Financial Planning is a profession. Financial Planning has evolved. Financial Planning is complex. But GOOD Financial Planning done well is a SKILL.
Good financial planning is about integrating the human element with the technical element in building a well- rounded good financial plan.
In my previous article, I discussed the soft skills of Financial Planning. In this article, I will discuss 3 elements, that in my opinion and experience with my own clients are key aspects to consider if you are experiencing GOOD Financial Planning done well.
- EMPATHY NOT SYMPATHY
Unless we have experienced what our clients’ dreams’, goals, transitions, trauma’s and victories are, we cannot plan a clients’ life WELL. We therefore need to have empathy to help us understand how to engage our clients with these experiences; there are 3 types of Empathy:
Financial Planners are working with clients dreams and goals, their whole lives, their spouse, their children, legacies, helping them navigate through transitions. Clients put their UTMOST trust in us, they are completely vulnerable, and share intimate money stories that they wouldn’t share with anyone else. Clients don’t even share this information with their best friends or close family, and sometimes yes, even their spouse.
Due to this intimacy and vulnerability, empathy plays a key role. It is a skill to exercise empathy with clients, and takes a lot of practice and is a concious reminder to STOP engaging with our clients from our own structure of interpretation. Brene Brown in her book “Dare to Lead” mentions the difference between Empathy and Sympathy: Empathy is feeling WITH your client and creates connection; Sympathy is feeling FOR your client and creates disconnection;
The Four Attributes of Empathy
- To be able to see the world as others see it,
- To be non-judgemental,
- To understand another’s person’s feelings, and
- To communicate the understanding of that person’s feelings.
Empathy is one of our core values. Having a connection, a relationship and empathy with a client does NOT however replace competency, and does not create complacency.
- IT’S NOT ABOUT THE POLICY AND/ OR INVESTMENT
It’s not ONLY about the numbers, the amount of cover that pays out, or what the return is on your investment. It’s about the life you want to live. It’s about mastering your money, and your money creating the life you want to live NOW and in the future. We want to help our clients’ unlock the power of lifestyle planning and make their dreams a reality.
Once the following technical elements have been taken care of, the human elements of the plan can be designed (ie: the investment or the cover to achieve the return required to live their best life)
- A Valid Will (both you and your spouse)
- An offshore will that will deal with offshore assets
- A balance sheet detailing all the information required to compile the various tax calculations needed for the planning exercise
- Information to compile a tax calculation to assess tax brackets
- Legal documentation that will affect your Financial Plan
3. WHAT MAKES YOU STICK WITH YOUR FINANCIAL PLANNER?
We consistently ask ourselves why do our clients stay with us and why do some leave? It is a reality in any business that you win some and you lose some. I personally believe that if a client does not align with our morals, values and core purpose, it will taint the relationship and/or create an issue down the line. It is important to have a discerning spirit to know who to engage with or not, and not being fearful of making that decision upfront.
One aspect we do pride ourselves on, is that we are consistently evolving our service offering, staying ahead of the curve, and embracing change.
An analogy that I often use to explain the importance of this is: would you consult a doctor who qualified 20 years ago, and didn’t ever study again, and didn’t keep up with the latest developments and embraced change? The same goes for choosing a Financial Planner. An FP is dealing with your livelihood – you owe it to you and your family. To find a qualified FP, go to www.fpi.co.za.
What our clients say:
“Mel is more than our advisor; she has certainly become a trusted friend. We can always count on her to put forward the solutions that make the most financial sense, which makes us incredibly comfortable when thinking of the future. She’s also challenged us to think smarter when it comes to our spending habits, something we all need some guidance on from time to time.” BC
Contact Melony for an analysis. Fees charged according to complexity of planning.
Tel: 031-2078514 | Fax: 031-2078249
Office Cell: 083 435 2927
55 Gladys Mazibuko Road, Essenwood.