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Take advantage of uncertainty, advisers told

Times of regulatory and market uncertainty are the best to acquire clients, US financial planning guru Bill Bachrach has told an audience of Australian advisers.

Speaking at the BT Adviser Forum in Sydney yesterday, Bachrach – the founder of the ‘values-based financial planning’ philosophy and a consultant to advisers worldwide – said that regulatory and market volatility can lead to business opportunities.

“I understand your fears about [the Future of Financial Advice reforms] – this regulatory push is happening all over the world – and I feel the financial markets and slow growth environment can be frustrating,” he said.

“But FOFA and financial markets are not in your control – client acquisition is,” he added. “The best time to get clients is when there is uncertainty around the place; you don’t hope for volatility but when it’s there you have to take advantage.”

Bachrach said the financial advice industry, as a whole, looks too often for scapegoats and needs to focus more on the ‘trust dial’ i.e. building long-term trusting relationships with clients.

“We love to blame Storm or Opus Prime or the politicians or the economy but we need to look internally to see why consumers don’t trust us,” he said.

“Maybe it’s because we’re full of crap,” he added, alluding to what he sees as a lack of truthful advice at the expense of focus on products.

“We are not salesmen, educators or therapists,” he said. “The goal is to be more than a financial planner or technical expert to become a trusted adviser.”