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You deserve a better experience

Recently, I was reading the responses to an online survey that was looking at the public’s experiences in dealing with financial advisers.

The responses really shocked me and quite frankly it depressed me. Not a single one of the responses painted the adviser in a positive light.

There were many complaints about some being pushy salespeople and others not showing interest in the clients’ lives, lifestyles and aspirations.

This got me thinking. If clients know what they don’t want, why don’t they demand what they want? Is it because they have just accepted that bad service and pushy salespeople are norm – the way it’s supposed to be?

I believe that you deserve a great, personalized experience!

Next time you engage an adviser, make sure of the following:

  • Everything should be centered around you and those significant to you.

Financial planning is about your hopes, dreams and aspirations. It is about how you make them a reality by planning for it. Your adviser should allow you to articulate it and they should make 100% sure that they have a full grasp of it. They should know what you want to achieve by when and help you to create a roadmap to get you there.

  • You should not be pressurized into buying anything.

Financial planning is not policy sales! If an adviser is putting pressure on you to buy a product, then you should question whether the primary aim is to assist you with your planning or whether the aim is to earn a commission cheque. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying advisers should not earn an income for their time and expertise. I’m saying that you should ensure that that is what you are paying for – the time and expertise and not for the sale of a product. If commission is earned, it should be secondary and the commission amounts should be fully disclosed. You can therefore also determine whether the commission earnings are fair and appropriate for the service you are receiving in return.  

  • You adviser should have appropriate knowledge.

There is no need for your adviser to know everything there is to know about investments, tax, healthcare, the matrimonial act, etc. It is just not possible. Every subsection of financial planning can be a specialist field of its own and laws and regulations change regularly. The adviser should however have a broad general knowledge of the financial planning landscape, be authorised and accredited for the areas they advise you on and importantly, have access to expert knowledge if and when required. If they say, “ I don’t know” and “I will come back to you”, it is perfectly acceptable. As long as they do in fact come back to you.

  • You have the right to negotiate the fees on your investment products.

Paying unnecessary high fees on your investment products will have a devastating effect on your final fund value.  If it is a retirement fund, which usually have a longer term, the paying 3% fees per year instead of 1% per year could mean a pay-out of about 30% less. That is R3.1m instead of R5m for example. So negotiate your fees.

  • You should feel comfortable to build a long-term relationship with your adviser.

I believe that you should do your due diligence when it comes to choosing an adviser. Check out their LinkedIn profile, have a browse through their website, follow them on Twitter and by all means, check their accreditation status on the FSCA website. You may also want to “interview” a few advisers before deciding on one. It is after all your time, your money and financial life, so you get to choose who you entrust with it.

This list is not exhaustive, but I think by keeping this in mind , you’ll have a better experience and an even better outcome.

Would you like to experience a better experience? Book a session with Gavin today.