Teaching clients financial literacy

ifa quizzes a range of financial services specialists on how they help their clients to become more financially literate.

Amanda Jarosz, partner, Momentum Planning

"In our six-monthly client progress meetings, we use this time to discuss an education piece to build on their knowledge of investment principles and other topical items such as budget updates. By taking this gradual approach to education we find that clients take more in, and come to understand and respect our investment philosophy.

"We recently hosted a client breakfast event with two educational speakers, which was well-received by clients. Our previous events had more of a social approach, and we found that combining social and educational elements enabled clients to learn from alternative people in an informal environment. We like to be on the front foot with media information, so as significant events feature in the news we send out an email to all clients discussing impact for them. The information helps them to remain reassured and disciplined.

"We also have a small library of financial texts that we share with clients if there are topics they’d like to explore further, or if we feel there is a gap that could be addressed with certain material."

Phil Thompson, director/financial adviser, Thompson Financial Services

"The most independent, important and effective way I help clients to become more financially literate is through videos. I create and release one new video every week and send them out to my clients and prospective clients through my weekly email and on social media.

"These weekly videos provide me the scale to educate all my clients at the same time, while allowing them to ‘opt in’ to a particular topic and at a time that suits them, through a medium that suits them. 

"My clients prefer watching a three-minute video once a week while they’re scrolling through their Facebook feed or working through their emails, as opposed to attending a quarterly investment seminar or waiting until we sit down for our next review meeting."

Adrian Patty, director, AP Financial Solutions

"Approach each client differently. We will adapt how we go through the advice process in accordance with the client’s personality, understanding and preference for detail. A lot of our initial meetings are spent explaining concepts and ideas and checking a client’s understanding.

"Many people learn visually, and making use of the whiteboard is one of the best ways to get a point across and ensure a client understands a financial concept. We’ll also ask questions about what is being done, as it allows us to evaluate if we need to spend more time on a particular topic. We educate and guide our clients, but we also ensure they take ownership of decisions.

"When someone is given responsibility it often helps with comprehension, instead of just seeing us as ‘taking care’ of things and not understanding what we are doing for them." 

Grant Dougan, partner, VISIS Private Wealth

"During our initial advice process we look to determine a clients’ financial experience, education levels and overall financial literacy through a series of targeted questions and discussions. We then use this information to assist us in developing appropriate communications and presentations that will improve their knowledge in specific areas.

"Given the holistic nature of our advice offering, we are also able to expand our clients’ knowledge from the traditional areas of savings, investment and super into other areas, such as tax planning, estate planning and risk management. On an ongoing basis at each review meeting we also survey our clients to ensure that we identify any areas that they are seeking further knowledge and information in. Ultimately, clients with a higher level of financial literacy are better positioned to make informed financial decisions with confidence.

"This not only aids the advice process but also drives deeper client engagement."

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