The advice world is in a state of flux. Reading the headlines an outsider would assume that financial advice as a career path is in a near terminal decline.
I'm not going to bore you with the plethora of reasons why advisers are struggling, you have heard them before and personally I'm over hearing it.
When I talk to other advisers about the outcomes they have achieved for clients, all I hear is tremendous things. There is not an adviser I know that does not take immense pride in the value they provide to their clients.
The past year has been challenging for us all. The coming years will almost certainly bring further change and some of it won't be pleasant.
After saying that, it may surprise you that I genuinely believe that now is the most opportune time to be an adviser.
Before I begin the advice process, every client is told "by the end of this I'm going to know more about you than your accountant, lawyer, doctor and best friend combined."
One complaint I hear regularly from other advisers is how much work is required to give simple advice. I understand that, I think my fact find is about 50 pages and certainly isn’t a 10 minute exercise. The tremendous upside of this, is that it provides a clear conduit to have immensely powerful conversations with our clients. Even a simple question like 'tell me how your ideal life looks in five years' has the potential for us to develop an understanding of our clients that goes far beyond a traditional relationship.
What other career path enables us to genuinely get to know our clients, from not only their financial positions but to their most intimate dreams and desires?
Yes the industry is changing, yes some of you might find it tough. I'm not in the business of guarantees, none of us are, but I will proudly state that now is an amazing time to be an adviser. While some might complain about the state of the industry and I’m sure you are more than familiar with the regulatory landscape we are experiencing, I am confident that taking a long term view we will be provided with a clear legal landscape to provide affordable advice of the highest quality.
Technology has enabled us to know our clients in ways that were previously unimaginable. If you don't believe me, follow your clients on Instagram or other social media platforms.
This is real time data of how our clients spend their lives. It's an immensely valuable tool.
I can only speak for myself, but incorporating technology into my firm has driven significant increases within not only productivity but also client engagement. Seriously, something as simple as following my clients on Instagram has enabled me to have real time data on not only their spending but how they are living their lives. Zoom/Skype meetings have resulted in huge compliance time savings but also the ability to interact with customers all over the nation at any time (I’m certainly not flying to Broome for a meeting but it is no issue to send a Zoom link!)
Last week I was talking with an older adviser about how the industry was when he first joined. He remembered calling fund managers to collate the date to present a client's reports - today we have access to that data immediately. Can you imagine the inefficiency that would cause you today?
Additionally, all over the country people are crying out for trustworthy, genuine and transparent advice. If you don’t believe me, look at just how many people are investing in their early 20s! The talk of the internet and barbecue throughout the end of January was investing.
One thing that has been incredible over the past few years, has been the formation of platforms for advisers to work together to achieve great client outcomes. Have a listen to the XY podcast, there are some of the greatest minds and individuals within the industry sharing ideas on how you can improve your client outcomes, business and professional development.
To paraphrase the former US president, “Let’s make financial advice great again”.
Tyson Jonas, senior financial adviser, Jonas Wealth Management
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