on the road to having a good relationship for the duration. Your clients need to know just 3 things: 1.Financially, where are they now, 2. how did they get here, and 3. where are they going to be? If you can answer these 3 questions, why the heck aren’t you on a yacht in the Bahamas?“
On a more serious note, if you could explain those three aspects, you would be restoring client confidence that may have been shaken with the incongruous reports from the corporate financial system.
Where are they now?
Show your client graphically, what they are investing in. It is then easier to guide them in making informed decisions.
How did they get here?
What are the consequences of their decisions? Over the course of the years, you have advised your client and they have made decisions in consultation with you. Show them graphically, what would have happened if those decisions had been different. For example, what would have happened if they had gotten out of the market in 2009.
Where are they going? Will it be salmon or cat food in the tin?
Where will they be in 10 years? 20 years? Illustrate graphically, various scenarios and the effects of their investment decisions. This is completely speculative, but most clients welcome the opportunity to visualize a variety of outcomes. The simple exercise of varying retirement age or adding 10% to savings per year, and graphing these numbers so that the client can see pictorially, the effect of their actions, will propel good things.
Obviously, none of the above questions can be answered definitively. But illustrating the speculations above with graphs and pictorials will help the client internalize good strategies. This will go a long way in entrenching client confidence in your value as a professional.
How do you compete with new low cost alternatives and the new advisors coming into the industry? By providing your clients with superior professional financial guidance.