A day in the life of a financial planner
Written by Carl Turner on April 25, 2014.
In my last post I described in general terms what I do in my role as a financial planner but how exactly do I go about it? Well, the short answer is with meetings, meetings and more meetings! Essentially my job is to help people, and in order to do that I need to meet those people, talk to them and find out exactly what they need from me.
Whether I’m seeing potential new clients or reviewing existing ones, interpersonal skills are key to building great relationships and being able to perform my job to the best of my ability. I really enjoy meeting potential clients and chatting with them to find out their situation and their objectives. Most have broadly similar needs such as saving for a comfortable retirement or putting in place relevant insurance cover to protect themselves and their families. However, each person’s unique situation will present a slightly different problem to solve. The constant challenge of finding personalised solutions tailored to the individual is an aspect of the job which I relish!
In one meeting I might be talking to someone in their late 50’s or early 60’s, fast approaching retirement age, in the next I might meet a young professional in their early 30's at the beginning of their career. Each will require an entirely different approach to their pension planning. In the initial meeting I will discuss a potential client’s personal circumstances with them in great detail. It is important to show them my professionalism as they need to be able to trust me enough to talk openly about how much they earn, what savings they have and what assets they own, information that many people don’t like to confide to strangers.
Once I have a clear picture of an individual’s current financial situation, we discuss their financial objectives to ascertain where they want to be. Armed with all this information, I calculate and put together a solution to meet the client’s goals and objectives. I present my solutions in a follow up meeting and this is the opportunity for the potential client to ask as many questions as they like to be clear about what I am proposing. If they agree with my proposed route to achieve their goals, they will become a client and we will start our working relationship.
I also have many existing clients and the main part of my job involves looking after them and managing their assets. Financial planning is always an ongoing process as investments need to be reviewed to ensure that they are performing and meeting the needs of the client. I make it my policy to review every client’s portfolio every month to ensure they are on course. In addition I meet most clients quarterly for a quick review.
Major life events such as changing jobs, receiving inheritance, moving country, getting married or having children will dramatically affect an individual’s financial needs and will necessitate a review of their financial affairs. I enjoy these reviews as they provide the opportunity to develop an ongoing relationship with my clients, working together to achieve their goals. This can be very rewarding and in fact, many of my clients have become close friends.
Sometimes a client may have a particularly complex problem, for example setting up a trust, structuring inheritance for their family or a corporate client wanting to set up a pension or insurance scheme for their employees. This kind of project requires me to work closely with trust and tax experts at various companies and adds a different dimension to the job. Resolving these bigger challenges can take time but I enjoy working on complex cases and getting the solution just right.
If you think you could benefit from a financial review, I would be very happy to meet with you and discuss your requirements. Do feel free to get in touch.