Financial planners: we’re not all bad!
Written by Lynda Calver on October 08, 2015.
To admit that you work in the financial services industry generally accords you popularity status somewhere on a par with that of estate agent and traffic warden. There is the perception that all of us financial professionals are avaricious and selfish and that we would sell our own grandmothers to make a quick buck. It is not uncommon for me to be subjected to extreme hostility and lengthy diatribes on my questionable morals at social occasions, or even at networking events, when revealing what I do for a living.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that not all financial advisers are squeaky clean and acting out of altruistic motives, but then neither are all doctors, teachers or priests. The fact is that you simply can’t generalise about a whole profession, whether positively or negatively, and every industry attracts both good and bad (and usually it is just a few bad eggs who spoil it for the majority). What I do know is that most of the professionals that I come across in my industry are generally decent people. Of course they want to earn a reasonable living but they are not driven solely by materialistic motives but have a genuine interest in people and a desire to help them.
Finances are key to our emotional wellbeing and numerous psychologists have identified a strong correlation between money and happiness, although only up to a certain point. A study by professors at Princeton University famously concluded that happiness only increases until someone earns around $75,000 per year, which suggests that what most people crave is not vast wealth but enough money not to have to worry i.e. financial security.
Given the importance financial security holds in our lives, it is astonishing just how many people are reticent to seek help when it comes to securing it. The reputation of the financial services industry must partially be responsible for this but to tar all professionals in the industry with the same brush does some of us a disservice and also denies you of a service which can be genuinely valuable to you. Just as you would visit a doctor with concerns about your physical or mental health, concerns about your financial wellbeing can be addressed by a good financial adviser.
Of course you should select a financial adviser with care – professionalism, trust and industry knowledge are all important attributes. Have a look here for some tips about what to look out for in a financial adviser, and find some things to avoid here.
Personally, I take great pleasure from helping people to get their finances in tip top health. I can assist with savings and investments, retirement and estate planning and insurance protection to give my clients peace of mind. I work to strict industry standards and am constantly undergoing training to add to my skills and keep up with a rapidly changing financial landscape. If you are looking for a trustworthy profession, I hope you will judge me on my own merits rather than on the reputation of the disreputable few working in the industry.