Six of us sat down to lunch the other day. Three men and three women and suddenly talk of marriage came up and we realised that three of those in the group had been married twice and the other three not at all.
On average we’d each been married once. And another interesting statistic that I considered was that of those who had experienced marriage, 100 per cent had been convinced of the benefits and had continued to believe in marriage despite the overall unsuccessful experience they had.
Similarly, your financial planning clients seldom say they have bad experiences or do not value what you do. It is really those without experience who surveys find are not convinced of the merits of seeking financial advice.
So how do we educate them? How do we tell the greater public what it is that a financial planner does and how it can benefit them?
The AFA’s “make a plan” campaign is a great start. What is the point of financial planning and how can it make one better off is a great way to introduce the idea. But the media tarnishing financial planners also needs to be redressed.
It’s a big like the chicken and the egg. Do we need to sell the idea of a professional financial planner before the value of planning or should the value of planning come first. Or is there a way of presenting both in concert?
Do we need to attract people to advice slowly, in a bit by bit manner – first advising on super or insurance and then a savings plan?
Distribution has become so much easier for most products and services since the explosion of the internet – but the regulatory system makes it difficult for financial advice. Perhaps when someone cracks it a new era will emerge and this will affect pricing and the value chain and the landscape as we know it.
Everyone is trying to get out there the best that they can – through bank channels, super funds, fund manager websites but it’s not yet cutting through to the clients that everyone is missing.
Can a government agency help, will an experience website do it – Red Balloon offering financial planning services for a family? Or perhaps ebay – what would the highest bidder pay for financial advice?
It’s a new world and we’re still working on how best to operate within our new parameters.
But it’s first mover who will win the greatest advantage – any ideas you can share?
According to research by CoreData/brandmanagement commissioned by the AFA in July it was found that financial advisers are highly trusted by the advised, coming in third behind doctors and dentists, although the unadvised awarded a much lower trust rating of 4.5.