Is It All About Money?
I came across this short video which I’d like to share. It isn’t very complimentary to those within the financial services industry (which includes me). So why share it? well…. because I agree with a lot of what is being said. I have met hundreds, perhaps thousands of people all with different financial concerns. Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have trusted most people that held themselves out as financial advisers, today in 2015 there are still quite a few bad apples, but most of the people I meet are genuinely trying to help their clients… sure, like me they are also trying to run a profitable business and it seems to me that profit is a word that needs reclaiming here in the UK – without it, you dont get to play again next year.
The American dream suggests that you can have it all, you simply need the discipline to get there. This is true for some, but certainly not for all – and yes I am aware that there will always be exceptions… the classic Cinderella story of rags to riches. However most people aren’t interested in making a fortune, what they tend to want is the ablity to maintain their lifestyle, have options to travel and to bring up their children (if they have any) in a healthy, safe and encouraging environment. Only this weekend I had an email from someone saying that they don’t care about money… most people don’t. What they care about is their life. Money simply provides choices, it doesn’t provide guarantees and can offer some security but most of this is illusion. Don’t believe me? imagine an invading alien army (I know -daft right!) landing in London… the value of your home, size of your bank balance or ISA is suddenly rather irrelevant. Yes, I know its unlikely… I’m merely making a point.
Financial planning is not really about money. Thats why I don’t have tabs on the website telling you about all the products we “sell”. However I will admit that sometimes I think it would be a better marketing strategy, as that is what people actually look for, not financial plans. Financial planning is about you. Your life plan. As the financial planner, my job is to ask decent questions and explore the answers (or range of answers) together. I am meant to represent your interests, helping you to make better decisions and trying to ensure that your money doesn’t run out before you do.
For the record, we are further ahead in this regard than those in the US – and I for one am grateful for our NHS and not having US healthcare costs. If you follow me, then you’ll know that since formation in 1999 we have charged fees for advice rather than commissions. Our clients know what they pay us. Fiduciary is absolutely the right term. Anyway, here is the video: