While UK inflation is falling slowly, it remains high and the cost of living crisis continues.
Soaring bills have forced the government to intervene, providing help towards household energy costs, with further help for the most vulnerable, and for businesses. The crisis has also seen a rise in those seeking financial advice.
For many struggling households, this has been around debt management and budgeting for monthly bills. For others though, the main reason for seeking advice has been the need for reassurance.
Two-thirds of planners see offering reassurance as their main job during the crisis
A recent report published in FTAdviser confirms that two-thirds (66%) of advisers see providing reassurance as their main role.
This is understandable.
In the years following the pandemic, as inflation has soared and global and political events like the UK’s mini-Budget and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have led to volatile markets, a certain amount of concern makes sense. These events also highlight areas where the role of a planner can make a huge difference.
The concept of financial wellbeing is an important one in the planning profession.
While our planners recommend products to meet clients’ needs, there is also a huge focus on understanding our clients’ objectives and the reasons behind them.
They might be visiting a planner to secure a comfortable retirement but they could also be looking to provide financial security for their loved ones. And the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their family will be looked after.
Clients also understand the importance of reassurance
Professional Adviser recently reported on why clients (specifically those with more than £300,000 of investable assets) seek financial advice. The report found that:
More than half of those surveyed saw peace of mind as crucial to the client/planner relationship and this is highly significant, especially during periods of economic uncertainty.
Speaking to a planner can reassure your clients in 3 key areas
1. Having an expert in charge gives clients confidence
Clients aren’t (usually) financial experts. That’s why they come to us.
We can act as a sounding board, not just advising, but educating too. Our clients might be making decisions based on our recommendations, but because we can explain why we have chosen a certain option – jargon-free and in a clear, understandable way – they can feel confident about the decisions they make.
This builds confidence, a key part of financial wellbeing.
2. We can help clients to focus on the long term
Focusing on the long-term is a key part of any investment or retirement plan, but it can be trickier during periods of stock market volatility or global and political unrest.
As financial planners with decades of combined experience, we know that short-term volatility is to be expected.
Past performance won’t be a guarantee of future success, but we can use past data to identify trends. We understand that the general trend of the stock market is upwards, for example, and that periods of recovery tend to be longer, eventually outweighing shorter periods of sharp drops.
Helping clients ignore the noise of now and focus on their future goals is key to providing reassurance.
3. Regular reviews give clients a sense of control
By getting to know our clients we can understand their motivations and their goals, then put a plan in place that gets them to where they need to be.
This gives clients a reassuring sense of control over their future.
Regular reviews play a key part in retaining this sense of control throughout a long-term investment.
Reviews can confirm that a client is still on track, whatever else is happening in the world. If a change in priorities, or something external, has thrown their plans off course, we can reassure a client very quickly.
Not only do reviews give us the chance to advise on the next steps, but we can also use tools like cashflow modelling to help clients visualise the effects of the changes we recommend.
Get in touch
If you have clients who would benefit from reassurance in the current economic climate, please get in touch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0116 240 7070.
The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.
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